12 Months, 12 Resolutions

Christmas is just around the corner (where did the time go?!) which means that 2013 is going to sneak up on us quickly. If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled to keep a New Year’s resolution or two…or most of them. This past year, however, I had an idea that made it a lot easier for myself and actually stuck to some of my goals for the new year.

Instead of setting big, possibly unreasonable goals for myself for the entire 365 days and beyond, I decided I would set smaller objectives and work on them monthly. I had an overarching goal to be healthier this year, so I thought of all of the different ways in which I could make that a reality for myself, and then took it from there. Each month, I would make an effort to do one specific thing to make myself feel healthier. I wanted to focus on different things at different times, and once I started to achieve my goals, they started to build off of each other and I felt so accomplished and proud of myself.

I set a goal for January: start hiking. I wanted to do this in January because I was still in California then and, in case you haven’t noticed, Illinois is pretty darn flat. My mom goes hiking almost every day, so I took some tips from her. I accomplished something that wasn’t an outright goal of mine. Because by joining her on her hikes, I got to spend quality time with her. I saw some beautiful places in my home state that I would not have gotten the opportunity to see if I hadn’t wanted to work on getting outside and exercising.

Some months my goals were harder to achieve than others, but they were always related to something that I had been putting off for too long. Things, like eating more vegetables should just come to me without having to actively work. I have such a sweet tooth that I need to be reminded from time to time. That was my goal for February and since then I’ve been much more conscious of my veggie intake.

I’m all about a task-oriented list so this whole project was perfect for me. I made a list of all of the monthly goals I would try to achieve, and checked things off one by one. Making lists is a lot of fun for me but checking things off of a long-term list brings me such a great sense of accomplishment. It’s a great way to boost morale when I feel like I’m failing at something, and it’s also just a great reminder of what my year has been like. Not every day of every month centers around whatever my set objective is but if I can keep it in the back of my mind throughout the week and work on it little by little, it all builds up.

I will admit that I kind of lost sight of this healthy lifestyle ideal once I moved to Chicago just because that threw me for a loop entirely and I had other things that I really needed to focus on. I’ve been getting back on track the last few months, however, so my goals for 2013 will probably relate to 2012’s. The nice thing about having monthly goals is that even if you slip up a month or two, you can still look back on previous months and see all that you’ve accomplished. I chose to make all of my goals related to one very broad goal, but it would work well with unrelated goals, too! Work on saving money one month and then stop a bad habit the next!

Regardless of what you do, have a happy and safe New Year!

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