3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!


Motivational Monday #16

It can be tempting to give up on a goal because we are not achieving it fast enough. We ask ourselves if what we’re giving up today, a mere baby step on the way to the prize, is really worth it. When those moments hit, look in the mirror and say:

Motivational Monday #15


Should I Stay or Should I Go: Gym vs. Home

Gym vs Home

Keeping in mind several previous posts – cutting down on stress (holiday or otherwise) and meeting our goals – I want to first announce our November GoalFest winner. Congratulations to Pauline King! Your name was drawn at random from those that accomplished their November goal. Please make sure you let us know which ‘flavor’ of stress-reducing-scent-therapy-providing sugar scrub you would like to receive.

As health is an important goal for all of us, especially as we age, I was pondering the best options for getting in some physical activity which for me helps meet my fitness goal and helps reduce stress. While I am working out (aka listening to my pod casts while doing some treadmill and elliptical work) I am much less stressed and also increasing my fitness level. The rest of my day seems to go smoother; my body is producing those ‘feel good’ chemicals that keep me on a more even keel; and when I get home, I am free to relax. For me, first thing in the morning and outside the house is the best fit for me. For others, it could be something entirely different. Maybe you don’t have a large chunk of time so need to fit in small bursts throughout the day or maybe you need to do it at home at the end of your day when others are busy doing something else. Below are reasons why either inside or outside the home can work for you. Take a look and see if you find some options that seem to fit with your lifestyle. I took information from personal experience and from the following links to put together this comparison – Gym workouts vs. At Home workouts.

Gym (Outside the Home) At Home ‘Gym’
Fewer Distractions
Not much else to do at the gym but work out. No family members to interrupt you since they are not just down the hall or right upstairs. On the other hand, it could be a social gathering place which could limit your workout time if you get to gabbing with friends or work out less hard so you can hold a conversation. Not a social scene so workouts are completely unfettered by having to maintain a conversation. Could be pulled away from a workout if others at the house feel they need you for something or if you see something that needs to be done that distracts you from getting started on the workout routine.
Time/Money Investment
Gym Memberships can be pricey. This could keep you motivated to continue so you get your money’s worth or it could deter you from joining as that cost is just not in the budget. Time investment – could take you longer to get to where you are working out and time spent waiting for equipment can be de-motivating. No money for membership but if you are considering home equipment, good stuff costs money. There are inexpensive ways to get a good workout though – walking, exercise tapes, inexpensive weights and resistance bands. Not investing money could prove de-motivating as you have not invested so if you discontinue working out, you haven’t really lost anything financially.
Diversity of Equipment
Your membership affords you a plethora of equipment. You should make sure you know the best and safest way to use all that equipment. It is not your responsibility to maintain the equipment in good working order either which is a plus. Unless you have a great deal of unlimited resources, outfitting your home with all the equipment in a gym is just not a likely scenario. However, diverse workouts can still be created by using different inexpensive equipment and changing up your workout routine. One good piece like a treadmill or elliptical and some lesser expensive tools either rented or bought at second hand stores (we all know how many good intentions end up on sale after the motivation has run out) should do the trick.
Seeing all those fit people around you can prove very motivating. Also seeing how the level of effort made by others can inspire you to ‘pump up the volume’. However, if seeing all those fit people makes you feel out of place or self-conscious you are more likely to stop going to the gym. You have no one but yourself to motivate you which can be a good thing. If you find yourself running out of motivational thoughts, you could always ask a friend to join in the workouts – keeps you accountable and helps share the burden of keeping the routine going. You don’t have to worry about ‘keeping up with the Jones’ when it comes to fashionable workout gear and or level of fitness. No one to judge you when in the privacy of your own home.
Group Exercises
You’re already there and the costs of classes is usually included in your membership. Definitely a plus as variety helps keeps us going when the ‘going gets tough’. Local community centers and local fitness centers do offer classes. They are not in your home but can supplement your home workouts. You can also rent a different workout tape from the library each week if you prefer to stay home and yet still want some variety.
Easier to Commit ( THIS IS THE BIGGIE)
If you invested money and have signed up for a class, maybe signed up a personal trainer, you should be motivated to keep that commitment. Who wants to throw money away! Just don’t let the travel to and fro and the social aspects of the gym derail your commitment! If working out at home allows you to commit to a routine that doesn’t rely on having additional money in your budget each month and doesn’t allow you to make excuses for going back out to workout then home is the place for you. Just don’t let the other distraction that home provides to derail your commitment.

