Friday, December 30, 2011

Personal Discussion on Resolutions

It's that time again: New Year's Resolutions!

I realize I never shared any with you readers last year. I wrote them in a journal, however, and pulled them back out to see if I accomplished them. I have divided them into categories so my left brain and right brain would both be happy.

All goals associated with
the boys were met. I am such a good teacher! No, they are just growing and learning. :) I have a role in their development, sure, but they were going to learn these skills anyway.

Goals regarding my marriage (what, don't you have some?) were often determined by my daily health a.k.a. tiredness. Steady work also makes for longer days, so there's only so much time left for reconnecting and decompressing. We have worked together to find ways to be together, to appreciate each other, and to plan mini dates. The ideas I had in January did not always work out, but I remained flexible and changed them.

Travel goals still remain, partly due to the fact that 4 year olds don't travel long distances in cars well. :) But as he ages, I need to focus on saving for vacation travel so that when he is old enough, I have enough money.

My personal goals almost remain the same! This means that I did not accomplish them last year. They are either too big or I am lazy...BUT it's a new year.

As I pondered what goals I have for this year, I searched the internets for the Top 10 New Year's Resolutions.

1. Spend More Time With Family And Friends
This is our legacy! Of course we want to spend more time with the people we love, because they are going to hold our memories when we are gone. No really, what is it you want most when you are in the hospital thinking about how little time you have left? More time with family, to appreciate the small moments, to impart wisdom, to share those warm bubbly feelings of love.

2. Get Fit!
This is about being healthy. This is where I feel I have fallen short. I don't really know if I have any health issues, for sure, but I think I do and need to have them taken care of. No one knows your body like you do, so if you have concerns, like me, you (and I) should get to a doctor and share them. I think another goal fits in here, anything food or cooking related. And you know exercise is great for other areas of your health, mental and social, so that fits here as well. Which is part of number three..

3. Lose Weight
This is the general label we place on our resolutions, but I think number 2 is much more important. This may be why this goal fails. Stress can lead to weight gain, depression to overeating, so if you aren't addressing the mental and social aspects, you won't achieve the weight loss, nor have the motivation to make the lifestyle changes necessary.

4. Quit Smoking
Not an issue for me.

5. Enjoy Life More
This is about getting a hobby, going to the theater, taking vacations, and all those fun things you always wanted to do. This goal takes financial and health planning. This goal could also just be a social goal, playing with your children, joining a club or team, or going out with friends or on mini dates. :)

6. Quit Drinking
Also not an issue for me. I'd give advice about 4 and 6 but you'd not believe me.

7. Get Out of Debt
Again, financial planning. I read an article on this titled something like Live Debt Free, and it was just a candid story about people who did. No tips, the only advice was to pay off your debts as soon as you can. Hmm, most people accrue debt because they have to, like the 7,000 dollars in water repair this past year, or 13,000 in student loans, or 1,700 for a used car. Or how about a house? Of course, paying them off is ideal, but in order to do so, you have to budget. For me, the water debt is immense. Student loans have programs in place to help deal with them. The water debt has no programs. I don't expect to get out of debt. As soon as the water is paid off, the house will need a roof or central air. That's how it goes. Unless we get pay increases, we will be accruing debts to pay for these things. The trick is so keep it manageable.

I decided to go see what Dave Ramsey thinks my budget should be, so I went to, signed in, clicked on the financial health tab, and went to the budget calculator. One you enter your amount, it spits out some numbers. Firstly, the only thing we come in under budget is our house. I said we got a great deal! But upon further examination, he allots 5% for utilities. Does he LIVE in America?? What electric bill is 5% of your income, let alone water, gas, or phone and internet?! Good grief, my utilities easily take 10% or more. There are some months where it is less, but when I have to pay the expensive months, other things are not in the budget, like clothing, medical, and savings. There is no clothing budget, ever. That's what GIFTCARDS are for, and birthdays and Christmas. We also shop at Goodwill and yard sales. 25 cents for that? Sure!

8. Learn Something New
This was something I wanted to do last year. The things we want to learn are supposed to be fun. It's just that often the lessons we learn are not the fun kind! Be careful with this one.. Perhaps this should be amended to "remember what lessons you have learned", because I'm sure I learned some new things in a year, but I do not recall them right now.

9. Help Others
Ample opportunities abound for this one. If this is number 9, why aren't more people out there helping?? If we are to give 10% of our income to charity, as Dave Ramsey says, what would you give it to? What about our time? I give a lot of my time to my church.

10. Get Organized
Perhaps the best way to do this is to SIMPLIFY. Here's my half-baked idea that I won't follow, but if you can, more power to ya and I want to hear about it! 1. Empty a room of your house, a closet, or nook. 2. Place items back in the room that you need, furniture, appliances, toothbrushes until the room looks like one of those pictured in Better Homes and Gardens. 3. See all the rest of that stuff you didn't put back?? Get rid of it! Put it in a yard sale and save up for a vacation!

So the truth here is that people set these goals and NEVER follow through. (See me for an example.) Why?

You know why! Laziness, unmotivated, excuses, etc.

So what advice is out there to finally do it this year? 2 options:

Option one
1. Choose your goals
2. Break them into smaller steps
3. Get support
4. Make a routine or schedule the event in

Option two
1. Create a plan
2. Write it down
3. Think year-round
4. Remain flexible

I go with option two often. It doesn't get me anywhere and is quite
right-brained. The left-brain is furious at the right-brain when it does this. The two sides can shake hands over step 3 of option one. THIS is what I have been missing. SUPPORT. I have to SHARE my personal goals with others so they can cheer me on, do it with me, or at least hold me accountable. I often skip this step and make a schedule that I don't follow or flake on the routine because I don't hold myself accountable.

So what are some more realistic and achievable resolutions?

Speak positively about others.
Take time to relax.
Learn a new recipe. Preferably something healthy..

And here is the correct way to actually Achieve them, by Richard Wiseman. He follows Option One.

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