Resolutions 2016

Show, don't tell.

Instead of resolutions, I’ve been adopting mantras for each year, and monthly mini-goals throughout. I find that my focus tends to shift, and things that once seemed important — say, scanning in all my child’s preschool artwork — takes a back seat to other goals over time.

So, let’s see how I did with my monthly 2015 goals, shall we? Perhaps I’ll look at these results and decide that one monthly focus is sufficient, rather than the three I tried to accomplish.

From January through April, I successfully wrote over 1000 words per week.

I lost 1.8 pounds during the month of January (more than my goal of 1.3 lbs), but actually gained in February. I ramped things up and lost 2.6 pounds in March, but fell short of losing the two pounds I’d hoped for in April.

In all of the first quarter of 2015, I only scanned one piece of Connor’s artwork. In April, I thought I’d just enter his artwork into a spreadsheet, but I didn’t manage that, either.

Come May, I was busy with gardening and planning our annual Memorial Day Shindig and whatever else, so I didn’t set myself any specific goals outside of writing 1000 words per week. I fell short half the time.

I set myself new goals in June: write 1000 words per week, meditate three times per week, and be intentionally active for 150 minutes per week. I met three out of four weeks of the writing goal, two out of four weeks of the activity goal, and meditated exactly twice in the first week before I gave up on that.

I let go of my attachment to the meditation goal (see what I did there?) and backed off of the activity goal for July, opting to shoot for 100 minutes of intentional activity. That translates to two classes at the work gym, plus a short walk on my own. I missed by 10 minutes one week, but made the rest  I also missed my 1000 word per week goal one week, and missed my new goal of posting a photo to the blog one week.

Come August, it felt like I was ramping down my expectations even more. I lowered my weekly word goal to 600 (and called that OK, since I only missed a couple weeks by 50 words or so), I missed my activity goal in a big way, and my updated photo goal — to post one test roll per week to my blog, to catch up on my backlog of film camera tests — I only met half the time.

September saw an uptick in my writing and photo posting — I met my 600 words and one test roll every week — but my attempted new third goal of cleaning regularly around the house died a quick death, even after an attempted revision. October saw me continue my writing streak, for the most part, and I only missed my weekly photo post once. My third goal for October was to get sweaty exercising once a week, and I managed that half the time.

I really started phoning it in come November: met my writing goal half the time, my photo post goal half the time, and my new Early to Rise goal for just one week. December was just a wash, with me reducing to two goals — write for 10 minutes three days a week and get to bed before my average bedtime — and not even tracking them after the second week of the month.

So, what does this painfully detailed review of my monthly goals tell me? First, I can only concentrate on one or two goals at a time. A third will usually fall by the wayside. Second, it does work out for me to pick different goals as my priorities change over time.

So, what will I choose as my one or two goals for January 2016? I still need to think about that.


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