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One thing is certain when it comes to New Year’s resolutions: everyone has an opinion about them.

The majority of people I know and talk to scoff at me when I ask or mention New Year’s resolutions. Their usual reply (made in a hotly tone): “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.” I can’t say I don’t blame them. Resolutions have long been thought of as a setup for failure. I’ve been there, too — experienced my own failures. But I’m an optimist and I keep making them nonetheless.

I’ve learned over the years to make my resolutions vague and attainable to achieve. New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be super big. In my mind, it’s all about personal accomplishment. Achieving something easy/attainable and feeling good about it is always better than setting an unrealistically high goal and failing. Many companies, mine included, set SMART goals. And what I’m telling you now is the exact opposite of what SMART goals embody. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. My New Year’s resolutions will never be that and I don’t care.

Let me show you.
SMART goal: I will exercise 5 days a week for 12 months.
One of my previous resolutions: Be more active (including taking the stairs more than the elevator, going on walks with the dog, etc.). That year I ran in more races than I had before, including a half marathon.

There’s no way to know that you’re going to be able to exercise 5 days a week for 12 months. And if you’re just starting to exercise, I’m not sure I would recommend it. It’s all about the small victories. You owe yourself the little celebratory moments. Walk the dog a couple of nights a week. Choose water instead of pop at a meal. Are the decisions you’re making this year better than last year? If so, you’re on the right track. You can always build onto your goals. Make resolutions that are reasonably attainable and you’ll be successful.

I’ve learned that I can’t make the following resolutions. I will always fail.

  • Stop procrastinating. It’s just who I am. I’m getting better at planning things out, but it all gets done in the end, and well if I might add.
  • Be more organized/keep the house clean. There’s just no way; I don’t know how people do it. Again, it’s just who I am to have things in a chaotic mess that makes sense to me. I am that person that marathon cleans before company comes over and then it falls apart again until the next time we have people over.
  • Be less stressed. I think this one will take some time and experience. I’ll have to learn when it’s OK to let things be. Stress is a part of my life and I don’t see myself expertly controlling it in the near future. And that’s OK.

Here are my resolutions for this year.

  • Do more freelance work, whether it’s writing, graphic design, and/or photography. During 2013, I created save the date magnets and wedding invitations and programs for my friends Lia and Brett. I designed my first-ever baby shower invitation for my friend Lindy. As for photography, I did some head shots for another friend, Brandi, for her jewelry business and took pictures of the inside of a house for Nicole, my friend who is a realtor. (The house sold that week!) So if I’m able to acquire more projects this year, this is doable!
Only a snippet because it has last names and addresses on it.

Only a snippet of the gender reveal baby shower invitation because it has last names and addresses on it. Wish I could show you all of it! You’ll have to take my word that it’s adorable.

No last names and it already happened -- so you get to see it all.

No last names and it already happened — so you get to see it all!

A head shot I took of Brandi.

A head shot I took of Brandi.

  • Reach out to college friends (or anyone I don’t talk to on a regular basis) and catch up. I see them all the time as I’m scrolling through my News Feed, why don’t I see how they are doing and what they’re up to nowadays?!
  • Decorate the house more. David and I moved into this house in August 2012. We don’t even have that many pictures up. I want to change that. This resolution could also include putting up Christmas lights outside for the first time.
  • Give the blog a new look. Now, I’m not super talented with web design, so this will likely be a simple new background I find online and a header I create with my blog name. I need a change around these parts.
  • Master a handful of BodyCombat routines, including an ab one. You know I love me some BodyCombat. This one will be focusing on giving it my all and not missing a move — you’d be surprised how hard that is! I don’t have the whole year because routines change fairly often (we’re even changing things up next week). And abs — they are probably the weakest part of my body. It would be nice to get through the short ab routine they have without taking a break or collapsing on my planks.

There ya have it. That should be enough for one year.

Questions for You

  • Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
  • If so, what were some of yours?
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