Sunday, January 1, 2012

You May Fail, Be a Resolution-ary Anyway

From one of my Facebook friends, love it though a little more to it...
Many people get divorced and many others drop out of college. Did either of these facts affect your decision to ultimately get married or attend college? Each of these endeavors need to be taken seriously but the potential benefits, for many, out weigh the risk. I feel the same way about New Years Resolutions, why pass up an opportunity to experience something because many people, possibly you in past years, didn’t see things through?  Two years ago, I started my pro-resolution campaign with 
In Defense of Resolutions and feel there’s even more anti-resolution propaganda now to fend off.

Last year in Doomed Resolutions (and how to improve them) I talked about some mistakes in revolution setting. If you make the same resolution every year, you may want to rethink it. Let’s take the clich├ęd but often needed weight loss goal. If for, as far as you can remember, you’ve declared on January 1st you would loose 20 pounds, some suggestions:
  • Be More Modest with Goal Setting (and in life), aim for 5 to 10 pounds, anything more is icing on the cake or a sign you’ve had less cake. The truth is, progress is progress and if it seems too far away anyone can get resolution-fatique.
  • A+B+C+D= Weight Loss. Focusing on losing weight is akin to spending all your time saying, “I wish I had a job” versus rewriting your resume, networking or maybe working with a headhunter.  Maybe setting a TV limit or eating fewer take out meals or seeing a nutritionist will you help you with your weight. Sorting out the steps is as valuable as any goal you can set.
  • Make Resolutions Positive. Carolyn was asked in this WebMD article about her resolutions and her suggestion was to give resolutions a positive, proactive slant.  One of her resolutions is to cook once a week with her sisters. I’ve talked about cooking goals in Cooking Homework. Other positive goals are to eat more fish, experiment with greens you haven’t tried or to drink more tea.
  • Focus on the Health Component. Sometimes, I know it’s shocking, vanity isn’t enough stimulate behavior change. Whether it’s osteoporosis, infertility or cancer prevention your diet and exercise play a role. Changes you make in the name of health or chronic disease will likely have longevity.
The Wall Street Journal had an interesting idea. They suggested “outsourcing” resolutions. Give it a try; in our family the consensus was that my husband needed to leave us all waiting less/be more punctual. For Myles or “Prince Myles” we felt he could do more on his own. Weston could benefit from crying less when his brother upsets him and the shocker was that the family felt “Mom should yell less.” And that’s the danger with asking others what they feel you should work on. Their answers, though truthful, may sting.

I loved an interview I read recently in Yoga Journal. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon Athletica and huge goal proponent said, “to make goals effective you have to fail at them 50 percent of the time.” We should all keep Steve Jobs in mind as we ring start the New Year. Remember Steve and all he accomplished and remember he was a college dropout. Happy New Year.
Where do you stand with resolutions? What do you think of outsourcing them? Any you want to put out there? I’ll check back with you and see how you’re doing.


  1. Great post for the new year. I wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

  2. thanks Ayala, can't wait to read more poetry from you this year. My first comment of 2012 from you, a good sign.

  3. I am not too hot on resolutions. Most I ever read from others are about fixing things. That to me is a negative cogitation. Instead, I prefer setting goals or just listing what I want to achieve this year. I have never like the 'I must be better' approach.

    Not sure how I feel about outsourcing them. All you can really do is let someone know you dislike something or have an issue, and it is then up to them to decide if they want to do something about it. Most times, when people have decisions or goals put upon them, it does not work too well.

    Some of my goals?
    To weigh 175lbs on 12/31/12
    Increase the amount of water I drink
    Visit even more festivals and events in VA than I did in 2011
    To be debt free by end of 2012

    2012 is going to be a great year :)

  4. Bzybee, I agree about 2012, especially for you because you're off to a good start. I guess I don't see so much of a difference between goals and resolutions. Some goals can seem negative "skip sweeteners" or "quit smoking" but I am actually ok with these if they work for the person setting them. As for outsourcing, I feel only ok if someone asks for your help. Good luck and keep it up.

