New Year Resolutions

And so a new year begins and with it a lot of thought went into what was accomplished the year before and what we want for 2013. It’s the time for resolutions. People set goals for things they want to achieve.

Like many other people, I usually also fall into the mistake of promising a year with exercise and weight loss. The motivation is usually there for the first couple of weeks and then it’s gone. I realized that the problem with my resolution mainly is that it is: 1. Too general; 2. There is no plan; 3. I have not measured out different scenarios that usually happen in real life that will become an obstacle (like leaving work too late, etc.). So, this year I want to change it up. I made concrete goals (go to the gym 3-4x week), I planned in advance (going in the morning due to an irregular afternoon schedule) and I am trying to be accountable (I have two buddies that will check-in and see if the plan is working).

So, if you made any general resolutions this year that you truly want to accomplish, I would suggest looking into the details and see what are the tools you need to succeed. Making lists, keeping logs, setting reminders are all good strategies to help you succeed. But, most of all, setting realistic expectations based on your REAL life, not the ideal one. And as I have mentioned before, if you fail, you try again.

Did you know that in average it takes a smoker 7-10 attempts before they actually stop smoking? Should you not even try just because of this? I don’t think so. It’s just a reminder that things are not always easy to accomplish. We would all be so happy if we could get what we want that easily, right? Reflecting back on my post on being Good Enough, it’s not about being able to do everything perfectly, but being able to try and being good enough. The main reason people give up is because they get frustrated with trying to do something they can not. So, keep it real, keep expectations realistic and don’t put more pressure on yourself.

Many parents have a resolution to spend more quality time with their children, coach their baseball team, etc. It does not matter what your goal is, as long as you’re trying to move towards a positive change. In a world where the reality is that usually both caregivers are working full-time, spending time with your children is increasingly challenging. But, some time is better than no time, or better than a lot of non-quality time. Yes, you have to cook for them, bathe them, change diapers or help with homework, but these are all routine tasks. Yes, they can be made into fun and interactive activities, but children do not have much of a choice about when and how they happen. Even if you only have 15-30 minutes in your day to dedicate exclusively to your child in a task that is not “mandatory”, do it. Believe me, they will appreciate it immensely! If you have time to play your child’s favorite game before dinner or read a book together before bed or go outside to the park to throw a ball… 15 minutes of exclusive attention is better than none. Letting them feel special enough to choose an activity that they really want to do with their parent makes them feel appreciated, satisfied to be playing with their favorite person in the world, and at the same time they will be developing skills because they are learning in a fun way with their favorite role model.

So, what’s your resolution for 2013?

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