I've never been much for New Year's resolutions. I think the NYR hype is a huge commercial conspiracy on the part of the fitness industry to get us to feel super-guilty about ourselves...so that we purchase new shoes, workout clothes, diet food, gym memberships, etc...
Now that I've got that little bit of cynicism out of the way, let me also state that while I chafe at the idea of new year resolutions, change in general is a very good thing, and desirable.
On our recent drive through the Deep South, this theme of change was the very topic of conversation between my husband and I. We developed a couple of general goals for the month of January (as opposed to the whole of 2012).
1. Spend less.
2. Get in shape/Feel less tired/Lose Weight
3. Live with purpose
Perhaps you see the problem already with these resolutions: too vague, too general. If we stopped here, we're already set up for failure. After all, if Spending Less were as easy as just writing it down or saying it out loud, we'd all be doing it, wouldn't we?
So, now, let me include the specific steps for each goal.
1. Spend less
a. No grocery shopping at Walmart (we seem to always buy more than just food when we go here)
b. Use cash (withdrawn every month) for groceries and restaurants (this is our biggest downfall...we eat out a lot, and now, if we've only pulled out a certain amount of cash for that purpose, maybe we'll be wiser about choosing when to go)
2. Get in shape/Feel less tired/Lose Weight.
a. "One Plate Rule"
b. Plan easy and simple (I may think I want to fix some elaborate three-course meal, but with four kids, crazy schedules something flow smoother if the evening meal is spaghetti and marinara sauce).
c. Theme meal nights (i.e. pasta night, soup night, etc.)
d. Keep a visible record of daily exercise (will hopefully facilitate accountability)
3. Live with purpose.
a. No electronics (laptops, cell phones after 7 pm - to better facilitate people interaction)
b. More people time, more interactions
c. Constantly question (why am I on Facebook right now? What is need?)
d. Refrain from doing things because "we always do them)
Of course, this isn't failproof. Maybe it even isn't doable. But, we'll never know until we do it, will we?