New Year’s Resolutions

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!


What I Learned From New Year’s Resolutions Past

What I Learned From New Year's Resolutions Past

If I were to make a list of New Year’s Resolutions – which I will not – I can tell you exactly what would be on it. How do I know? Because I made that list in 1983. And 1996. And 2005. And several other years that there is just no point mentioning. The same three things top each list. I will lose weight. I will get organized. I will stop procrastinating. And thus, I have learned some absolutes about myself. No matter what my size, I will always feel that I need to lose weight and I missed the opportunity to enjoy that not being true. No matter how many cute colorful baskets I tuck my stuff into, I will not develop the personality of an organized person. And with regard to procrastination? Well, we can talk about that later.

I have learned that no matter how many bite-sized pieces I break down the resolutions to, resolving is just not effective for me. I need something more tangible. Yes, writing things down helps me visualize where I’m going. It’s part of the commitment. But I need a plan of action, a goal, a reward and accountability. I get that the wonderful result is suppose to be it’s own reward. And, of course, it is. But I need to enjoy some aspect of the process, or I won’t stick with it. I want to be one of those damn-the-sacrifice-it’s-worth-the-price kind of people hurtling toward the goal, but over 50 years of living tells me that ain’t happenin’ any time soon! So, with the wisdom and maturity that age brings, I acknowledge I have to bribe myself to get things done. And I’m OK with that.

That’s why I enjoyed the GoalFest – it turned accomplishing things I want to get done into fun. (Don’t forget to let us know how you did on your December goals in the comment section!) As we head into 2015, we want to continue our personal growth (not to be confused with weight gain) and our commitment to be the fiercest versions of ourselves we can possibly be. We not only have a new year, we have new weeks, new days, new minutes to shape as we travel this journey of our personal best.  We’ll get your week started with a thought to spur you on each Motivational Monday, a midweek topical post and a Friday Five to send you into the weekend with a smile on your face. (That is not a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a tentative schedule subject to change as life happens and/or ferocity takes us in a different direction!)  -El

And, on a personal note . . .

We have had a delightful year at FBFGF – thanks to you! As new bloggers, we weren’t sure how things would go, but as we head toward our first anniversary we are smiling broadly at the realization that we have accomplished one of our main goals in starting this blog: connecting with others who also want to celebrate where they are in life, continue to grow and evolve, and have fun doing it. We really appreciate the support, the input, the sharing, the advice, and the humor each of you have contributed – and we hope we’ll see each of you often in 2015.

Over the past year, as we have gotten to know you, we learned that many of you are bloggers, too. We’ve had an opportunity to enjoy your posts, but we’d like to share them more broadly. If you are a regular reader and have your own blog, please let us know about it in the comment section below. Tell us what it’s about and include the URL. In appreciation for your support, we plan to add a “Blog Friends” page here so others can enjoy your posts, too. And, of course, one of us wouldn’t be a true lawyer if we didn’t throw in: We reserve the right to not include on the list blogs that are graphic, racist, or otherwise inconsistent with our values. For instance, don’t expect to see here anything entitled: “Seriously – it’s OK to Eat ’til You Pop.”

We wish each of you a healthy, blessed, and very Happy New Year!

What I Learned From New Year's Resolutions PastMEL