Jennifer Courtney Jennifer Courtney

Out with the old

2020-12-31 10:45:38

Good ole New Year’s resolutions. Do you still practice this or are you over it already. Me? Ya, I’m SO over it, and have been for a long time! I’m a Mom of 4 and I would never tell my kids to tie their whole year’s worth of hope, success, happiness, and health, to one drunken night’s proclamation.

We’ve all heard the statistics around resolutions, and it’s bleak at best, so let’s not do what’s bleak. What if this year we did what was smart, and achievable, and something that will help build our health, wellness, success, and confidence?

If you know me at all you know I’m a huge fan of realism, and for some that may feel like negativity sometimes, but I assure you it is not. I don’t believe for one second that toxic positivity is healthy or maintainable, but being real is. Looking at each situation with hope and optimism, while keeping an open mind and seeing the situation for what it is - not what we want it to be - and acting accordingly to that. I believe that is realism, seeing things for what they are. Not twisting them, blurring them, adding our hopes or triggers on them. So for me, this is how I like to think about resolutions… realistically.

I feel that when we set goals they need to be maintainable and planned out, not said to a stranger on a dance floor or posted on social media, or even written in a diary at midnight on Dec 31st. Our life deserves thought, intention, and planning. No one builds a house with no plans; our bodies and life are our house. This is where we will spend our time on earth, so planning is important. Wanting to lose weight is great if that’s an area that causes you stress. What that looks like will be very different for everyone, so put real, actionable, maintainable, and realistic plans behind that statement and make it a planned out goal, not a well-intentioned resolution.

Are you following me? Okay, let’s break it down.

You will notice that a lot of this follows a similar method to SMART goals, but I don’t necessarily feel that every goal has to have strict time lines or hard edges. I think we need to remain somewhat malleable, and if 2020 has shown us anything it is that we need to be able to pivot!

So let’s use losing weight as the goal, but insert anything that fits for you:

How much weight do you want to lose?
How will you accomplish this?
What obstacles may come up, and how will you counter them?
Is this goal realistic?
If not, what is a realistic goal?
Am I set up to achieve this goal?
Do I have the support, time, finances?
What is my “why,” and is this the best action for MY wellbeing? (is this MY goal, or is this something that has been pushed on me, ie: by social media, etc…)

These are some great questions to ask yourself before you take on any goals that will require you to alter your and your family’s schedule and lifestyle.
What if you don’t have a goal per se, but just want to improve the overall vibe of your life?

You could try using a word or motto that will be the “intention” for your year. This is different than a goal because, it’s not a specific action. Think of it like giving your life a theme song. This is a great way to stay focused on what you want and who you want to be. When I was going through my very stressful divorce, my motto/theme song was “higher standard”. I would repeat this a million times a day, and before I responded to a text or email, to remind myself of who I was and who I wanted to be. I wanted to make sure I would still like who I was in the end, and that required me taking a LOT of deep breaths and putting my “theme song” on repeat.

Maybe your word is gratitude, or grace (for you and for others); maybe your theme song is to slow down and be fully present in each moment, or fear less and do more. Whatever it is, make it short, to the point, and something that will help you live a better life. Put it on sticky notes and stick them everywhere for the first while, as a way to help it become your first response.

There really is no right or wrong; this is a journey, and each of us have our own unique paths we have to take. If you find resolutions work for you, and you’ve been able to achieve your goals this way, then please keep making them and crushing them. I love that. If, however, you are the other 80% who don’t, consider trying things a bit different this year, and see what happens. Each day is a chance to be a better version of you, it doesnt only happen on “Mondays,” or Dec 31st, so keep on trucking, because every step forward is a step in the right direction.