Thoughts on New Year’s Resolution “Cliches”

Cliche or not, here we are people. 

Every year around this time people are either talking about what their goals/resolutions are for the new year, how you should be setting these goals, how to best achieve them…etc etc etc….OR they’re talking about how cliche  it is to only set goals/resolutions at the New Year and how you should be doing this throughout the year as a lifestyle change, etc., etc.

Darned if you do set goals at the New Year, darned if you don’t my friends.

I’m here to tell you that I am unapologetically ALL IN with the New Year’s resolutions hoopla. Give it all to me. I want to know your goals, what you’re doing, how you want to achieve it, what’s important to you. I love the excitement around it. It’s the perfect “restart” for everyone. It’s a time of year when I feel like 80% of the population at least thinks about what they want the new year to bring in a positive manner. Goal setting get’s me allllll jazzed up. Yes, yes, we all know the statistics around the number of people who stick to their resolutions after the first 60 days, but that’s another post for another day. (Also, sorry, I can’t resist throwing this in here…. PSA: that doesn’t have to be you!! Perfection is not the aim…don’t quit on a goal just because you may have messed it up once or twice or even three times. It’s the consistent progress and getting back on the horse even when you fall off it that matters most.)

Each year, I spend the last couple weeks of December thinking about what I want to achieve the next year. I like to sound smart and wise and say this is my “reflection time” which inevitably means I spend a decent amount of time thinking about the things I set out to achieve a year ago that I completely failed at. Yikes.  BUT, because I’m an eternal optimist, I also spend some time reflecting on the things I did achieve in the previous year.

For example, here’s what I reflected on in 2018:  

I birthed a real life, tiny human. His name is Dempsey. 

The end.

For the first time in many years, there are literally zero other boxes to check off. No other goals to look back on and hang my head in disappointment about because I didn’t do enough. Nope. Literally zero parts of me feel bad about anything I did not “live up to” in 2018. 

I had a baby. Jon and I survived the birthing process and the sleepless nights. Dempsey likes us enough as parents to keep us around nearly a year later. He has eight teeth and he giggles and weirdly he has curly hair. We love him.

Guys, 2018 was a smashing success.

Now, on to the next one.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about 2019 and what I want for the year and what I’m striving for. As I was feeling nostalgic and hopeful, I read a quote in my Five Minute Journal last week that made me feel slightly defensive and want to throw the book across the room. Like – “how dare you rain on my life parade… you don’t know my life!!” (Drama queen, I know.)

Here it is: “Your actions reveal not what you want, but what you choose.” – Shane Parrish

Simple. Almost too simple. But dang, what a gut punch. I had to reread it like five times to really let it sink in.

I consider myself a goal-oriented person. But as I sat back and reflected on my 2018… I realized this truth was so real for me.

We all have things we want. Things we hope to achieve. And every day we make choices. Thousands of them, albeit subconsciously at times. But for most of us, what we actually DO day in and day out doesn’t reveal what we truly want for this life.

Maybe this isn’t you so it’s possible I’m just saying this as a message to myself…and I’m cool with that. But I feel like each year I write down many of the same goals just in different verbiage to make myself feel good…. and when the time comes around to reflect on how I did… I find myself disappointed at how little I REALLY pushed for it.

For example:

  • I want to be 100% debt free. I’m talking no more student debt and no more house mortgage. But my actions definitely don’t speak that language. Instead, last month I choose to buy those 12 things off Amazon that I just really, realllllly  “needed.” (Dang you, Amazon.) 
  • I want to lose those pesky extra pregnancy pounds. But I choose to skip the gym or eat the amazingly delicious strawberry Poptarts I bought from Costco for no apparent reason other than…”maybe I’ll just get these in case of emergency.” Or I sneak into Martha’s and get the vegan chocolate brownie. (FYI guys: just because it’s vegan does not mean it’s not bad for you. I know I’m smarter than this, but man, it gets me everytime!!) 
  • I want to make finally break the four figure mark each month with my online Rodan + Fields side-gig. But I choose to not put the work in that I know I need to because “I’m too tired or too busy.” 
  • I want to be a better, more consistent blogger. But I choose to not consistently create content because “I can’t think of things to write about.” 
  • I want to have a spotless basement and get rid of the excess stuff in my house. But I choose to put off cleaning or making those trips to Goodwill so I can watch my latest Netflix binge instead. (Scandal, anyone?!)
  • I want to read more books. (Really, I want to read all the books, it’s a problem.) But I choose to scroll through social media in the evenings for 30+ minutes instead.  
  • I want to meet and get to know my neighbors. But I choose to stay in my comfort zone because walking up to people’s doors and knocking on them seems awkward these days. (Not to mention they may think I’m some random weirdo and call the cops…right?!)

Now that I’ve hung out all my dirty laundry….hopefully you get the point.

I understand we can’t be perfect and do all the right things every single day, I’m not saying that. What I am saying is that I want things for my life.  But what am I choosing daily to get me there? What are my actions saying about me?

I want it to be different this year. I’m ready to get unstuck.

So I’m going to start by doing something I haven’t done before. I’m throwing out my personal 2019 goals. Mostly for a bit of accountability, maybe to find someone who says “me too, let’s cheer each other one!” and hopefully so that when I see someone in six months they can say…”hey…how is that thing coming? I know that was a big goal of yours for this year.”

Nothing gets me moving like knowing someone is going to be checking up on me. (Can I get an amen?!)

So here we go, my 2019 Goals. 

1. Apply (and hopefully get in!) to Leadership Grand Rapids through the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce in February

2. Compete in two CrossFit competitions

3. Read 10 books (and because you know me so well, guys…Yes, I have my list. Yes, I know it’s longer than 10. But this gives me OPTIONS and options are my friend.)

4. Introduce myself to our neighbors (and then have a summer cookout in August at our house)

5. House improvements: refinish bathroom and put a new roof on our house (More of a husband thing, but I do my part by “reminding” aka likely annoyingly nagging..sorrrrry not sorry JG!)

6. Once a month, invite someone (or some people) over to our house for a meal + camaraderie

7. Welcome three new business partners with Rodan + Fields (And by the end of 2019, make $2,000 a month in extra income with R+F.)

8. Volunteer to serve coffee once a month at our church

9. Publish a new blog post once a month

To sum it up: Love more. Read more. Save more. Blog more. Make more.

Sounds pretty simple, yes? My heart is is jumping for joy, but my mind is already starting to spin both at the possibilities and the changes that will have to be made. But, like anything… the biggest factor to success will be breaking these tiny into smaller bite size chunks. And if you’re anything like me and need a little roadmap for that – may I suggest a game-changer book? The Power of Less by Leo Babauta. This book is all about habits and limiting yourself to the essential things in life to achieve real change. It’s good, I promise. Just read it!

Cheers, my friends. Raise a glass… and let’s make 2019 the year that our actions reveal what we truly want for our lives.

All the love!

PS: I’m in the middle of attempting a vision board for 2019, so if anyone has any advice on how to make it legitimate, organized and inspiring (and not look like a 12-year-old boy’s scrapbook), I’m taking any and all suggestions! 

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Glass half full kinda gal. Lover of hugs and 'atta-girls.'

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