I have been reading and hearing a lot in the past week about the “dangers” of resolutions; how most of them fail and how making them is just a way of setting ourselves up for failure. Personally, I like the feeling of a new year, a fresh start. Marking the New Year breaks us out of our routines and gives us a chance to re-evaluate, to think about the parts of our lives that are working and the parts that aren’t. BUT these kinds of evaluations should happen more than once a year! I’ve been a student (elementary, high school, undergrad and graduate) for the majority of my life, and the natural flow of a Canadian school year yields three different “new year” periods: the start of school in September, the start of second term in January, and the start of the summer (aka work time) in May. I like to spend some time reflecting and setting goals on all three dates, although I’m not sure that will continue into my working life. We’ll have to wait and see.
All that to say that these are my New Year’s Resolutions…but they are really just first quarter resolutions. Hopefully I remember to post about my progress in May!
- Exercise: I don’t like exercising, but last year I set a goal of competing in a sprint triathlon in July, which I accomplished! Then, with the move and a new city…I stopped running or biking much. I want to get back to a regular running routine, so I’m setting a goal of getting back to being able to run a 5K by May 1. This may not be too hard if I stick to a routine, so my stretch goal is to run the 5K in 30min. I’ve discovered that social pressure is very important for me to stick to my exercise routines (which is why I signed up for that triathlon), so I’m going to think about ways to get social pressure for this goal over the next week or so.
- Healthy Eating: My eating habits have been going downhill since I have had to cook all my meals for myself…and the holidays got a little out of control. So, as a first step towards figuring out exactly what factors are influencing my less-than-ideal eating habits, I’m going to track my food intake for the month of January. An important part of this will be noting the reasons for unhealthy eating as they happen.
- Sleep: I am a notoriously late riser, and with a variable schedule that includes 8.30am classes this can be a recipe for disaster. I’ve tried all kinds of different ways to convince myself to get to sleep at a reasonable time and nothing has worked, so I’m just going to set a straight up goal of getting 8 hours sleep a night, for 80% of the nights in January. I’m going to track sleep and wake times to make sure this is happening, and on nights I go to bed late I’m going to track my last activity to try and find my weak spots.
- Spinning: Thursdays are for spinning! Spin every Thursday for at least 15 minutes.
- Knitting: Knit from stash! I’m still coldsheeping, so I’m going try to get to the end of April without buying any yarn (except in emergencies like gift knitting or running out of yarn for a particular in progress project). After April, I’m going to try a “yarn bank” system where for every 3 yards I knit I can purchase 1 yard.
- Declutter: My decluttering efforts are ongoing, but a particularly bad area is my “to-read” pile of books. Once I get home from visiting my parents I’m going to count up all the books and aim to reduce the pile by 1/3 by the end of April.
Whew, that seems like a lot, doesn’t it? The biggest change will be the running. The rest is all tracking or measurable goals for what I am already doing. I’ll post again at the end of April with an update about how these goals went, and then I’ll come up with some more for the summer. What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Or do you think resolutions are a waste of time?