  5. I haven't set any resolutions for 2012 yet but I do want to sit down and think about what things I would like to accomplish in the next year.
    One thing that comes to mind is I want to transition more of the foods I buy to organic. All of the produce I buy is organic but I want most of the foods I buy to be organic.
    Happy New Year!!
    I've really enjoyed reading your blog over the past year...
    I added you to my favorites page because, well you are one of my favorites lol =)

    I haven't seen a picture of your husband yet so you'll have to post one in 2012!

  6. I've never heard the term "outsourcing resolutions" but it sounds good to me-just a little nervous about what everyone would come up with for mine. *yikes*

  7. I actually quite like making goals and resolutions. Yeah, I might not keep them...but I like the act of thinking about how my life might improve. Happy New Year!

  8. I read the same article in the WSJ and I like the idea. I'm working on serenity this year by:
    -spending more time in silence
    -being outdoors
    -focusing less on life's irritations
    -narrowing my list of obligations

    I've got my fingers crossed! Thanks for your wonderful blog.

  9. I like the tip that A+B+C+D= Weight loss. It makes a lot more sense to focus on the steps to lose weight instead of just saying, "I will weigh ___ pounds by ____ date." I think it's a good idea to get input and support from your loved ones, but I'll set my own resolutions thank you! Great blog.

  10. I love your comparison of losing weight to having a job. Like you said, you have to think A+B+C+D. Great idea!

  11. I love the "outsourcing resolutions" method although I fear that it may be brought up that "mom" yells a lot in our household also!
    Happy new year Lauren!

  12. Thanks for sharing this post. Wish you happy New Year. One should make some resolutions and work according to them.

  13. Sam, it may be a mom hazard/the yelling. Kristen- I think focusing on the specifics is always good. Steph- you don't want your family telling you how to change (kidding)? Caron- good list thanks for all your insight as well, glad we "met". Stephanie- I'm with you and would have had a feeling you were a goal gal. Karen- outsourcing dangerous but potentially helpful I think. And thanks Lisa, you're one of my favorite blogs as well have to update my list.

  14. Great post. I have a love/hate relationship with resolutions. I Just hate it when people say this; "I'm going to start my weight loss resolution on January 1st". AHHH, I hate that! I heard it way too many times this year, it just bothers me. Other resolutions though, I love. I've got about 4 resolutions, written down in my binder, so I can look at them every single day.

  15. See I don't hate the weight loss 1/1 resolution b/c I think people just need insight into how to make this lasting (if they care), ooh so secretive about your goals Gina, not sharing? Respect that.

  16. I was with you till Chip Wilson...but I can overlook it. ;) This really is great advice!

  17. What's wrong with Chip, I checked no typo, do tell.

  18. Happy New Years Lauren! I have not made any formal resolutions, but most definitely have goals in mind...Get in at least 3 morning workouts during the week (I'm so not a morning exerciser, BUT...) and get my life more organized. I guess I should check with my kids and hubby to see what they think I need to work on too-I never yell at my kids, I just use my mean mommy voice with them sometimes. Ha! Looking forward to many more fun and thought provoking Foodtrainers posts in 2012!

  19. EA if you never yell at your kids you seriously don't need to work on a think, never? really?

  20. You are so real thanks for posting such use-full information

  21. I try, thanks so much. Not much bs here although speaking your mind a mixed bag. I'm sure if I outsourced to my family for another resolution they'd vote for mommy keeping some things to themselves.

  22. I prefer to make resolutions all year long instead of just at the beginning of the year. And I am pretty good about following through with most of them!

    My newest resolution is to visit NYC more often. And next time meet up with you again. I can't wait.

    Happy New Year Lauren!

  23. love the travel resolutions, enjoy Paris Ameena.

  24. Thank you Rebecca, I'll think of you as I de-pit my avocados. Love your video tutorials.

  25. I don't know him from Adam, but from what I've read I dont like him. Maybe the articles I read were slanted, but they say that he came up w/ name of company because how funny it sounded when all the Japanese tourists tried to pronounce it. Also, he pushes Landmark on his employees. Lastly, objectivism and yoga are like oil & vinegar in my book.

    I love the clothes & wish I'd never heard any of this.

    The quote is a good one! And I love your article.

  26. Happy New Year, Lauren! I don't do resolutions, but I tried the 3 words concept from Chris Brogan last year and again this year and it seems to work for me. My husband on the other hand would LOVE the resolution outsourcing...he would love that a little too much I think. :)