Everyone loves to hate New Year’s resolutions. The general line is that they are made to be broken. Yet people do succeed in adopting new and better habits in life, and there’s no reason that can’t happen in January.
For me, there are a few good habits I’ve succeeded in keeping over the years. I’ve been trying to think through why they’ve stuck.
I’m pretty good about exercising. I go through ups and downs on frequency and intensity. But most weeks I exercise multiple times. This is because I generally enjoy it and feel better afterwards. Internal motivation! It also works with my life because I work at home and don’t have to deal with the logistics of doing it in the AM, or being sweaty at work. More days than not it becomes my afternoon break.
Over this past year, I believe I’ve significantly increased my consumption of vegetables. I’ve made a point of buying big Costco-sized bags of them, and then having that frugal part of me that doesn’t want stuff to go to waste kick in. Also, there’s a good social network effect going on here. I eat lunch with my kids and sitter most days, and she eats an amazing volume of vegetables. It’s setting the standard. I look for ways to mix in frozen Costco veggies with soups and other things. I like colorful foods and they’re tasting better to me. Olive oil and salt helps. So this looks like it’s going to stick.
I wrote a draft of my novel this year. I worked with an accountability partner until the internal motivation of having a coherent story I wanted to tell kicked in.
And then there’s this blog. I’m writing here close to daily, but there’s good feedback. I love comments! It’s not hard to stick with blogging when you have such wonderful readers!
For this year, I think I’ll set a few New Year’s goals. I want to get together with friends and have more fun in life, generally. And I also want to be better about not taking on assignments that aren’t going to advance my career in the direction I want. Since those resolutions point in the direction of less work and more play they should be doable!
I’m writing a post for Fast Company in which I’ll do short profiles of a few people who’ve kept New Year’s resolutions. What made it work for you? If you’d be up for being included, please email me: lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.