It's a brand new year!

Hello everyone!  Welcome to 2012!
I trust everyone had a great holiday season, hopefully with those you love most in life. I know I did.  It has been a great 10 days of family, friends, sleeping in, and (yikes!) eating a lot of food.  Mostly good-for-me foods, but I admit to overindulging a bit.  I’m glad to say, however, that today I was back to the gym and back to making food choices that are right for me.
For my inaugural post for 2012 I wanted to share my thoughts on the most thrown around word this time of year – RESOLUTION.  Did you make a New Year’s resolution?  Are you resolution pro or con?  I’ve heard arguments on both sides of the issue – some saying that to make a bunch of heavy-handed rules only set one up to fail.  Others saying that it’s great to have something to work towards or a project to set your sights on.  Both valid points.  I, naturally, find my opinion falling squarely in the middle of the extremes.
I think that the start of a new year puts many of us in the mood to feel like we can start fresh.  It’s a blank page and we can write this year’s story any way we see fit.  It gives many of us an excuse to change things and take a look at where we are and where we want to go over the next 365.242199 days (I had to look that up. Ha!).  Should we have been eating and exercising and doing all these nice things all along?  Yes, of course.  But many of us didn’t and I don’t see anything wrong with using January 1 as an excuse to start.
On the other hand, I really do believe that there are too many people starting on a path with no direction, no concrete goals, or hopes that they’ll accomplish something that is either unreasonable or dangerous (I’m thinking weight loss here).  Often people burden themselves with lengthy, arbitrary, and oppressive lists of rules that even the most ardent dieter or fitness expert couldn’t (or shouldn’t) follow.  Sometimes people set themselves up for failure by making a really great resolution and then fail to make a plan for how to see it through.  All of these scenarios lead to disappointment and defeat, and I think this is why the very term “New Year’s Resolution” has a negative connotation. This is what gives resolution making a bad rap.

If you are the type to make resolutions, I say make them intelligently and deliberately.  Know yourself and what you need to succeed with your goal.  Are you the kind of person who tends to exercise more often when you have a friend to do it with?  Then maybe you and your friend ought to sign up for some fitness classes together.  Are you the kind of person who needs some accountability from someone about your eating habits?  Then maybe you need the services of a holistic health coach (ahem!). My point is that taking a long, hard look at the circumstances that help you succeed in anything and then applying them to your 2012 goals will carry you far in reaching them.
Ask yourself how you plan to reach this goal, and then write down an exact and detailed plan.  Don’t leave it to chance or whim that you’ll magically find the time to workout.  Schedule the time. Put it in your calendar.  Set aside specific dates and times and then stick to it.  You know when you’re getting your next haircut, so you ought to know when your next workout is.  Don’t think that some magical food elves will stock your fridge with healthy food.  Plan your meals and grocery shop on a scheduled date at a scheduled time.  PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Set your year-long goal, but set some intermediate goals that you want to have reached after a month’s time.  Want to run a marathon?  Why not set the goal to have a 5K under your belt by the end of January.  Parse your big goal into smaller mini goals to give yourself some victories early on in the year to keep yourself interested, motivated, and working towards your ultimate goal.

Don’t give up.  It’s almost become a trendy, funny thing to admit to in a group of people when talking about New Year’s resolutions, that last year you made a resolution to do XYZ and didn’t even make it to January 3 before you cheated/gave up/forgot/etc.  Hearing this doesn’t make me laugh or make me think the person saying it is clever.  It bums me out and makes me sad.  Sure, slip ups and out-and-out failures are going to happen, but giving up is a real shame.  It says that you don’t believe in yourself enough to keep trying.  DON’T GIVE UP!  There I go again with the all caps.  That’s how important this is.
So! I want to hear what your resolutions and goals are for this new year! Something that I find motivating is publicly announcing my goals and then using that motivation to reach them.  On Thursday I am going to share with you my fitness, food, professional, and personal goals and resolutions.  And then I’m going to check in with all of you in the first post of each month with how I’m doing.
Here’s the thing, though:  I don’t want to do this alone.  I want YOU to do it with me.  I would like you all to send me your goals/resolutions and I will share them here with the other readers – this can be anonymous or not.  Your choice.  I’ll email you at the end of each month and see how you’re doing and I’ll share each month’s progress here on the blog.
If you don’t want to be anonymous about it, tell me all about your 2012 goals in the comments or on my Facebook page.  If you do want to be anonymous, email me and I will hold your name in the strictest confidence.  We’ll come up with a saucy pseudonym for you and nobody will ever know your true identity when we do our monthly check in.
I’m looking for some interaction here, friends!  I want to provide as many people with a community of support as I can this year.  We can all meet our goals and have our resolutions last 12 months, and who DOESN’T want to be cheered for?
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

6 Comments

  1. Shannon H.
    January 3, 2012 10:26 am

    My goals for 2012 are to run 1300 miles for the year and to run my first marathon – the Columbus Marathon on October 21!

  2. Kelly
    January 3, 2012 11:15 am

    Hi Jillness,
    I think your idea of putting your goals out there is a great one. I think it is such good motivation. Here are some goals for upcoming year!
    Complete the 30-day Paleo Challenge (alongside some great friends) and really change my eating habits.
    Do a Crossfit WOD RX’d! (and finally do an unbanded Pull-up)
    Buy my dream car (I know this is silly but have wanted this for a while but always afraid to pull trigger)
    Luv ya Jillness and look forward to working toward our goals together!!
    Kels!

    • Jill
      January 3, 2012 11:19 am

      Great list, Kelly! Keep me updated with this and I’ll post your progress. I know you can accomplish these goals!!!! I have all the confidence in the world in you!

  3. Diane D.
    January 4, 2012 8:22 am

    Ok – here we go:
    Business Goals:
    – Get LadyFingers listed as a “Preferred Caterer” at 5 or more Pittsburgh venues
    – Provide catering to 15 new customers
    – Improve online exposure: Improve search engine placement by 50%; Double FB “Likes”; Double Twitter followers
    Personal Goals (fitness):
    – Keep shoulder and knee healthy while increasing CrossFit work output
    – Return to running by Spring
    – Return to push-ups and burpees by April 1
    – One lousy stinkin’ un-banded pull-up by July 1
    – 200+ lb deadlift
    – 100 lbs overhead
    Personal Goals (other health-related)
    – Cut out ALL sugar that has crept back into my diet
    – Use more sunscreen (particularly in garden and convertible)

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