2012 Resolutions

Yes, it’s that time of the year again… time for making resolutions and hoping for the best for the year ahead.  I know I’m a couple days late in getting this up but not due to the lack of thinking of a resolution but for the sheer fact that I am actually setting realistic goals with mine this year. 

Many people set up resolutions that are too vague -I’ll lose weight (well, how much?? how soon?  milemarks?) or completely unrealistic to be done at once- I’ll quit smoking at the start of 2012 or I’ll give up chocolate completely.  And although I do envy those people who seem to be able to pull off their resolutions with little information or a feat ahead of them, I am just not one of them.  Statistics show that less than 25% of people who make new year’s resolutions end up following through on them.  Many who were asked about this say that they focused too much on the downside of not reaching their goals and thus found that it was harded to achieve them.  Of the people that tend to keep their resolutions, it’s because they break their resolution goals into smaller, achieveable goals and reward themselves as they reach them.  That is my plan this year.

In thinking long and hard about the things I want to achieve next year- getting back into shape, being more financially stable, being more fashionable and taking more trips- I realized that I want these things every year and I never end up following through completely.  I definitely have though too “big picture” in the past and not the small steps that it takes to get to my final goals.  So here’s to 2012 and taking the small steps to reaching my goals. 

Here are my 2012 goals and the small steps that I am taking to get there:

  1. Getting back into shape.  I’m sure this is a common goal of a lot of people.  But how do you do it?  By just saying “I’ll go to the gym more” isnt’ really achieving your goal.  Therefore, I will be working on these smaller goals to getting me there:
      1. Doing yoga at least 1 day a week.  This can be a home video or taking a class but looking at a smaller goal of only once a week- 52 times a year- doesn’t seem that hard.  And to make me feel less pressured by having to do it EVERY week and not being able to be flexible, I have decided that I can miss 1 week every quarter.  So really, only 48 times a year.  Not so bad when I think of it that way.  And I already did it once this year so I am off to a good start 🙂
      2. Running at least four 5K’s in 2012. Since I started running last year (slowly finishing up a 1/2 marathon) I have decided that I liked my body way better while I was running.  Maybe I didn’t like doing the 11 mile training runs but still liked myself and felt way more confident while I was training.  So my goal is to do at least four 5K runs this year.  My boyfriend also decided that he would do them with me so there is the accountability that I needed to go along with goal. 
  2. Being more financially stable. Yes, imagine that- being financially stable.  In this economy, this is the toughest goal of them all.  In 2010 I took a job with a significant pay decrease since the company that I was working for was selling off.  Although I know I did the right thing by getting a job and being able to support myself and pay bills, most of my “spending cash” has been depleted.  Therefore, this year I plan to pay off more debt and build up a larger savings.  Now, EVERYONE says that I’m sure.  But I have a plan… somewhat at least. 
      1. Go out to lunch less.  I feel as though I tend to “get out of the office” and head to lunch with my pals quite a bit.  But this year I am going to try harder to bring lunch with me.  There are so many nights where we have left overs from dinner that I save with good intentions of eating for lunch… but I don’t.  Not this year.  I have allowed myself 2 lunch outings a month- so that I don’t feel like I never go out- but plan to bring my lunch the rest of the month.  Easy enough… I think.
      2. Find a freelance job.  Now, back in the day (well, only a year or so ago) I also had a freelance job.  Not only did it raise me some extra cash to use, but it also let me hone in on the skills that I wasn’t getting to use during my everyday job.  It gave me the freedom to branch out into areas that I am super interested in but don’t get much exposure to otherwise.  It’s a win-win for all.  I’ll take that money and put it towards debt payment and some savings. (If you know of any freelance opportunities in marketing, writing or blogging let me know.)
  3. Being more fashionable.  Ok, so someone that I know introduced me to pinterest towards the end of 2011.  Pinterest is an online pinboard that lets you organize and share things you love.  One of the things that I have found through pinterest is style.  I have found myself “pinning” so many images of outfits I think are cute and the way I want to look.  However, when I took a look at my “style board” it looked NOTHING like what I look like day-to-day.  Therefore, I am taking the challenge.  Vowing to challenge myself to be more fashionable.  Since I know this won’t happen all at once– for one it costs A LOT of money, which goes against Resolution #2, but also because I hate shopping, don’t wear make-up and really just don’t put in a whole lot of effort on my looks day-to-day– I have given myself small goals:
      1. Every Wednesday I will dress more fashionable.  This may be adding a fun and fashionable scarf, a new piece of jewelry, a shirt I would usually not wear or *gasp* even make-up.  I needed to start with only one day a week so that I could really hold myself accountable.  I have also let others I work with (and trust) about this goal so they can hold me accountable too.  Tomorrow is my first Wednesday and I have an outfit picked out already 🙂
      2. Think outside of the box.  This one requires a little more work-especially in the shopping arena.  I tend to gravitate to the same type of clothes that I already have… how will that help me with my goal?  It won’t.  Therefore, I have enlisted others to help me out while shopping: my mom, a girl I work with, my boyfriend’s friends’ wives, and so on.  I also asked for “fashionable” accessories for Christmas and was pleasantly surprised.  So I am on a good track to getting to a more fashionable state.  If you know of any ways to quickly or cheaply dress up an outfit, pass them along!
  4. Finally, go on more trips. Yes, this does kind of go against Resolution #2 of saving money, but going vacationless for the past year-and-a-half has not helped me at all.  It has caused more tension around the house.  And we are young… we need to get out and experience things.  So here is our plans:
      1. Go on at least 3 trips this year.  Small or large, either will count.  Sadly we both end up losing vacation days each year since we tend not to take them in the nice summer months- weird, huh? Yep, seems weird to us too.  So we are already planning a trip to Vegas for NYE 2013 and hopefully planning a few small trips along the way- maybe a long weekend in Boston or a long weekend in Phoenix to see Grandma. 
      2. Spend wisely on our trips.  Too often it seems like we spend so much on a trip that should be pretty inexpensive. I still can’t seem to figure out why.  That’s why this year we are going to keep our eyes out for better deals on Groupon, kayak, expedia, travelocity, etc.  As you can see, there are many options out there for us to find a great deal and we are up to the challenge this year.  (also helps out with my resolution #2 as well 🙂 )

Keep a look out for my monthly updates as to how my goals are coming along and pictures of the “fashionable Wednesdays” as I’ll call them.  If you have any suggestions to help me in reaching my resolutions this year, I’d love to hear them. 

I hope you all have made resolutions for yourself as well, and if you haven’t that maybe I have motivated you to do so. When figuring out your resolutions remember to keep them small and achievable and reward yourself along the way.  And most importantly, find somoene to hold you accountable.  The worst plans are the ones you make and never follow through on.  So keep at it and have a wonderful 2012!

Reference article

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One Response to 2012 Resolutions

  1. Jan Wencel says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing your goals, as I’m interested…and because it helps to see how you applied your advice. (I wonder. What fashionable item are you wearing today?!) I posted something today on achieving resolutions http://www.lifecontained.com/productivity-blog/bid/54160/3-Methods-to-Help-You-Achieve-Your-New-Year-s-Resolutions. Might you comment on it to give people a look @ your technique??

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