Looking Back, Moving forward

It’s the time of year when people are eating lots of food, spending lots of money and scrambling before the clock rings in 2014 to come up with a resolution that will alter their life. I’m resolution averse –let’s face it, and the facts prove I’m right- less than 1% of us actually keep the resolution, and most “resolutions” only stick around three or so months. So, what about resolutions make them so impossible to attain, or sustain as the case may be?

Perhaps people who want to make changes in their life set themselves up for failure because so few resolutions are truly attainable, and by extension sustainable. Instead, maybe it’s better to think less “resolve,” and more “involve.” Making a resolution is an event…something that passes. We decide (resolve) to change something and that’s that.

But really, it’s not just “that’s that.” And making a resolution doesn’t really address the onging struggle of a person trying to keep the resolution. Instead, involvement—for me—is more active. Maybe for some that’s just semantics, but involvement to me means an ongoing engagement, and ultimately that’s the difference.

That’s why instead of resolutions, I’m a big believer in goals. Goals are well thought out. And goals are just markers along the way to something bigger. The best goals, I’ve learned from working in marketing, are fluid, evolving with you over time. Resolutions, by contrast, seem one dimensional, rigid and inflexible. Like travel, it’s not the destination but the journey—it sounds so cliché, but that’s because it’s true.

Inspired by Greg’s resolutions post, I decided on three goals for 2013 to nudge myself out of my comfort zone. {Caution: I’m about to bore you with my progress. I won’t take offense if you tune out and come back when I pick-up my travel writing again.}

Unfortunately, I did not actually publish my goals on my own blog, Oops! They are somewhere on Greg’s blog and I did spend an hour pouring through his blog and facebook page, unsuccessfully, looking for them. Lucky for you I can paraphrase them.

Goal 1. Travel more. I love to travel and just couldn’t do it as much as I wanted in 2012. My goal was to visit two new places (US or abroad) and have one adventure. I also challenged myself to take advantage of work travel and explore more when I’m traveling for work.

Result as we approach 2014: How did I do? Solid B here. I didn’t visit the number of places I wanted to but that’s not always the point. The point was to get out and travel. In that regard, i did. I found ways to use my time off either locally or when traveling for work, had an adventure with my Dad and went to Spain with Mr Os.

Goal 2. Blog. I’d been talking about starting a blog and blah, blah, blah, blah, we’ve all heard that before. My goal was shut up, get started and publish at least 80 new pieces of content.

Result as we approach 2014: How did I do? A. I’ve published over 100 articles and found i absolutely LOVE writing! I look forward to blogging more and evolving this space into something I love even more than I already do.

Goal 3. Drop the weight. I won’t get into all the boring details, but like others I was and am struggling with weight—even when we hit a desired goal, or even that “ideal” weight, it is an ongoing struggle. It requires continued involvement. We all know weight struggles quickly morph into body image frustration, self-confidence issues, the list goes on. This goal is important for me because I wanted to feel better about myself before a milestone birthday in 2014.

Result as we approach 2014: How did I do? B. I’m not exactly where I want to be. But that’s partly because as I succeeded, I moved my goal up. More importantly, I made smart choices and discovered the food combinations that work for me and feel really good about my progress and upcoming birthday. That’s a huge accomplishment. And with it, new goals will be set.

Looking forward, the things that bring me joy and happiness (outside of Mr Os and the dogs of course) are the same: travel, blogging and being healthy. I see no reason to expand my present goals to include other areas. (Side bar, setting too many goals is also a sure way to fail.) Rather, i want to enjoy these things and continue to push myself in more ways. So in 2014 i look forward to:

  1. Continue blogging. I’m so grateful that people spend time with me and hope they will continue to do so, and that I’ll continue to improve. On that subject, any feedback or suggestions are always welcomed and taken to heart! I’m preparing to make some site upgrades in January. Again, if there is something you think i should consider, please let me know!
  2. Keep traveling. Travel brings me the most joy, as it combines the adventure of discovering new things with learning more about myself through these experiences. I’m eager to take advantage of work travel in 2014. In fact, i’ll be in Las Vegas next month and have already identified two exciting adventures in my non-work time (stay tuned!). Two of my nieces have also asked me re-institute our annual “girls weekend.” And if i’m super fortunate, i may be booking a big trip that will allow me to tackle one of my missing stamps!!
  3. Stay healthy. I look forward to continuing on my successful journey of mindful eating and consistent exercising. I do like to challenge myself physically so happy Christmas to my Dad, Mr Os and I will be doing the 30th Annual Trek Across Maine. I hope to also fit a Century Ride (biking 100 miles in a day) in somewhere. I’m nuts, i know.

I’m not a life coach by any means but goals are hard to keep. So, if there’s one suggestion i would make about being successful at this whole New Year’s change thing, it’s that if your goals are rooted in things you love, it’s a lot easier to achieve them. What are your goals and how will stick to them?

Whatever they are, I wish you the best in achieving them, and setting new goals along the way. Happy New Year, see you in 2014.

Author: Judi Kennedy

Wanderlust. A professional aunt, fitness enthusiast, dog owner and avid reader the rest of the time.