Saturday, January 7, 2017

How To Approach Resolutions (And How To Stick To Them)




Resolutions. They're one of the first things that you think about when you think about a new year. "What resolutions am I going to make this year? How am I going to become a better person?" Seeing as it's the first week in January, my blog feed seems to be filled to the brim with posts about New Year's Resolutions. Some people hate them. Some people live by them. The opinions that I've seen have been so varied, it's kind of hilarious. I'll be reading one post where the author talks about the importance of setting goals and planning out your entire year on January first, and the next post will say the exact opposite, that resolutions are unhealthy and everyone needs to calm down.

So naturally, amidst all of the different opinions, I decided that I might as well jump in and toss out my two cents on the topic.

I'll be the first to admit it. As much as I oftentimes fit the stereotype of the scattered artsy person, when it comes down to it, I am a planner to the core. Oh my goodness, am I a planner. That's not to say that I'm always exceptionally organized. 90% of the time, my room is a wreck, I'm behind on school and blogging, and I'm probably avoiding my problems by burying myself in a good book. But when I finally get ahold of my mental health again, I am a planner. I love lists. LOVE them. I have been known to make lists of lists that need to be made. Writing everything out gives me a sense of calm, a sense that everything isn't falling out from under me and that I do somewhat know what's going on.

(It's also worth noting that at times, I can have the memory of Dory. Just the other night, I was racking my brain because I could not remember what I had been doing before dinner to save my life. Apparently I'd been having a conversation with my sister, but I still don't remember it. My short term memory is awful. So writing things down can be a bit of a necessity for me.)

On top of being a planner, I really love goals. Oftentimes I fail miserably at them, but I love making goals. It's fun for me to see where I want to be after a certain period of time, to plan what I want to do and who I want to be. I'm not sure why, it's just something that I enjoy.

So naturally, after reading all of this information about my scatterbrained nature and need for plans, I'm pretty sure that you can guess where I stand on the topic of New Year's resolutions. Yep, I'm that girl. The one who writes pages upon pages of resolutions.

But yet, at the same time, I can see the issue with resolutions. They can very easily turn into something that is far from healthy. As great of an idea as it is to make New Year's resolutions, oftentimes, despite our best intentions, they don't go the way that we want them to. Life grows busy, and we forget that we ever made those resolutions at all. Then, when we realize that we have once again not followed through, we can start beating up on ourselves. Those little voices come on in your head. Oh look, you've failed again. Another year, and you've screwed up your resolutions before the first week of February. You just can't do anything right, can you? You're never going to be healthy. You're never going to get to where you want to be. You'll never be good enough for ______. You can't do _____. You can't. You aren't. You wish.....

Guys, that's literally the most toxic cycle to find yourself stuck in. Those voices? Once you start telling yourself that, it's SO hard to break the cycle. Listen to me. You are not defined by your New Year's resolutions. Whether or not you stick to a resolution does not define what kind of person you are. Only God defines you. So remember that.

So once you get it in your head that it is okay not to complete every New Year's resolution, that is when you can start actually making them. If you go in with the knowledge that it's not going to go perfectly, and that's okay, everything will go so much better.

My friend, Rachel, wrote a post about resolutions that I really loved. In it, she discussed the difference between "goals" and "targets". As she explained it, "A goal is something you want to achieve specifically. A target, however, is something that you just generally want to aim for." So, for example, you might have a goal of going to the gym three times a week, or you might just have a target of living a healthier lifestyle. I think that it's really good to have a balance of goals and targets, but you may be someone that likes all goals, or all targets. So your first step in determining your New Year's Resolutions might be to decide where you stand on this. Do you want to make a list of goals, targets, or both?

The next step to take is to ask yourself, "Where do I want to be at the end of this year? What do I want to do?" Prioritize. You're not going to get everything done. So you should decide which resolutions are most important to you, and go with those.

I also like to add a few things to my resolutions list that are a bit more of bucket-list type of things. Things that I want to do, shows that I want to watch, books that I want to read. It helps me remember what I want to do.

Now you're ready to make your list. Write out as many or as few as you'd like. Some people prefer to stick with two or three resolutions, while other people make thirty. It's completely up to you!


Once you've decided on your resolutions, it's time for the hard part. Sticking to them.


