Tough Love Tuesday: The Problem With Resolutions

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The problem with New Year's resolutions is everyone is all excited about them come January 1st, yet most people can't make it halfway through February without "failing" at their resolutions. Why do people keep doing this to themselves year after year? I love self-improvement as much as the next person, but I give myself intentions and goals to focus on rather than resolutions which do not have a specified end date. Self-improvement never ends so why give ourselves the expectation that we will be done by a randomly chosen date and time.

One example is instead of saying "I want to make more money and be debt free by the end of the year," you can tell yourself "I want to work hard at my career and book bigger photography jobs." I intend to be the best businesswoman I can be, which in turn will bring in more money. By having my goal be centered around the positive, I won't be disappointed if I don't become debt free by the end of the year. I know I worked hard and much improved my business. Life happens. An unexpected expense could arise, someone could get sick, who knows? If by the end of the year you realize you don't have the amount of money you wished you had, you still can be able to look back and know you did everything you could and you worked hard.

Another big resolution is to lose weight. The money gyms make leading up to the new year is staggering from all the people saying "this is the year I will finally make it to the gym and go every day and yadda yadda blah blah blah!!!" First things first, did you know that low-cost gyms psychologically manipulate members into not going to the gym? "It's only $10! No biggie if I don't go."

How about instead of your resolution to lose weight, how about you make an intention to get active! Join a yoga or pilates class. Get running. Make a goal to cook at home more. Pick out yummy healthy recipes that appeal to you and learn how to cook them. Do it with your roommate, friends, family, neighbors, whoever! Get excited about the food you eat. Get excited about being active. I never found a workout regime that I liked until I started Bikram yoga. I go to multiple classes a week never with the intention of weight loss. It's meditation for me, and the feeling of accomplishment I get after each session is more life-changing for me than a number on a scale.

I have a lot of thoughts on people's obsession with weight loss, which I have talked about on the blog before, but I will be writing more on the subject in the future. The short version is your worth is not in your weight. All this negative self-talk about weight is so detrimental to your physical and mental health. The weight loss industry is worth 66 billion dollars. BILLIONS. It is banking on you to fail. How about treating your body with love and care first, and seeing how that will positively affect your body inside and out.

The point is to keep your goals positive. Why would you want to do anything if it has an air of negativity floating around it? Staying positive will bring out the best results. 

More goals you could make:

  • Take a class to refine your craft, or just take a course because you're interested in learning something new.

  • Have a friends night once a week. Having wine dates with my girls always make me happy.

  • Check out or and see what events are happening in your town. You can meet so many new people that way.

  • Start a personal project. Finally, do that thing you always wanted to do.

  • Cut out the noise. Unfollow any accounts or blogs that aren't improving your life.

  • Allow yourself playtime. If that means Netflix breaks, snack breaks, or Buzzfeed breaks (or some combination of three), do it! Your brain needs time to recharge.

  • If you must do something every single day this year, print out Karen Kavett's Don't Break The Chain calendar. Feel good with every day you can cross off (but don't give yourself a hard time if you miss a day).

I want to be able to look back at the year and say that I had a great year and I did everything I could to make it as enjoyable as I could. I have a notebook where I've been writing my yearly goals and intentions. Some things happened, some things haven't. And that is ok. It's ok that I didn't accomplish some of what I set out to do. I still can look back on how incredible 2018 was for me.

I have plenty of goals for 2019, but my main intention is to kick ass at everything I do and have a good time. I think I can pull that off.