How to Make Meaningful New Year’s Resolutions Last in 2012

Well, it’s here.  The year 2012.  The start of a new calendar year. The start of a new academic term in grad school and the Fisher MLHR program. And I know that with every new year comes (and I almost hate to say it) an attempt by many well-intentioned folks to make some kind of New Year’s Resolution.  Even as I write this blog, a lot of people are already 17 days DEEP into trying to achieve a myriad of personal resolutions such as:  losing weight, getting more organized, saving more money, paying off debt, hitting up the gym to get a P90X beach body, finding that special someone to share life experiences with, eating healthier, taking an exciting  and memorable vacation/trip, committing to stop smoking/drinking less, etc. Coupled with starting a new academic term in grad school, new courses, new teammates, etc., it’s a challenge to say the least.

Every year most of us (including myself) try to make unique resolutions.  We may plan it well and try to stay determined to our plan to fulfill those resolutions.  But somehow “something” happens and when we look back mid- year we have found ourselves “off” the New Year’s Resolution wagon and back on the “well, there’s always next year for me to do it” wagon.

So, for all of us out there who either secretly or openly made resolutions this year, I want to share a few practical ways in which we all can make and achieve the promises we made to ourselves so we can finally produce the long-lasting results we “resolved” during the dropping of the ball.

1.  Be realistic.  One thing I’ve learned in my life is this:  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is anything else that is worth doing or accomplishing.  If you made a promise this year to lose 38lbs, politely remind yourself that you will not be losing all 38 of those pounds in the first two weeks.  It will take time.  And a lot of hard work.  Sometimes making smaller goals that work along with the overall larger goal can make all the difference in achieving what it is you want.

2.  Don’t make too many resolutions.  Our ability to focus on more than a few things at once is limited.  So as it is with achieving your New Year’s resolutions.  I’m sure you’ve made a laundry list of things you wanted to accomplish this year.  My advice:  pick the top two or three things that are most important and meaningful to you…and go after it!  You will likely be more productive and will thank yourself for not over committing and regretting never finishing all those resolutions.

3.  Write them down…somewhere.  If you made a promise to take a vacation to Cancun this year, you need to write it down.  More often than not, if it’s not being talking about, then it’s not being done.  Post a beautiful picture of the white sands of Mexico on your bathroom mirror so it will remind and motivate you every morning to do something about making that happen this year!  It has worked for me.  And I’m certain it will work for you, too.

4.  Have some accountability.  Involve a friend.  Maybe get someone involved with the same thing you are trying to accomplish.  There is power in numbers and two is always better than one.  Plus, it is a greater motivator to have someone keep you committed to what it is you want to do this year.


5.  Expect a slip-up…or two.  It’s gonna happen.  Imagine, it’s week 3 and you’ve been working your tail off to lose that last 21 lbs.  You’ve been eating healthy, sticking to your workout routine and, then…duh duh duuuh…you eat that piece of cheesecake that’s been taunting you.  Just know this:  it happens to everyone.  Eating a piece of cheesecake isn’t going to derail your weight loss efforts.  However, eating an entire pan of cheesecake might.  Go into this New Year’s resolution thing with realistic (rather than unrealistic) expectations, knowing you might slip-up and that you might not give it your all every day.  What matters is that you keep pushing forward and achieve what it is you set out to do.

Good luck!

Garren’s 2K12 Resolutions

First of all before I go into my resolutions, let me preface by saying that I do not believe that the end of the world will happen in 2012 (knock on wood), because I watched a Discovery Channel special about it and Jay Sean made a song about it with Nicki Minaj.

Back to my resolutions, I really do not have that many so I will TRY to keep it quick and simple.

*Note: I am not putting anything in here that I KNOW will happen (like graduating), because resolutions are supposed to be challenging right?  I also don’t believe in having a resolution for the sake of “being a better person” if you don’t believe in it?  For example,  I could resolve to be more outgoing to people, but I don’t think I really need to and it is not something I find to be important, so why would I try to be more outgoing when I really don’t care to?

1.  Blog Once A Week Until I Graduate

This was a challenge last quarter.  I kind of felt bad, because the MLHR program dominated the blog last year.  I know it is not entirely my part, but I still feel bad.  I am glad that there are more people in other programs providing their experiences, because you can only hear so much about the same program before you start yawning.  Each program is told to direct their blogs toward their “target audience” (which for me would be people interested in getting their degree in Labor and Human Resources).  However, I think it is good for those interested and potential MLHR students to look at other student blogs too, because you will be interacting with all of the programs (if you do graduate school “right)”.  Ok maybe not ALL of the programs, but more than the people in your cohort.

2.  Spend Time In Gerlach Hall EVERYDAY For Winter Quarter

This will honestly be my biggest challenge.  I did really well GPA wise last quarter, but I felt SO lazy (hence the lack of posts too).  I already know that this quarter is going to be demanding on me.  I haven’t taken 12 credit hours since June either, so that will ALSO be a struggle.  I am vowing to come to Gerlach everyday, because this is the only place where I feel like I can really do anything productive.  When I’m home, I am less likely to do my readings and more likely to drink a glass of wine and watch ABC Family programming.  The biggest challenge will be coming in on Fridays and the weekends which I NEVER want to do (but I am motivating myself to come by working out at the Recreational Physical Activities Center or Jesse Owens North right across the street…which I know is weird that I am motivating myself with physical activity but I’ve recently become slightly obsessed with exercising).  For the fact that I essentially avoided this building like the plague other than when I was technically obligated to go to class last quarter will just be another road block.  However, if I can do this, I believe that I will be able to stay on task and have another great quarter.

Please note that this goal ends winter quarter, because I only have to take 2 classes in the spring, and I am going to have the 8th or 9th case of senioritis in my life (hopefully not too bad).

3.  Maintain My Exercise and Diet

Since August, I have really transformed my diet and exercise.  I am still running, and am eating a lot of vegetables.  One thing that I vow to do is (for the most part), cut out all red meat from my diet.  I am not going to be super crazy about it, but for the most part I am no longer eating any kind of red meat.  I mean if you are what you eat then why would I want to look like a cow or a pig?  I’d rather be a fish…because they’re the skinny creatures of the animal world (minus whales…not eating any whales).  Last year when I tried to be all healthy, school overwhelmed me and I sank into fatness.  I have made it more of a priority now, but I resolve to keep a balance, and make sure that I do not let grad school turn me into an obese monster.

4.  Be More Spiritual

I generally want to be more spiritual.  I am not going into my personal religious beliefs.  To me, being spiritual is more about having a connection with your faith.  I don’t plan on “going to this sacred building more” or “reading this religious text more”.  I generally just want to have a deeper faith in 2012.

I just wrote this blog entry, I am in Gerlach on a day I don’t have class, I ran 4 miles on my lunch hour, I ate healthy all day, and I prayed twice today.  I think I am going to do well in keeping my resolutions this year!