I find it funny that so many people abhor resolutions. While I don’t think we have to wait until January 1st rolls around to set on pursuing something we’d like to accomplish, I do think many people could benefit from some good old fashioned self reflection.
As I explained in my post on 4 tips for writing resolutions that stick, I think the problem is often people write unrealistic or unachievable resolutions. I actually have followed through on resolutions in the past where they were clearly defined and achievable (like in 2009 when I wanted to start a blog, or in 2014 when I wanted to lose 30 pounds, or this year when I wanted to run a mile in less than 7 minutes and spend an hour a week volunteering or serving others). It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you’ve hit your goal and can say, “I did it!”
The other night, I brainstormed dozens of resolutions. Next, I gave myself several days to mull them over. Which ones kept popping in my mind as important, significant, compelling? In the end, I’ve decided on three. I wanted to share what made my list (and what didn’t) in hopes you might find it helpful in nailing down your own plan for 2016.
Resolution #1: Organize the Family Photos.
My husband and I are in the process of doing a major house declutter (I’m contemplating turning this into a January blog series – stay tuned!). In the process, I realized how many photos I have in multiple locations throughout the house. There are photos in my bedroom closet. Photos in several places in the office. Photos in the entryway table downstairs. Photos on multiple memory cards and my external hard drive. Additionally, we have family photo shoots I’ve never taken the time to order prints for.
Why I chose this resolution: memories and photos matter greatly to me. However, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the volume and lack of organization of our family photos. I feel I’d be unlikely to muster the motivation on my own to tackle this project, but making it a resolution will give me the push I need to get it done.
What I’d like to accomplish with this resolution: I envision being able to readily share photo memories with friends & family (maybe I need to update our scrapbooks!). I also want to update a beautiful photo gallery wall in our home. Finally, I’d like to create a system to file new photos we receive (both prints & digital).
Resolution #2: Create a Family Budget to Achieve Small and Big Goals.
We’ve got a number of sizeable goals on our docket right now, but I know they aren’t going to materialize without a plan. Like the photos, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. How are we going to pay off X, save for Y, and still have something leftover for Z?
Why I chose this resolution: I’m a firm believer that financial peace (to use Dave Ramsay’s term!) comes when we have a plan. While some of our financial goals may take a few years to execute, I know I’ll feel less stress and more in control with a realistic budget in place.
What I’d like to accomplish with this resolution: I’d like to find a way to budget for all our goals that is easy to use and maintain. This means it’s got to be a system that works with the way my husband and I naturally think and behave. I’d like to give ourselves permission to find a system that’s right for us, and not necessarily what others are doing.
Resolution #3: Floss Every Day.
Are you surprised this item made my list? But it did. A friend recently shared with me how she made this a goal of hers. I thought it was so simple, but genius.
Why I chose this resolution: I wanted to choose a resolution that would encourage a healthy new habit. Daily flossing? That’s something I’ve never done. The truth is, I’ve got some sensitive teeth and the dentist has been on my case about doing a better job about flossing.
What I’d like to accomplish with this resolution: This resolution is also an experiment of sorts. I’m curious to see how incorporating this healthy habit may spur on other healthy habits in my life. I’d also love to observe how a simple, small habit may have a big impact over time.
Now that you know what I’m going to be focusing on for 2016, are you curious to see what didn’t make my resolution list for 2016? Here are a few of my nixed ideas:
Running resolutions. I do have several goals for 2016, such as run a mile in 6:30 and break 1:50 in the half marathon. However, after reflection I realized I didn’t need to make resolutions for any of these items. I’ve already got the motivation and tools I need to succeed. I have confidence I’ll be able to work towards and possibly meet these goals in 2016. I feel my resolutions are best reserved for areas of my life where I need the extra push.
Vague resolutions. I identified several resolutions on my list that were extremely vague including “develop great content for the blog” and “eat better.” After a couple days of thinking over specific tactics for these resolutions, I came up empty handed. Ultimately, they didn’t make the cut.
Resolutions that are likely to get done anyways. Again, if I felt the goal was likely to get done with or without naming it as a resolution, I left it off the list. For instance, we’re planning on redoing our deck in 2016. This does not need to be named a resolution. I also would really like to have the house decluttered, but we’re already making huge headway on that and I’m confident we’ll complete the job.
Resolutions that could be a quick “to do” item. I did come up with a few good ideas that I’d like to accomplish in the next year. Among my favorite ideas? I’d love to take a professional make up lesson. I’ve never been good with make up and usually just skip wearing it altogether. I know there are places I could go and get a professional lesson done. But does this need to be a resolution? Of course, I could’ve expanded it into one such as “wear make up everyday,” but that doesn’t speak to me the way organizing my family photos does.
I hope that by being vulnerable today and sharing my own resolutions, I’ve helped give you some inspiration to tackle your own. If you need some additional help, please see this post:
Need help brainstorming ideas for resolutions? I can help there too: