I'm not a fan of New Years Eve, but I do enjoy setting and sticking to resolutions. I've found that the ticket is to set definite, reasonable, written out goals. It also helps to not start them all at once but aspire to reach them all by the end of the year.
Last year I had 3 resolutions and stuck to each one. They were:
- write down everything I eat
- stay off diet coke
- no illegal downloading
This year I've made the following resolutions for the following reasons.
write down what I eat before I eat it
This is an extension of last year's resolution. A year ago I read in the excellent book "The Power of Habit" that writing down what you eat is the only data proven weight loss plan. Its crazy to think that the billions of dollars spent on weight loss every year are all on methods that have no proven results. So I resolved and started writing down the items I've eaten in a small Molskine notebook I carry in my back pocket. I tried using iPhone apps, and calorie counters but it was just too annoying and too detailed. All I wanted to do was write down the things I ate, not necessarily how much and how many calories were in the items. I use a page a day and it makes me much more conscious about what I've eaten.
To make myself even more conscious of what I eat, and to eliminate my tendency to mindlessly snack on whatever is in front of me, I've decided to take a step further and try to write what I'm going to eat down before I eat it. I like the idea of forcing myself to think about what I'm going to eat and give myself permission first.
exercise at least once every week
I fall in and out (mostly out) of the habit of exercise. To keep myself from completely falling out of the habit I've decided to set a goal to work out at least once a week. I'll keep track of my workouts in my food notebook to ensure that I'm not missing a week.
run at least two 5k races
I've always thought of myself as a terrible runner and never enjoyed that exercise. Two and a half years ago however I ran a 5k and then a 10k and started to really enjoy it. I don't think I've had a higher high than I did after completing that 10k. It was a lot more attainable than I thought it would be. After the 10k I didn't sign up for another race and got out of the habit. I wish I hadn't. This year I resolve to start that up again.
get out of the city at least two nights or full days every month
I live in San Francisco now and I often get a bit claustrophobic and also lazy about doing anything about it. Whenever I do travel to any of the amazing parks, vineyards, or towns outside of the city its always amazing and I always think "I really need to do this more often!". So I've set a resolution to do so, and with a more definite objective of staying outside of the city two nights or full days every month.
re-type all misspelled words
I use spell check way to heavily and it has made me a lazy and poor speller. I resolve to not to use the auto-fix spell check option but to re-type the words that I misspell. I hope it will break my habit of misspelling the same words over and over again.
Those are my lofty but reasonable personal resolutions for the year. I also have some work related goals and resolutions but those I keep to myself. I'm excited about 2014 and hope everyone's 2013 was as great as mine!