Hello 2011, nice to meet you

I'm not usually much for resolutions, mostly I think because I tend to set myself up to fail with grandiose ideas (hello, impulse control problems?) that aren't important enough to me to keep up.

Leading up to the end of the year, I heard a lot of so-called experts talk about how to be successful with your resolutions and here's what I gleaned:

1. Be realistic and specific. Don't just say, "I'm going to exercise more in 2011," because you can't measure that and how motivating is it?

2. Really think about where you want to be a year from now, how you want to feel, and then craft resolutions that will help you on the path to that place. This is a really big one for me because I feel things really intensely sometimes and if I can hook that intensity of feeling up to a goal/resolution then I think I might have a better chance of making it happen.

3. Do not make 25 resolutions, just 3-5. If you overwhelm yourself with challenges, it's going to be tough to achieve them and that's terribly disheartening. Better to pick just a single thing and really nail it than overcommit and not be able to deliver.

4. Find a buddy who will do with you whatever it is you are committing to do. Obviously, it's easier to stay committed when you're not alone.

5. Tell a bunch of people what your resolutions are and then ask them to keep you accountable by asking how you're doing. It's a lot harder to just give up on something when you have an audience.

With those thoughts in mind, here's what I'm committing to work on in 2011...
  • I want to feel more connected - to my husband, to friends, to God, to the Earth (environmentally), to my body and my spirit, therefore I will:
  1. Sign up for at least one active event per month (fostering a stronger connection to my body). I've signed up for five 5Ks in the first five months of the year and I'm already signed up for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure 35 mile bike ride in May, so that counts, too.
  2. Properly plant and properly care for at least two vegetable plants in my community garden plot (strengthening my connection to the Earth). I'm thinking about Brussels sprouts and peas in addition to the Meyer lemon, clementine, and orange trees I planted last year plus the basil and strawberry plants that didn't die while I neglected them for months. Smaller and more manageable than a huge number of plants, so it should be do-able.
  3. Find time to meditate and/or do yoga for at least 15 minutes once a week (connecting with my body and spirit). I definitely need more than once a week for my sanity but we're going to start small and work up from there.
  4. Attend a local church that both TCB and I can be comfortable with at least once a month (strengthening my connection with God, with my spirit, and the opportunity to connect with new friends). We went to Christmas Eve services at the local Episcopal church and we're going to try a regular Sunday service there tomorrow morning. We'll see. If it's not that church then there are about 20 more within easy driving distance for us.
That's it for now and really, it's a pretty good list, I think. I'm also resolving to come here and report my progress toward those four promises on the first of every month. And speaking of this little rest stop on the information superhighway, I want to put more energy into writing here and commenting on the blogs that I read. This is another avenue for connecting and I remember when I came here more frequently and commented on my favorite blogs that it really energized me to make changes in my life, so why not give it a shot? I'm already signed up for FitBloggin and BlogHer (it's here in San Diego...really no excuse for me not to), so let's see if I can't remember how to be a real blogger before I have to feel guilty at those two events for being such a slacker.

Did you make any resolutions for this year? Care to share?


gingersnapper said…
Man, Denise, #1 is the key. All those darned experts are right, whether it's about fitness, finances, career, whatever - you have to have specific goals, or nothing happens. As you point out, you can't just say "I'm going to exercise more," you have to say something like "I'm going to do 15 minutes of xx at 8:00 a.m. every weekday." (Of course, when I say "you" I actually mean "me")

I have a strong feeling that 2011 is going to be a good year for us; I feel like we've rediscovered the support network that bloggers can provide for each other, and we're really helping each other instead of just talking to ourselves in a dark room. Take that, FB!
Anonymous said…
Happy New Year, Denise! Best wishes for a productive and reflective 2011 for all of us!

Leslie in Santa Cruz
Sophie said…
I love your resolutions Denise, they're both imaginative and manageable. Sign up for one active event per month is so much more specific and fun than the old 'exercise more' new year's resolution.

Good luck with them all!
Shauna said…
These all sound sooo good and interesting and thoughtful and doable! 2011 is going to be a goodun, least of all coz I finally get to meet you, huzzah! :)

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