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New Year, New You?

Posted by Jen Koecher on

New Year, New You?

It’s as cliche as it comes. However, even cliche has it’s place in our world. As 2019 begins, it IS indeed a lovely time to reflect on the past year and set some goals going forward. Where can we improve? How did we fall short? What aspects of our lives did we excel and how can we continue that trend to change our lives? These are really big questions and really big truths. It’s not always easy and often times, downright painful to reveal these reflections to ourselves. Let’s not even begin to think about sharing them. 


Is that why so many fail with their grandiose resolutions? We gain short bursts of inspiration from this momentum of one year ending, one more trip around the sun, energy for change is afoot, but do we ever put an action plan into play? If so many of us want to lose weight, why do many stay stagnant or even gain a few? If our goal is to ‘try new things’ why are we still on the couch Friday night after Friday night, rewatching our favorite TV shows with the same dinner we ate last Friday night? 


Many reasons, according to all the google ‘New Year’s Resolution Stats’ searches that have been conducted since Google came on our radar. Only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s Resolution completes their goals successfully. Reread that. 8% of people are successful. That’s downright embarrassing. I’ve found a few tips to help us out. I’m part of the 92%, making quiet resolutions for myself around the new year and then petering out of steam come February. Not this year. 2019? I’ve got big plans. Let’s get started. 


Write Down Your Goals


Simply writing down a goal can be the difference between accomplishing that desire or failing to see it through. Writing makes it concrete, a physical reminder of what you’re committed to doing, feeling or being. This wont work, of course, if you write down something outlandish like ‘I will save $500,000 by October!’ and your annual salary is $40,000 and you have $35,000 in debt. One cannot save more than they bring in and one must budget for bills, unexpected expenses and you know, life.

Furthermore, writing down a goal without proper format will complicate matters to the point of failure too. I’ve come across the SMART approach enough times in my life to realize that it works. If you write your goals using the SMART concept, Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely, you are more likely to succeed. Write down a rough draft and really evaluate it. Is it specific enough that there is no room for interpretation? Is your goal stated in a way that can be measured? If you say you want to mediate more, what exactly does that mean? Say it! Mediate 3 x’s per week. Is there an action involved? How realistic is the goal? Are we looking to loose 500 pounds or 2 pounds in January? Lastly, what is your timeframe? Be real and have the integrity, accountability and respect for yourself to make it happen. 


So for example, if your big goal for 2019 is to ‘Be more adventurous’, maybe breaking that large goal into smaller, more attainable goals is a way to ensure that it gets done. Perhaps monthly, out of your comfort zone activities is a good way to achieve this. January’s goal may be written something like this; ‘Sign up for the January Astrology Class through Community Ed with Annie, by Wednesday’ To attain this goal, you must research when the class is offered, see if it’s within your monthly budget, note the date you need to sign up by. You will need to coordinate your schedules with your friend and make sure she is also able to commit. If not, maybe your adventure for January will be a solo one! 

VANDALIA GLASSWORKS - Promotional Video from Luke Ross on Vimeo.


Winter is a great time to try out glassblowing. Research the area in which you live. Are there any studios that offer a class? (Google again, for the win!) If you happen to live here in the Twin Cities, Vandalia Glassworks offers beginning glassblowing classes for individuals up to a group of 10. Plan ahead and ask a few friends who may be into the months endeavor and book a class with the studio. Maybe one weeks goal is to research the studio. (hint! vandaliaglassworks.com ) The following weeks goal may be to book a lesson (call them! phones are still a thing.) Come lesson time, all you have to do is show up and you’ll learn the art of glassblowing, like a boss. 

What else would you be interested in trying? Rock climbing? Gardening? Kayaking? Karaoke? Book Club? It’s easy to come up with 12 new, out of your norm activities to try out in 2019. It’s even easier to execute these escapades when you break up the daunting ‘adventure’ goal into smaller, step by step plans. By the end of 2019, you’ll have many stories to tell, some victorious and some maybe not, but the important thing is you made promise to yourself and you kept it. And that, my friends, is everything.  

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