I've decided that this year, I want to continually keep track of how I'm doing as far as resolutions go. Otherwise, I'll forget about them completely- it always happens. So at the beginning of each month, I'm going to evaluate where I am, and make a list of steps that I need to take to get closer to my goals and targets. For example, maybe your goal is to write a novel by the end of the year. You might first set a goal in January to have the entire thing outlined, and then in February you might set a goal to write five chapters. Working up to your bigger goal by taking smaller steps is the easiest way to accomplish the things that you want to do.

So now that I've taken you through the process of creating your list of resolutions and attempting to stick to them, here's a few of mine-

-Keep a journal consistently

-Finish my novel

-Read 60 books

-Take better care of myself (work out more often, drink more water, etc)

-Watch Sherlock, Gilmore Girls, The Hunger Games, and the Harry Potter movies

-Spend less time on social media

-Stop procrastinating schoolwork and just do it (i.e. spend as little time on school as possible and actually have time to LIVE)

-Take more photos

-Share things on here that I'm super passionate about

-Pop out of my comfort zone a bit more

Am I going to succeed with all of them? Probably not. In fact, definitely not. I know that I won't. But I'm going to try, and hopefully some things will end up getting done along the way. I'm excited for this year. It's going to be good. Here we go.


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So, tell me- what are your resolutions for the year? How has 2017 gone for you so far? How's life? Let's chat!

(p.s. Some of you may have noticed that I didn't write a Happy January post. I decided that my Farewell 2016 post kind of summed up everything that I wanted to say, and I didn't want to just repeat myself and bore y'all, so that's why I didn't post. I'm not completely losing my mind yet!) 

30 comments:

  1. Being a planer seems like it has it's perks. I like to go about things when inspiration sparks, so when I'll do something is super random! I love the goals you have set for yourself this year!

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    1. Being a planner definitely has perks, but it can be a bit overwhelming, haha! It's fun to just follow inspiration, though- the creativity is endless. Thank you, Vanessa! :)

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  2. Aaaahh, yes! Yes to everything in this post! It's so hard to not beat yourself up over failed resolutions, but your response to that was perfect.
    <3

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    1. It's super hard, but I'm glad that you agree! Thank you so much for stopping by, Abby! :)

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  3. I love how you explained the difference between a goal and a target, it makes so much sense! I'm definitely the target kind of person as I don't like setting very specific resolutions with numbers or time limitations :) I hope you'll have an amazing 2017 and get to achieve everything you want to achieve x

    Sara’sChapters

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    1. Targets allow so much more freedom, so I really like them a lot. So much less stress! I hope that your 2017 is wonderful, Sara. Thank you so much for reading!! :) <3

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  4. I love your goals! And I love how you explained goals and targets, and that's its important that we know that New Years Resolutions are not going to go perfectly.

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    1. Thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the post, Jollygirl. You're so sweet!

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  5. YESS I'M A PLANNER TOO. You explained everything so well: it's so clear! I love your goals! Have a good 2017 (is this still socially acceptable to say??)!!!

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    1. It's totally socially acceptable to say! Have the best 2017, Hanne!!

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  6. SHERLOCKKKKKKKKKK THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FINALLY WATCHING IT YOU WILL LOVE IT IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND ACK GILMORE GIRLS AND HARRY POTTER TOO????? IM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!

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  7. I'm a big planner as well and resolutions are right up my alley. Though I must say that most of the time I tend to forget about them and well, I don't stick to them. But I gave myself goals that I can manage... hopefully. I want to drink more water and work out more as well, I want to give more attention to my blog and hopefully find a full-time job which is super scary. :)

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    1. I do the same thing. I love making them, but it's just hard to remember everything! Those are some really great goals, Simona- I'm sure that you'll achieve them! :)

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  8. THANK YOU for this post! I am absolutely horrible when it comes to making goals and targets because I NEVER stick to them, either because I just forget about it or I've changed my mind and set a new goal which never works out. This year, I want to be a much better person because 2016 was my growth and 2017 will be my blossoming. So your post is so motivating and inspiring so thank you so much for sharing it!

    My New Years resolution is to stay positive, because as a pessimist it's hard for me to see the bright side of all situations and to achieve this target I'm keeping a positivity journal :D

    Nicole ᵔᴥᵔ

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    1. I hope that your 2017 is full of blossoming, Nicole!! I'm a pessimist too, so it can be super hard to stay positive, I know. A positivity journal is a great idea! I might have to try that:) Thank you so much for stopping by!!