Whatever works for you – maybe a little bit a both. Just keep moving.   -M


December GoalFest!

December GoalFest!Can you believe December is here already?! Why, it seems like just yesterday it was November!

I hate to be that over-50 cliche about not being up with technology, but people like me are why cliches get traction. I’m always a few years behind the latest technological trend. I had to be weaned off my typewriter in law school – until I discovered that nifty cut-and-paste feature on my jumbo 1992 shiny new computer. I was still mailing letters to other attorneys after two years of receiving faxed letters from them. And finally, after 15 years of teaching as an adjunct at a local law school, I have started to allow the law students to email me if they have a question. To be fair to myself here, my reason for disallowing email contact from students was I suspected I would receive emailed questions students would never find compelling enough to walk across the room to actually ask me. My suspicions have since been confirmed.

So I have a running list of technological things I want to learn or accomplish. A few years back I managed to get up a no-frills professional website, got on Facebook (yes, that seemed like a big deal two years ago), figured out how to use my phone calendar, started the blogs, learned to edit pictures on the computer – well, you can see the impressive strides I’m making in the technology world, right?

I have numerous goals left (setting up Evernotes, getting on Twitter, figuring out if there is purpose for me to bother figuring out Instagram . . . ), but I have knocked ONE off the list this week. With a little help (that I’m now embarrassed I needed after seeing how simple it was!) I started (drum roll appropriate here . . . ) our Fat-Bottom-Fifties Get Fierce Facebook page. Will you please help us get established by popping over to give us a hearty “LIKE”? We’d also appreciate you letting anyone you think may be interested know about us. With all the discussion we’ve had here about memory issues, I’m going to put the link right here instead of making you wait until you get to the bottom of the page: click here to “LIKE” FAT-BOTTOM-FIFTIES GET FIERCE link.

So how did you do with your November goals? Here’s our report:

Getting Fierce GOALFEST!

My first November goal was to tackle the other pile of torn out magazine articles and recipes – check. My second goal was to walk 3.5 miles five days a week and my ‘down time’ (aka butt in seat time) was dependent on my doing this. I am so happy to report that I have stuck with this new schedule. I get up at 5 AM, head out to work early and walk on the treadmill at work and then shower and am at my desk by 7 AM! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy this but there is something great about just getting out of bed, throwing on work out clothes (i.e. baggy t-shirt and cropped sweatpants) and heading out to work – no fuss, no muss. I am done with my workout early in the day and don’t have to worry about fitting it in. No one in my house needs me at 5 AM so it is the perfect time. I walk the neighborhood on the weekends and got in an extra day each week. LOVE finding this time for myself.  DECEMBER GOAL: I really want to continue my November goal so I can keep feeling this great. My other goal will be to get to bed each night at a decent time. There is lots going on in December and I don’t want to be a crabby patty because of lack of sleep. I will make note of what is left to do and check it off the next day.


Getting Fierce Goalfest!My November goal was to make sure I break up my long stretches of sitting by getting up and moving around once or twice each hour. I did well. The suggestion to use my phone timer to beep worked well (thanks, Natine!). I can’t call it a ‘habit’ yet, buy my mindfulness about it bodes well. DECEMBER GOAL: Be on time. Easy one, you say? Well, maybe for you! There was I time when I loathed people who were habitually late and mentally chastised the arrogance of particular students (in my college days) who slid in 10 minutes after every bell, thus interrupting the professor’s flow and causing the whole class to focus on them. How I became that rude person who slides in the door at the last minute or calls their lunch date in route to apologize for “running late,” I don’t know. Something to do with always greedily answering one more phone call and having an aversion (like I’m so novel here) to waiting. If I know it takes exactly 20 minutes to get somewhere, I allow 22 “in case there’s a problem.” I get that’s not rational – I’m just baring my soul here and telling you how it is. So, for this whoooooole month, I will figure out how long it’s going to take me to get somewhere and add 10 minutes on to the time I would normally get started. I understand 10 minutes may sound stingy to those of you who consider being there only 10 minutes early actually being late, but it is an attainable goal for me on my way to creating better habits.

Make sure you tell us about how you did with your November goals in the comment section below. Whether or not you participated in the November GoalFest, please join us for this final December GoalFest and state your goals in the comment section for this last month of 2014 – we’ll be cheering you on!