How are you resolutions going? So far the January challenge has been successfully moving right along with us getting outside every day even through all the record breaking chills. I haven’t really bought much other than plants so I’ve stayed on track with my purchasing goals and I’ve been spending a lot of time focused on clearing digital and to-do list clutter this past week so that’s a big step in the right direction!! There is just one goal that when I set it, I knew I’d be setting myself up for failure. That was the goal to read daily even if for 10 minutes. I find myself with busy days, at the end of the long day I’m totally brain dead and ready to pass out by the time it comes to open a book. This has ALWAYS been my problem, so thinking I could suddenly flip the switch like that was silly. It’s like when you vow to workout 5 days a week but maybe haven’t put on a pair of tennis shoes or broken a sweat from doing anything active in ages.
While it was seemingly harmless, in my opinion its impossible to set an everyday goal on anything and expect to be successful. What if you miss a day because you forget or you’re sick or on vacation? Then is the whole thing shot? Those sorts of goals usually always fail because they are too absolute for too long.
Part of what I think made last year so successful is there were no prescribed number of days where things needed to be done. Just a few overarching goals: stop making so much garbage, buy less and don’t buy clothes. No strict resolutions, aside from the whole no clothes thing. But for me, it was a lot easier to abstain from that than it is to commit to doing something everyday for an entire year. Plus it was something I was super motivated to do. While I’d like to read every night and hope to eventually get to that point, it’s always been a challenge for me to make time for reading so I set myself up for failure by making it a nightly decree.
That is why I’m changing the script – and these will be my UPDATED GOALS for 2018…
1. Continue to buy used over new. If new, try to choose products that are sustainable and ethically made.
2. Keep working on reducing our footprint as much as possible – particularly with energy and water usage.
Some of the things I’d like to tackle this year:
- Get a rain barrel.
- Work on system utilizing gray water better.
- Shorter showers.
- Eliminate wasted running water.
- Utilize leftover cooking water.
- Keep lights off during the day if possible.
- Get in the habit of making sure lights are turned off in unoccupied rooms.
- Install a screen door to allow for more fresh airflow into our kitchen and more days without AC during warmer months.
3. Tackle digital clutter and mental clutter.
- Put an end to procrastination – get into the habit of tackling things right away instead of putting them off.
4. Spend more time with friends and family. Period.
5. Open a book at least once a week.
Totally attainable. I can make time once a week. If I do more, great but if I don’t that’s okay too. Nightly? Haha No. And there is no set time line either. Prescriptions like dates and times can make things less enjoyable, and feel like work. So as long as I open a book and read a sentence on a page, I’ll feel like I’m making progress. Don’t get me wrong – I may dedicate one of my monthly challenges to reading more as that’s doable. 30 days is a lot different than 365. And I hope that when I do take on that month, that it helps set into motion a habit that will continue on throughout the year.
I also tweaked the spending time with friends and family goal because it too had too tight of parameters that made things feel too rigid. So, just going to try to see my boos more often – that’s it.
Do you have a goal you set out for the year to do but maybe got a little overeager when setting it? I invite you to revise your goals with me! There is nothing wrong with realizing that a goal you set for yourself isn’t going to quite work the way you had intended for the year. That’s often why resolutions don’t work is because they are set too unrealistically and then given up on at the first sign of failure. Change things up now and make your goal/goals something that will keep powering you forward and make this the year that you do all the things you set out to get done!