Is it still considered cliché if I post about New Years’ resolutions at the end of January? No!? Well okay! Yes!? Well shut your damn mouth!
The Original Phoenix over at Confessions of a Reborn Girl asked me about my New Years’ Resolutions; Have I made any this year? If so, what was it…? And I decided to share with you all my thoughts on and experience with New Years’ resolutions.
I think we all have made the resolution at some point or another to lose weight/get back in shape/eat better… whatever! But how many of us actually follow through? You don’t really hear or read about success stories stemming from New Year’s resolutions. Why is that? Are NY’s resolutions an annual fad? Has it only become a routine to say you’re going to make a change for the better just so you feel good about yourself, knowing that nothing will actually change?
Well I for one, am not going to make a promise with the intent to break it; especially one I have with myself. I have once in my lifetime, made a NY’s resolution and I managed to stick it out for the entire year. I know… pretty awesome. I can hear you ask: So what was it? How did you do it? Let me educate ya’.
I decided to cut red meat out of my diet completely for an entire year. Ground-breaking, I know.
So how did I land on such an obscure resolution in the first place? First of all, I wanted to challenge myself. I couldn’t think of anything that I had kept up with for an entire year that I wasn’t in some way obligated by something else to maintain, and I was ready to put myself to the challenge. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me a good, thick burger covered in sauce and the fixin’s (minus the cheese, cause YUCK!), but red meat, to me, is like a gateway food; I can’t have a burger without fries (not healthy); I can’t have a steak without dousing it in A1 sauce (also not healthy); and I can’t very well have bacon without… fat, I suppose…?
Plus, there are so many other meats to choose from: bird, fish… well I guess, not so many, but you get the point! I’ve never really been a pig consumer (though I love me some bacon, am I right?), so I gave that up too, even though it’s considered ‘pink’ meat.
Second, I did in fact, want to make a change for the better. Now, I know that red meat can be full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but with how much processing goes on now a days, who knows anymore. I figured I would give it all a break: hamburgers, steak, pork, ham, bacon, pork chop, the lot. Instead of the classic American burger with a hunk of beef, I traded it in for a turkey burger. Instead of steak, I stuck with a marinated chicken breast. Instead of regular bacon, I chose turkey bacon; not identical, but it gets the job done. It really is a doable change.
So how did you stick to it for an entire year? It was something that I really wanted. I had options which made it that much easier, and I wanted to prove to myself that if I set my mind to it, I could achieve anything… Plus my Dad bet me $10 that I wouldn’t succeed; challenge accepted!
Did you ever have cheat days? Nope. I was committed to my goal and knew at the start of the new year, I could treat myself, and boy did I! On New Year’s Day the following year, I went out with my family for dinner where I ordered a full rack of ribs. When I say they were the best damn ribs ever, then you know, after not eating any kind of red meat for an entire year, they were in fact the best damn ribs ever! Plus I got $10 from Dad along with bragging rights.
Because of this experience, I have a certain respect for NY’s resolutions; they mean something to me, so I’m not going to make one for the sake of making one. Instead, I will use this time to reflect on what I want out of the New Year, and go from there. Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Like the rest of the American population, I am considered overweight, and from a health stand point, it would be beneficial to lose a few pounds which is why I’ve started watching what I eat more closely (notice I didn’t say ‘eating healthier…’) and I’ve even purchased a year long membership to the local aquatic/fitness center (but at $50 for a year long membership for me and my spouse, who could pass up such a deal!?). Will I stick with it the entire year? Who knows!? But I won’t be upset with myself if I don’t.
The trick with resolutions is to hold yourself accountable because no one else will- unless you pay them, like a personal trainer… You have to be determined. You have to be disciplined. You have to know your own boundaries. You have to set an attainable goal which you can achieve on your own, ’cause let’s face it, you can’t rely on anyone these days to tell you if you’re not doing something correctly; it might hurt your feelings and God forbid that ever happens to anyone! (*That was supposed to be a jab at politically correct morons who can’t handle the truth nowadays if you missed it.)
I read a post over at Crafting My Life called Mix Up Your Tired Resolutions Already and she shared some great advice for keeping up with resolutions. One in particular that she wrote about was ‘Breaking Them Down, and Building Them Up.’ She suggested making a resolution for each month of the year that builds off of each other. For example, if you want to in fact, adopt a healthier lifestyle for the year, resolve to go to bed every night at a set time (say 10pm) in the month of January. Then in February, resolve to drink a liter of water everyday. And in March, resolve to walk more. That way, you are breaking down your resolution ‘goals’ into more attainable results and more manageable parameters. I think this is a great way to look at making New Year’s Resolutions; particularly because you don’t have to commit an entire year, in essence, setting yourself up for failure. Because, let’s face it, are you really going to lose those 20 pounds come 2018?
If I were to make a New Year’s resolution for the year 2017, it would probably be to take more pictures. I’m horrible at documenting my life with the help of a camera, and with my upcoming first trip out of the country (only 33 days to go!), I want to be able to look back at the memories I made and experience them all over again for years to come. It’s doable. It’s beneficial. And it will have a positive impact on the rest of my life.
What are some of ya’ll’s New Year’s Resolutions? How do you feel about New Year’s Resolutions? Comment below. And don’t worry; I won’t criticize your answers. I’m genuinely curious. 🙂