10 Resolutions We Can Keep


You wanna know what’s awesome about five-year-olds?

“Hey, Mommy, how big were you at your Weight Watchers meeting?”
“Hey, Mommy, I thought you said we weren’t going to McDonald’s anymore.”
“Hey, Mommy, why are you giving away that pretty dress? Doesn’t it fit?”

Busted. By a kid who needs help wiping her nose and asked me if she had to use her fork with her green beans tonight.

January is [more than] half over, and if I look at my list of usual resolutions, they’re almost all broken to pieces.

Stay within my Weight Watchers points (my version of “eat better”)? Nope.
Exercise three times a week? No, ma’am. No, sir.
Declutter my entire house in January? No way, no how.
Get up 30 minutes early every single day for a quiet time? Not happening.
Floss? Heh. I gave this one up two years ago.

I know lots of you have given up on this type of resolutions, avoiding the stringent rules and changes that more often than not end up disappointing us. And some of you choose to focus on one word each year. I’ve done that, too, but just like my reading of the One Year Bible, I’m taking two years on my word {obey}. Some of you even shared your attainable goals and resolutions on my Facebook page:

Read one book a month.
Have people over once a month.
Declutter house, one room at a time.
Stop making resolutions.

Haha! I’ve sworn to stop making resolutions, too – about as many times as I’ve sworn to shave my head because my hair is so uncooperative and difficult. But honestly, I love setting goals – especially the kind I can actually meet. Let’s do that today.

Let’s give up on perfect (which, honestly, I wouldn’t be even if I did manage to keep all my “regular” resolutions) and get on with life by making progress with better resolutions.

10 Resolutions We Can Keep

1. Try something new. Try a new recipe, listen to a new band, sit in a different spot on the couch. Just do one thing that’s new to you.

2. Try something old. What did you love to do as a child? As a single person? As a college student? What’s that thing you gave up when life became too busy, too hard, too whatever? Do it again. Just give it a try. Whatever it is – drawing, eating cold pizza, volunteering – might not fit perfectly into your life today . . . but it might. It might be fun to do once, or maybe it’s a hobby or habit you pick back up again. You’ll never know unless you try!

3. Say yes. Sometimes it’s easier to turn down invitations, suggestions, offers or requests, isn’t it? We’re busy, we’re nervous, we’re in a rut routine. But what would happen if, just once this year, we said YES to something we normally would brush off or turn down?

4. Say no. And then there are the times we need to say no, but it’s so hard! We don’t want to hurt feelings or let people down. We don’t want to miss out. But what would happen if, just once this year, we said NO to something and created a little margin in our lives? What if we opened up a little space for God to move, for life to surprise us?

5. Eat the rainbow. Now look, I am not saying you need to count calories or points. I’m not guilting you into buying vegetables you will never eat and will find three weeks later in the corner of your fridge, cursing me as you throw the soggy produce bag in your trash. Please. I would never. But how about we try to mix it up – just a little bit – this year? Try a new food – or a new food combination (pomegranate seeds and dark chocolate is on my list). Introduce a tiny bit of variety to your plate with colors and textures, and yes, eat the rainbow. (I do not mean Skittles. Ahem.)

6. Put your inner critic in time out. Nobody needs Simon Cowell or your mother-in-law or your mother or your high school basketball coach whispering (or shouting) in her ear or her heart. Negative self talk is toxic; we all know this. But keeping That Jerk (what I lovely call my critical inner voice) squashed is hard . . . and sometimes she sneaks back in. And before you know it, the mean girl from 7th grade is asking you, “Really? You’re wearing THAT?”

So maybe the first step in beating a critical inner voice is to just take a short break. Tell your critic, your judge, your jerk to take a hike for the afternoon, for the day, for the week. Who knows? You might enjoy the peace and quiet so much you might kick that voice off the island for good.

7. Reach out and touch someone. No, not literally. And not in the creepy sense. I simply mean to reconnect with someone who used to be a part of your life but hasn’t been for a while. Perhaps it’s a friend who moved across town, or maybe it’s your grandma who doesn’t get out often and you’re just so busy that it’s hard to visit. Whoever it is, whoever you’ve been missing, why not reach out and reconnect this year? Send an email, mail that card, or even – gasp! – pick up the phone. [Unless you're missing your ex-boyfriend who recently sent you a friend request. That one I'd steer clear of.]

8. Create something. I mentioned Annalyn’s sadness about our lack of Halloween decorations, so I’m already making plans to make one fun Valentine craft. I’m not pinning a thousand projects and expecting myself to finish them. I’m not assuming that this will be the year I learn to sew. I’m simply looking for one simple project that my kiddo and I can start and finish in less than an hour. I know from past projects that we will feel more satisfaction over that little project than a million good intentions and bright ideas. Just make something. A cake, a card, a mix tape – anything that lets you feed your creative parts and feel that sense of accomplishment will do.

9. Take one brave step. Make the call. Submit the article. Audition. Sign up. Apply. Enroll. Whatever your big dream is, take one step toward it. You can do it. I know you can. One step, that’s all. I won’t be surprised if your one step leads to two or three or an entire 5K. But it’s okay if your one step is all you can manage for now, too. But don’t stand still. Take that step. Be brave. You are brave.

10. Eat more chocolate. Seriously. Let’s make 2013 the year we are kinder to ourselves, the year we get on with life and leave fluffy ideas of perfection in the wind. And let’s do it with a bite (or two) of chocolate.

What resolutions have you made that you can actually keep?

This post will be linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family and Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings. Also, this post contains affiliate links, which do not change the price of anything you purchase but do support this site.

Comments

  1. Love #9. I needed that push today.

  2. chelleybutton says:

    I feel as though I’m successful at keeping my resolutions if I try again when I fail. None of this perfection, just like you say. :) In which case, I’m doing OK with all of my resolutions…

  3. Love #2 the best! You can always start again on those other resolutions.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      That’s true. I think that might be the key to keeping resolutions anyway: starting again when at first we fail.

  4. Ah, chocolate. The greatest thing in the universe. Now that’s a resolution I’ll gladly keep. :)

  5. Just love these, Mary! I find that I try to make great resolutions at night, and then by morning, I think, “No, I can’t really do that.” Thanks for always keeping it real – it’s always a comfort. :)

    Thanks for coming and linking up to Top Ten Tuesday too! :)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      It’s tricky, finding that balance between realistic and challenging – but I really think if we add chocolate in the mix, it helps. ;)

  6. Lovely post! Inspiring, entertaining and convicting. I think about this time in January lots of us are thinking about enhancing our life through more chocolate. I’ve got a chocolate post written for Wednesday. hehe!

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