23 December 2012

New Years Resolutioning

"Live Your Best Life!" "The Year of Fitness!" "13 Tips to Financial Freedom for 2013!"

Everywhere I look, people are gearing up to make this the Year of the Century. The blogs I read, the articles I read in my Women's Health magazine, the Personal Journal section of the WSJ, the headlines on Livestrong.com, the website I use to track my calories. Hitting my goal weight, eating healthy, getting out of debt, reducing my stress, reading more books, writing my book, maybe starting an Etsy shoppe. It's getting overwhelming. I know, I know, make long and short term goals, take baby steps, take one day at a time. Maybe dedicate each month to a different goal? 28/30/31 Days, 12 times over? I enjoyed the 31 Days, believe you me, and I'm totally going to do it again in 2013 if it happens, but it takes a lot of time and dedication and I don't think I want to/have the endurance to commit to it for a year straight. Also, many of the things I want to do (hit my goal weight, read more, get out of debt) can't happen in just one month. I think I might just take each month at a time, setting small goals as I go. 'Cause nothing is more depressing than setting up a series of baby steps (I'll lose 10 lbs this month, 10 lbs next month, and 10 lbs the 3rd month!) then looking at the scale in the 2nd month and realizing you're still 5 lbs off and you'll never make your 3rd-month goal.

All this stems from three things that occurred this weekend:
1. I am a measly 3 lbs shy of seeing a new number in the 10s place on the scale, a number I haven't seen since August of 2010, but with eight days to go until 2013 and four holiday parties, it'll take all my will power just to maintain this weight, let alone lose those 3 sticking pounds.
2. Matt was reading aloud bunch of stories in the WSJ about people who overcame boat loads of debt, all Dave Ramsey style (although his name wasn't mentioned in the article), and I realized that we definitely took a step back in the frugal living department this Christmas. We made a budget for the holidays, but I went over-budget on Matt and Abigail, I bought a few new Christmas decorations for which we didn't budget, and I over-spent the food budget. All this means we'll be making a smaller loan payment in January, which means it'll take us that much longer to get rid of the debt. All because I really wanted to get "one more thing" we didn't really need.
3. When we moved to Chicago, I started making a pile of the books I finished, and even counting library books, the stack was much smaller than I wanted. Thanks to the Epic Crochet Project of 2012, I spent a lot more evenings crocheting this year instead of reading. Books I bought and received as gifts started piling up, and I am now ashamed to admit that I have more unread books on my book shelf than I ever have before. Thinking about starting an Etsy shoppe makes me realize that this year won't be unusual, and even if I do trade Etsy for designing, I still won't have time to read.

So I kinda feel like a failure. A failure who eats way to many Christmas cookies the weekend before Christmas.

But this evening, as I was starting to feel myself crash, I decided to work out - a good 45 minute sweat session that made me feel pretty good about myself (good thing Abigail fell asleep early tonight). I think it really stemmed the tide of depression that was about to ensue.

In the midst of all this New Years Resolutioning, I read an article that recommended that people start their resolutions in December, so then when January 1st hits, you're running on a tide of momentum and are more likely to avoid the February crash. So maybe I need to make some pre-New Years Resolutions. Some tiny, 8-day baby steps:
1. I will work out and be conscious of my calories during these next 8 days. My goal: look at the scale on January 1st and see what I saw yesterday.
2. I will use all my Christmas money to help payback the money I spent going over budget.
3. I will read one (short) book. Add one more to the finished pile before the turn of the New Year.

It is crazy how much action overcomes the depression of inaction. Lately I've be realizing how frustrating it is to stare inaction in the face time and time again, feeling awful for failing to follow through on action.

How do you, dear, patient readers, keep motivated when you find yourself back at square one after you've put so much effort into moving forward? I need your words of support.

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