For thousands of years (truly—going all the way back to the Roman era, when people made promises to the god Janus), we’ve endured your vicious circle, listing our perceived shortcomings, trying to improve for a few weeks, then giving up and feeling bad all over again. Consider this our breakup notice. Turns out you don’t really help anyway: “The rah-rah excitement about a resolution works for only a week or two,” says John Norcross, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and author of Changeology. (He studies the stickability of New Year’s resolutions for a living, so trust.) And as much as we might want to eat more greens or go to the gym more often, most of all we want to be happy in 2017: free of guilt and shame. So we’re pledging not to make any of these clichéd, old, tired resolutions again. Who’s with us?It's true, New Year's resolutions are difficult to keep - here's a blog post from last year in which I cited research by Dr. Norcross quoted above. But that doesn't mean you should stop trying; you just need to be SMART about it. That is, make sure your goals are:
So, what are my New Year's resolutions?
- Visit at least 1 new state - I'll be turning 35 in less than a week, and I've currently visited 34 states. So why not make it 35 states at 35 years old?
- Finish my book - and hopefully get it submitted somewhere for publication. I know there are options like self-publishing, which I would probably more strongly consider if writing were my profession, but I don't want to deal with the hassle of promotion, etc., myself. Since this is just a hobby, I can be a little more particular about these things.
- Average 1 blog post per day for the year - I know there will be days I write two posts and days I don't write one at all, but as long as I end up with 365+ blog posts for the year, I'll be happy
- Make it a mission to reach 10,000 steps per day - I was doing really well until I started my new job, but this year, I'm going to try to reach 10,000 steps each day (knowing there will be days where it's just impossible, e.g., I get a migraine, I spend the whole day driving, etc.)
- Read 24 books - I've already set my Goodreads challenge; last year, my goal was 25, and I wanted to increase it for this year, but since I want to write more, I think 2 books a month is a good goal