In the past, I would always make New Years Resolutions such as to lose weight, read more, spend more time with family, etc. Inevitably, I would fail. Every. Single. Time. Can you relate? Even though we do this with the best intentions, it doesn’t take long for many people to give up on their new years resolutions.
According to a recent Forbes article, 64% of new years resolutions will be abandoned after only one month. Crazy, right!?! That means nearly two-thirds of our goals will be long forgotten after only four weeks. It turn out it’s because we’ve been doing it wrong all along. Creating New Years Resolutions inherently sets us up for failure. It requires us us create a resolution or goal without thinking about what is actually required for us to make it happen. For example, we’ll set a resolution to lose weight but not thinking about what specific actions we need to take to make sure we get there. That’s why this year, my husband and I decided to do things differently.
Instead of making new years resolutions, we had a really great discussion about what we would like to change about our lives in 2020. We talked about how we would like to be more environmentally friendly, volunteer more, lose weight and go on more trips together as a family. Then we spent the rest of the day, talking about what we needed to do to make that happen. Lucky for us, both of our jobs were closed on New Years Day. This allowed us to spend the day planning what we wanted our 2020 to look like. From there we were able to make plans for what we needed to do to get there. Here’s what we landed on for each of our goals:
Goal to Be More Environmentally Friendly
We talked about how we wanted to be more environmentally friendly. Then, discussed what what it would look like to be more environmentally friendly. This included things like using less plastic, using less paper, and reducing our emissions. We then broke these down into further steps and asked ourselves “How” can we do those things (e.g. use less plastic, paper, etc.) and came up with the following action items:
- Buy reusable bags to eliminate the need for paper bags at the grocery stores
- Swap out products that come wrapped in plastic for a more eco-friendly alternative
- Walk to work when possible to reduce emissions
Immediately after coming up with these steps we placed an order for reusable bags through amazon. We also discovered that we could switch our energy bill to “go green” and get our electricity only from renewable sources like wind or solar power and signed up right away!
Goal to Volunteer More
We both really wanted to volunteer more for causes we care about. However, we constantly struggled to find the time. Therefore, this year we wanted to make the time to do more. We decided we wanted to volunteer with a cause we care about at least once a month. Then we spent time identifying local organizations we could volunteer with. Once we identified who we wanted to volunteer with, we scheduled when we would be volunteering with them! That was it was already pre-planned and on our calendars.
Goal to Lose Weight
This is a goal that has been on our list year after year. Naturally it was on our list again for 2020. In our discussion we both agreed that we didn’t think going to the gym regularly was going to work for us. We had tried going to the gym consistently before and it was very easy for us to get demotivated quickly. Therefore, we decided to focus on eating healthier to achieve our goal of losing weight. We both had done the keto diet previously and it worked great for us. So, we decided to commit to doing the keto diet again. We also added intermittent fasting into the mix and immediately starting scheduling out when we would eat dinner every night and who would be making it. That way we created accountability to it and could start planning out our meals in advance.
Goal to Take Trips As a Family
After moving to Oregon, we both agreed there is so much to explore here and we really want to get familiar with the area and what Oregon has to offer. Therefore, we decided once a month that we would check out somewhere new. We then started researching places in Oregon we would like to see like Multnomah Falls, The Portland Japanese Garden, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. We then planned out when we would go to these places and put it on our calendars.
I know this sounds like a lot of hard work and research, but it actually wasn’t as difficult as it seems. It was kind of nice to spend the entire day together talking about our future and planning out how we were going to make our dreams a reality. It was a great way to spend our January 1st and we thoroughly enjoyed that time together and felt like it even brought us closer together. I hope you now has a better understanding of the difference between a resolution and a goal/plan. A resolution is simply a decision to change a behavior and a goal is a specific plan of action with steps designed to help you achieve it. It’s not too late to have this conversation and start making those plans for the rest of the year. It’s never too late to get started.