Resolutions: The Good, The Bad and The Life Changing

by lnmorrow

I love this time of year.  The collective conscious desire to strive and renew is so uplifting.  How fortunate we are to have a cyclical calendar that allows us this opportunity to begin anew.  Sure, we have the opportunity to start again on any day, but today it is universal, that is powerful.

The Good

Often times when we think about our resolutions, we focus on what we want to change about ourselves.  Our “bad” habits or the parts of us we want to “fix” stand out.  I challenge you to think about all the good things that happened this year, your growth and accomplishments.  Write them down so you have a tangible list.  This will be far more motivating that focusing on the negative.  If you accomplished all those things, what else can you do?  Empower yourself rather than tear yourself down.

The Bad

Choose resolutions that are motivating, fun, something on your bucket list.  Any resolution can be made this way.  Here are some examples of bad resolutions and how you can turn them into something more motivating:

I want to lose weight.  There is a reason why this one is automatically recycled every year.  There is nothing inspiring about it and it offers no real solution.  What else do you want to change besides your weight?  Do you want to eat healthier, be stronger, or feel better about your physical body?  Where does the issue lie?  If you want to eat healthier, consider something like; I want to nourish my body, I want to learn how to cook with more vegetables and grains, I want to take a few cooking classes that emphasize fresh ingredients, I want to learn where my food comes from and how to buy it locally.  These goals involve discovering and learning something new, a way to replace old habits that may have led to being overweight, initially.  They empower you and provide direction.  The resolution of wanting to lose weight is too ambiguous.  Try to avoid fad diets and products, they offer no long term solution.

I want to be fit or exercise more. Another popular recycled resolution, ditch it.  This is a fantastic way to cross something off your bucket list or an opportunity to discover something you are passionate about.  Use it.  We all have to live our lives in motion if we want to be healthy, this is a reality.  It does not mean that we have to go to the gym 3-5 times a week and do the same weightlifting routine and cardio via stationary equipment.


Exactly why it doesn’t stick, too.  Seize this chance to do something new or something you have always wanted to accomplish.  Take up belly dancing, ice skating, rowing, fencing or archery.  Be creative.  You can take lessons for anything.  Do something new and give yourself the opportunity to meet new people and become part of a new community.

Another option is to train for a fitness goal.  Join a running club and train for a marathon.  You can do the same for mountain biking, trail running, swimming, or a triathlon.  Get out there and cross a finish line.  Compete with yourself.  Be an athlete and train.  This will motivate you to be your best fit self.

Plan a fitness vacation with a group and motivate each other.  Book a reservation for a yoga retreat with your girlfriends and find a local studio where you can meet for classes.  Check out Backroads and book a biking vacation in a city you have always wanted to visit, recruit your friends.  Hike the Grand Canyon, the Inca Trails, or through the Appalachian.  Put it on the calendar and start training.

You will never be younger than you are today.  Do it this year.

I want to quit smoking, or another vice. Addiction is best conquered when replaced with another healthier habit.  If your vice is a stress reliever, replace it with a new habit that releases endorphins.  If you want to kick caffeine, think of a healthy way to energize yourself.  Instead of focusing on the habit you want to stop, think about the new healthy habit you want to incorporate into your routine.

I want to spend less time on the computer, Facebook, or watching TV. Think about what void these habits fill.  If you are bored, discover a new passion.  Enroll in a painting, photography, or writing class.  Enrich your life by learning something new.  Rotate dinner parties with friends, set a weekly coffee date, or meet friends at a live music venue.  Think about how you can fill your life up with real connections and find the courage to discover a new passion.

I’m sure you get the idea.  You can turn any “bad” resolution into one that nourishes you.  The bolder you are, the sweeter the reward.

The Life Changing

I made a resolution this same day in 2008 that changed the course of my life.  I have always chased my dreams, no matter how foolish or daunting.  I opened a coffee shop with just over $200 in my bank account.  Learned to scuba dive and went to Hawaii to reef dive on my own.  Backpacked Europe on a whim with no preparation and drove across America with a good friend as soon as we graduated high school.  I faced my biggest fears by swimming far out into the ocean on the blackest of nights, went skydiving, and hiked deep into caves (I am extremely claustrophobic).  I refused to let negative thoughts creep in and bring me down. Nothing is impossible.  Live without regrets.  Seize any and all opportunities.  Dream.  Do.  Grow.

My philosophy, my motto, my mantra.

I lost it.  Somewhere along my path it left me.  This day in 2008 my boys were ages 1 and 3.  I had stayed home and focused on their well-being since the beginning of my first pregnancy.  I have no regrets and would not change a single thing.  What happened along the way happens to many moms.

I lost myself.  I was free floating without a sense of purpose.  Stagnant.   I carried the false belief that being a good mother meant tucking away my desires for a later time.

That had to change.  My resolution was simple.  Anytime I have a thought that starts with

I wish I could…

I want to….

I will promptly change it to

I will…

That was it.  A change in semantics changed my attitude.    

In 2009 I started graduate school to become a counselor.  I ran a half marathon.  I ran a marathon.  I raised money for the fight against Leukemia.  I went to Puerto Vallarta with my husband, our first vacation without our children.  We sold our house on the very last day of the year in a terrible real estate market.  I discovered new passions and started to live a purpose driven life, all the while being a good mother to my boys.

I found myself.

1.1.11 is the perfect opportunity for a new start.  Seize it!

I would love to hear your good resolutions.

Happy New Year!