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The Anti New Year’s Resolution

the anti new years resolution

Well, it’s that time again! It’s almost January 1st, and you know what that means! It’s time for millions of people to do that cliche thing they call setting New Year’s Resolutions. The title of this post may be slightly misleading; I am not against the practice of setting yearly goals. The word “resolution” in this context is about as disturbing to me as the word “moist.” A shiver goes up my spine when I hear it or read it. It’s a loaded word, full of pressure and intentions that are often not completely realistic or manageable.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t set goals for themselves, and the turn of the year is as good of a time as any to start doing something–but the hype of it all is what irks me. All we hear on television are ads related to setting resolutions and trying to sell a product that will help a consumer achieve their chosen task for the year. Businesses take advantage of this need for people to start fresh. I look at it as a psychological sales tactic that prays on a person’s vulnerabilities.

Roughly 8% of resolution setters actually stick to their resolutions. That’s not a very high percentage, is it? I guess the other resolution setters just bought a bunch of stuff they didn’t need by watching those commercials. Yikes.

I know, we are only human and it can be really hard to keep working at a long term goal.

Like I said, I’m not telling anyone they shouldn’t aspire to do something to improve their life or make themselves happy. But I think as a society, in order to improve the success rate of this yearly fad, we need to approach and think of the resolution thing differently. We need to not just decide to do something; we need to have a better plan of attack.

First, let’s get rid of the word “resolution” altogether. Put it out of your mind. Throw it in the trash. Unless you are talking about screen resolution, this word no longer exists.

So, what word or words can you use instead?

Use whatever makes what you want to do sound less weighted down. You can call it something simple, like refer to it as this year’s goal, or you can choose to be more creative. Maybe you can give your desired task a title. If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, you could title it something like “My Yellow Brick Road to Personal Health.”

I admit that one might be cheesy, but I had to come up with something fast!

You want to feel inspired by what you’re doing and motivated to get to your end result. Does the word “resolution” do that for you?

Next, ask yourself if your aspiration is attainable. Does it fit in and work with your lifestyle? For instance, if you work two jobs seven days a week, reading three books a week may not be the most attainable goal. One book may be a better choice, or even backing it down a bit further to a couple of books per month. The important thing is you don’t want to push yourself so hard that you feel stressed out. Burnout will not help you achieve what you want to do.

Be realistic and honest with yourself about your abilities and schedule.

Last of all you will want to keep track of your progress on a regular basis. If your quest is to save more money, keep a spreadsheet of the amount of money you are saving weekly or monthly. You could even turn the data into a graph to create a more effective visual. Seeing your results unfold before you is a huge motivator. Lists are another great tool. Both are ways you can more easily monitor yourself and keep your momentum going.

You might have more than just one objective you intend to take on in the coming year. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed by them in the coming weeks. When you are thinking about your objectives, take a few minutes for each one and write in a journal or document all the steps you need to take to make these things happen for you. Break them down into smaller bits. It will help to keep you moving forward. Nobody likes to be overwhelmed!

I have been contemplating the goals I want to set for myself for the upcoming year, but I haven’t quite planned everything out specifically. My one main objective is to grow my blog. I had a big setback the past couple of weeks with being sick and then it was Christmas. I am trying to get back into the swing of things, but it’s a bit slow going at the moment. Sometimes life happens, and there isn’t much we can do about it. All in all, I’m not too worried about getting the ball rolling again!

Otherwise, my buzzword of the upcoming year is “creativity.” I find myself thinking up more projects I want to try, and ideas I want to experiment with. I think 2015 will be an interesting year!

What do you aspire to do in 2015? I want to know! Share them in the comments below!

Happy New Year!


NaBloPoMo: My Personal Goals

National Blog Posting Month

My blog has been here for quite awhile, getting dusty and waiting for all of my intentions to be constructed into posts. I think it’s time to write some shit!

For a few years, I have heard the buzz going on about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You know, that yearly conquest aspiring novelists want to accomplish throughout the month of November where the end goal is to have 50,000 words written by the time the writing bell tolls on November 30. That number of words is enough to be a bit fear instilling. Luckily, a person can’t be penalized if they don’t make the goal but it’s a pretty arduous goal I would say. I thought it sounded fun, but writing fiction isn’t my first choice of genre.

While the thought of penning a book is so tempting, I am not so sure I am ready for that. It involves more planning than I feel like I want to put in at the moment. I need a project that can be broken down into smaller bits.

Since I am trying to strengthen my writing skills to go back to my former writing post at Audacity, an online Lifestyle magazine for individuals with disabilities, I had considered just participating in NaNoWriMo anyway. Regardless of the fact I would be writing fiction, it is still using my brain to be creative with my words. The sense of community also appeals to me.

Nathasha, Audacity’s editor, suggested I participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) instead. Similar to NaNoWriMo, a pretty intense writing goal is set. The objective is to publish one blog post per day throughout the month of November. Anyone can do it, and the BlogHer website has a place where bloggers can sign up to the blogroll. There are also writing prompts if a blogger is stuck. The deadline for sign up is November 5th.

Think I can do that?

You won’t hear me saying that I can’t or won’t, but fear makes me hesitant to commit to things like this at times. I am a “What if…” person. I also have a strong procrastinator gene. I do work best under pressure usually, so maybe having to do a post a day will be enough to push me.

What ifs have held me back from blogging and from some personal growth at times. I have put too much stress on writing in proper English which kept me from writing like myself. I have compared my skills to others who I thought had better skills, which is not a wise thing for anyone. I have worried about the opinions of others and the nasty shit people say for no reason.

Enough worrying, right?

I have also spent so much time reading about blogging, social marketing, monetizing, etc., but yet I haven’t been making myself really put what I learn to practice.

It isn’t like I need to write a thousand word post every day. This is my space after all. If other people like it, it’s a bonus.

So, today the challenge commences. Let me begin by setting a few rules for myself.

  • Always write like myself. In blogging it isn’t necessary to write as if I’m working on a Master’s thesis.
  • Don’t compare anything I do with anyone who I think has more skill. This includes comparing blog aesthetics, content, writing skill, or post topics.
  • It doesn’t matter if I can’t think of a post topic. If I have no idea, I can post pictures or quotes I find amusing. I don’t always need to write a lot.
  • Always tweet, pin, and share every post no matter how shy I might be to publicize it.
  • Try to start writing longer post ideas on the previous day.
  • If I somehow don’t meet the challenge, I won’t feel like I failed. Everyone learns something from an unmet goal and it is possible to try again!
  • Don’t worry about opinions of others. Nasty comments aren’t constructive and often come from people who have nothing better to do.

If I keep reminding myself of these things, maybe I can get through the next 30 days and have a very successful first NaBloPoMo!

Are there any words of advice you follow or habits you have when you participate in NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo? Leave a comment!

My Summer Bucket List

Rangeeli Chick Summer Bucket List

Last summer, I decided to make a bucket list. I normally don’t do hyped up, goal oriented lists but I can handle short term bucket lists. I never make a New Year’s Resolution anymore because I feel there is too much pressure attached. Only 8% of resolution makers actually reach their objective. Trust me when I say, I have always been in the remaining 92%. Goals are great, but resolutions have a stigma associated with them that makes us think we need to do something that will transform us in a huge way. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and the key to making a reachable goal is to set an objective that is first and foremost realistic.

Bucket lists are somewhat similar to the almighty resolution, but I don’t think there is quite as much pressure or hype. Most of the time, a bucket list is made up of things to do in one’s lifetime. I have one of those hiding somewhere as well, but I wrote it maybe ten years ago. It doesn’t really apply to who I am today. My life has changed since then. My wants have changed a lot as well. This is why I like the short term bucket list a lot more–it is current and can grow with me.

I basically look at my list as things I’d like to do over the next three months or so. If I don’t get them done by the chosen time of completion, it is ok. I can still do the remaining activities on my list at some point, it just didn’t happen over the summer. I don’t beat myself up about it. Whatever I did accomplish I still feel good about. That should be the point; a bucket list is a guide, it isn’t a set in stone list that should make you feel badly about what you did not or could not do.

Last year when I made my bucket list, I wrote down 15 things and put them into three categories: Things to Make, Things to Do, and Places to Go. I completed only four things on my list last summer and semi-completed another, but in no way did I see anything on my list as failure.

So, what did I complete?

  1. Get some sun. I am normally a homebody–doing things outdoors doesn’t really thrill me. I hate bugs because I can’t really shoo them away very well, I burn fairly easily, and I get bored. On the other hand, I enjoy the heat of the sun, going out without needing a jacket, and vitamin D is extremely important. Making myself go outside felt good! I don’t know about you, but being in the sunshine really boosts the mood and makes me a little more motivated.
  2. Start a blog of randomness. I can only say I completed this about a third of the way last summer. I began trying to put together this blog and found a nice layout. The problem was my creative drive wasn’t really there. Now, I am happy to say I am in a more ambitious and creative frame of mind for this project.
  3. Read three books. I went way beyond this–I read over ten books from June to mid September. I was really in the reading groove!
  4. Attend a nearby arts festival. This wasn’t a very difficult thing to achieve. I am not sure I will go this summer as it sometimes isn’t all that fun due to big crowds and curbs. These two things aren’t exactly wheelchair friendly.
  5. Go to the Minnesota State Fair. I have never been to this fair and I had always heard about all the foods on a stick and the butter statue carving. Being the second largest state fair in the country (Texas is the largest), it is about time I went to it since I have lived in Minnesota my entire life. I didn’t eat anything on a stick that day, but I am an adventurous eater and was totally enthusiastic to try the new cow tongue tacos! Yum!

None of the above fell in the “Things to Make” category, so maybe I will try harder to accomplish making a physical object this year. Now, let me show you my Summer of 2013 Bucket List which will cover the entire summer beginning on June 1st, and ending September 15th.

Things to Make

  • Create a cute design for a t-shirt or other item.
  • Make a crafty piece of jewelry.
  • Make some DIY eyeshadow colors.
  • Cook at least four new recipes per month.
  • Finish the Rangeelichick.com Facebook page.

Things to Do

  • Read at least 12 books.
  • Record at least one public YouTube video.
  • Develop two regular blog segments.
  • Grow some fresh herbs.
  • Go through my closet and get rid of clothes I don’t want.

Places to Go

  • Take a trip to the Mall of America.
  • Go to at least three new restaurants.
  • Go to an Ikea. (I know, I’m weird! I have never been to one, but the idea fascinates me!)
  • Road trip to the East Coast. (This might be wishful thinking!)
  • Drive to a winery and do a wine tasting.

There’s my list! As I said, a bucket list should be used as a guide…a motivator. Most of them are pretty simple and realistic, and from time to time I will refer back to it as a reminder to stay on track. If some of my chosen items don’t get completed, I won’t feel as if I let myself down. It is simply ideas of what I’d like to do. I can always attempt to try again at a later date. Whatever I can cross off this list in September, I will feel happy that I have done what I have done!

Are you making a bucket list for the summer? I would love to see yours! Feel free to post a link to your list below or tweet me @rangeelichick!


Photo credit: meetminneapolis / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Olivander / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: ldandersen / Foter.com / CC BY-NC