New Year's Resolutions
Next to Christmas, New Year's Eve is my favorite holiday of the year! There is something about a new year and a fresh start that gives me so much energy and creates so much excitement to me. Also, having a holiday that forces Brett to stay awake past his 9pm bedtime is a real bonus (anyone else married to a 87 year old?).
I'm not sure when the New Year's Eve obsession began but it's been a love of mine since as long as I can remember. I loved staying up watching Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve (sorry Ryan, I'll never let you replace Dick), making confetti with different colored construction paper, and then running out into the street banging pots and pans while neighbors illegally lit fireworks and firecrackers in the street. I've also always loved the song Auld Lang Syne...I have no clue what it means or what it says but its got a lovely tune and precisely marks the beginning of a brand new year.
With a brand new year comes a brand new set of resolutions to break by January 4th. Making resolutions are one of the most fun parts of New Years, in my opinion, but when they inevitably get broken within the first few days of January it can be quite discouraging. So I decided it was time to make a resolution to stop breaking resolutions. I got fed up of making a ten or fifteen deep list of resolutions that always broke off by February, maybe March, and sought out to find a solution. I didn't want to give up on resolutions all together because I really do think setting goals in the new year can inspire you to do things you wouldn't have done before or help you better yourself or someone else's life. So to keep the heart behind making resolutions pure, I decided to only gives myself two a year.
Two resolutions forces you to really focus on a goal rather than an idea. For instance, instead of resolving to lose ten pounds (like every woman in America) you could instead challenge yourself to exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week. This goal is far easier to stay consistent with and if you do end up breaking it, it's not so devastating, and it's easier to start anew the next week.
New Year's resolutions should keep you inspired, uplifted, yet challenged.
Here are my two New Year's resolutions for 2018!
Complete a 5k
Pilates has been my exercise of choice for the past two years and with each class I fall more and more in love with it. I really hit my stride with it last year, even becoming an instructor, and challenged myself more on the reformer (I finally have shoulder muscles you guys!). Since practicing pilates I can definitely see changes in my strength and flexibility but it's not the most heart pumping workout, meaning my hard earned muscles are still hiding a bit behind some not so hard earned fat (aka McDonalds and Starbucks). Some sort of cardio needs to be added into my exercise regimen, but cardio and I have never liked each other. Running "the mile" in elementary school was my absolute least favorite day of the month and I can even remember the best time I ever achieved was nine minutes, yes NINE MINUTES and I was trying really hard. My time nor my attitude ever improved over the years until last year. I challenged myself to learn to like to run and guess what, I did! Now I'm not yet at the point where I "crave" running, and I don't have a subscription to Runner's World, but I don't actually abhor it as much as I had in the past. I loved the energy I got afterwards as well as how amazing I felt overall even though I was drenched in sweat (something I have always tried my hardest to avoid during exercise). Due to traveling and the holidays I took a hiatus from running, so New Years seemed like the perfect time to pick the running habit back up (I've even asked for real running shoes for Christmas which shows you how serious I am). The thought of doing a 5k before seemed way too daunting and fueled some insecurities inside me about being the slowest runner out there, but as I feel more confident as a runner I think I'm finally ready to put a 5k under my belt, who's with me?
Read 1 book every month
My first resolution was to learn to love something I hate and my second resolution is to go back to something I love. Reading was my thing growing up; my mom would take me to Borders (does anyone remember Borders, or am I just old?) to buy a book and I'd hole myself up in my room with a pillow behind my back and I'd read the whole book in one sitting, then thoughtfully add it into the collection of books in my closet. While I have moved past Junie B. Jones and The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, I have also moved past my days of reading for pleasure. Once I got into high school and college books became homework and their ability to suck me into a different world completely came to a halt. Once I graduated and was free of homework and tests forever I decided to pick up books again and my love was immediately rekindled. In 2015, I read 17 books, mostly in the bathtub (I'm being serious), but in 2016 we moved into an apartment where no tub was to be found and my book count came to only five and in 2017, only four. If I keep following this pattern by 2025 I will have read -4 books, so the cycle must come to an end in 2018. Thankfully our home in California has a tub, so my chances of completing this resolution are already higher.
What are you New Year's resolutions for 2018? You can be honest if you've already broken them, I won't judge.