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  9. YES DO THE JOURNAL THING AND YES STOP PROCRASTINATING SCHOOL K YEP *solves all life problems* jk jk but rly those are some great goals, girl xD GET THEM ALL DONE BEFORE 2017 FLIES BY *shoos you off to do the things*

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    1. I'M GONNA DO IT SARAH IT'S GONNA BE GREAT! XD Ahahaha, thank you for your encouragement! I'm off!!!

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  10. This was so great!! And I definitely agree with you. After so many years of making "resolutions" and failing, it's gotten a bit confusing. Like why do I even make resolutions, just to break them?? So, like you, I've made more like targets and goals. And they're achievable, not absolutely crazy. I also like writing out easy steps to achieve my goal (like instead of saying I want to write more, I say write 1k a day). Loved this post!!

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    1. It's so much better to plan things out so that they're achievable! It gives me a bit more sanity in my life, haha. Thank you so much for reading, Amanda! I'm so glad that you liked it!

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  11. Man...I have so many resolutions, and I'm really, really bad at sticking to them, like everyone else. Usually my resolutions have been things like "do this thing" "read this many things" and so on, but this year, I'm focusing more on targets, like you said. Journal more regularly, try to exercise more, finish this thing...things that I can keep track of more easily throughout the year.

    - Aimee (To the Barricade!)

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    1. Same. Resolutions are just so hard to stick to! Ugh. So many good intentions, but they just never seem to pan out. Targets help a lot though- I'm definitely a fan.

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  12. SHERLOCK GILMORE GIRLS AND HARRY POTTER

    60 BOOKS

    ... now I have to go back up and finish reading your post I'm just too excited. Finishing your novel... pictures... WOW YOU HAVE SUCH AWESOME GOALS. WAY TO GO, YOU. Can't wait to hear how they go (and how much you LOVE Sherlock!! I'm already dying).

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    1. AHH THANK YOU SO MUCH!

      I cannot wait to watch Sherlock, wow. It's probably going to crush my soul, but I'm ridiculously excited. XD

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  13. I hadn't planned on making any resolutions other than keep up on Jada, school, and be my happiest self, but I think I'm going to steal chunks of your list to actually make one for myself haha.

    Yessss watch Gilmore Girls!!! Me and my mom started watching it together and we finished a few months ago. There were moments when I had a serious love-hate thing going with it. And the Harry Potter movies are essential. And I'm just gonna add Stranger Things and The Hunger Games (even though I'm STILL salty over the lack of secondary characterization in the last movies erghhhh) to your list for you because they are important.

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    1. Yes, totally steal chunks of my list! I love resolutions, haha. XD

      I'm so excited to watch Gilmore Girls! I really hope that I like them. Ooh, I meant to add THG to the list! Forgot that, I'll have to add it in. I still can't make up my mind about Stranger Things, although tbh I'm probably going to break down and watch it.

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  14. YES YOU SHOULD TOTALLY WATCH SHERLOCK. I'm watching it right now and asdjfk;l it's amazing and I'm floored by its genius-ness. xD

    And I love that your have "post things that I'm passionate about" for a resolution. I really want to make sure that I'm doing that, too. These are OUR blogs, after all. We should be posting things after our own heart.

    You got this, girl! <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. I CANNOT WAIT FOR SHERLOCK! So excited wow.

      Right?? I feel like way too often, I write what's easy, or what I think that OTHER people will like, and not necessarily what I want to write. Definitely going to work on that this year.

      I hope that you have the best year, Katie:) <3

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  15. I reckon we should also keep in mind that by the end of the year our goals might have changed as well, and where we wanted to be in a year a year ago may not be where we want to be now... so really, feeling as if you must stick to your resolutions is like trapping yourself on a path you cannot divert from, even if it would be for the better.

    Also, DEFINITELY WATCH GILMORE GIRLS, and with the staying off social media, I'm with you sister.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me @thelyfoflittleme.blogspot.com

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    1. That is a REALLY good point, M. I hadn't thought about that, but you're so right. I'm such a different person than who I was last year, and I know that a year from now I will have changed as well- so naturally, my goals will change, too. That's such a good thing to keep in mind, thank you for that.

      I'M SO EXCITED FOR GILMORE GIRLS! And here's to staying off of social media. *fist bump*

      Thank you for stopping by, M!

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