Resolution fun, and a book for you

I love making resolutions, but I always make them on a monthly time scale instead of for the whole year. And also they aren’t pass/fail – I give myself a grade, incorporating how hard it was and how well I did. My blog actually only existed to document resolutions for a while, but then I got pregnant with Eliza and have been mostly derailed for the past two years.

In college, one of my best friends and I used to come up with food challenges – that’s where this started. We would give up or add a specific food item or class of foods, for just a month. So, I’ve given up diet coke for a month, or given up cheese, or added in vegetables at every meal. That sort of thing. It wasn’t a means to an end, really – we weren’t trying to lose weight or even specifically change our habits forever – it was just fun. And while it wasn’t a stated goal, it helped us behave more intentionally in general – like, I am a huge mindless eater, and it made me pay more attention, even just a little bit, to what I was eating. Which is a good thing for me, but also just fun.

So over the past five ish years, I expanded the game to include behavioral stuff too – like one month, I wasn’t allowed to use my smart phone in social situations. That was a fun one! The month I found out I was pregnant with Eliza, I was in the midst of exercise month – I was working out before work four days a week. That one was HARD, but I did it.

Anyways, I’m trying to pick the habit back up again, but I’m doing littler things than I used to. I have some good friends who are playing along, and we just had a “how’d January go?” chat (yes, even though there are still several days left, whatever, you’re not the boss of me), and it was really fun. My January goals were:

1. No more starbuck’s froofy drinks – I’m giving myself an A, because I haven’t had any, but it ended up being way easier than it would have most months, due to life craziness. We didn’t take any of our usual weekend walks to Starbucks, so it didn’t even come up until Sunday, and I aaaaalmost got one just because I would still have gotten a good grade for the month, but that didn’t seem in the spirit of my intention.

2. 2+ chores every day – I have no idea. I know I have done chores, but I haven’t been paying any more attention that usual, and didn’t even print out a new chore chart for the month, so I think I get a big fat F on this one.

I also have some annual goals that I made reasonable headway on:
1. Cook 12 recipes - I know I did at least this one, and it was delicious (have had it 3x this month!).
2. Exercise 100 times – I hit 5, which is low, but I didn’t want to do it at all, so I’m giving myself a pat on the back anyways.
3. Go on six family adventure – we went to Denver, which I’m counting, even though Kevin had to work the whole time.
4. Blog more – Well, ok, nope.
5. Read 30 books - I read three:
The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman – A dear friend gave this to me for Christmas, because it’s her favorite Christmassy book. It’s a YA novel set at Christmas time, and it’s just a very sweet and funny and well-written romance.
A Dance for Three – Same author, but the subject is teen pregnancy and mental health, so a bit heavier. It was still pretty good, but not as light.
The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning – I won Miriel’s contest for this book, which was pretty exciting – giveaways are fun! So this book is by a prominent Catholic blogger, Simcha Fisher, and it’s about NFP, and the struggles and unexpected gifts inherent to that practice. As a non-Catholic, I found that Miriel was right – as long as I approached it “in the spirit of quiet truth seeking,” there was a lot of useful info about love and communication, good food for thought. In fact, go read Miriel’s post on the book, and if you’d like to read it, leave a comment here. And on Fridayish, I’ll pick someone and pass it on.

I am still deciding on my February goals – I have limited free time and attention span these days, as Hazel is still cramping my preferred sleeping style, so I don’t want to set myself up for failure. So, I don’t think it’s the right month for me to stop swearing, which was evidently the goal I had picked for February last month. I’m thinking about bringing my lunch to work every day, and maybe a budget goal – reduce our shopping category by 25%? I’m not sure yet. But it’ll be fun!

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12 Responses to Resolution fun, and a book for you

  1. Despite not looking for family planning advice, uh not looking to get pregnant in any foreseeable future, the love and communication information sounds intriguing. Count me in.
    On the other side, I think monthly goals are helpful and fun. I am already going to try to blog every day in February and maybe I will pick a few other areas to focus on too.

  2. Jesabes says:

    Ooh, I still want to read that book.

  3. Julie says:

    I love the idea of smaller, more manageable goals, especially ones that aren’t so all or nothing. I need to try this.

  4. Miranda says:

    So you’ve been holding out on that recipe, huh? Jerk.

    • admin says:

      I actually got it from Jess (DAMMIT), so I’m pretty sure it’s her fault, according to the … that math thing, commutative property or some such. Whatever. Jess’s fault. (No but really, it’s delicious, but we cooked the chicken longer, like 35-40 minutes. Oh but one time, we cooked it TOO long, and, well, chicken breasts, so it wasn’t as good.)

  5. Margaret says:

    Loved Miriel’s review and still wanting to read this!

  6. Anne says:

    I love this! I should do some February goals. #copycat

  7. Melissa D says:

    I want to read that book too!

  8. I love the monthly goals. They seem much easier and breezier. A couple of years ago, I gave up sweets one month and then alcohol another month. The Starbucks goal is one I need to try, and I am sure I can come up with some others!

    The book sounds interesting – especially for the love and communication points.

  9. Betsy says:

    I read that as you wanted to exercise 100 times in JANUARY and thought, “Damn, Susie is hardcore.” I’ll be over here adding “improve reading comprehension” to my resolutions. :)

  10. Dinsdale says:

    I love the idea of monthly goals. I thought about trying it this year, but it’s the 29th and my resume is nowhere near updated, so I think I’ve failed at month one! Maybe I’ll adopt your grading system, so even if I get an F this month I can improve my GPA later in the year.

  11. Purdy Bird says:

    Oh! Pick me!

    I’ve been toying with giving up diet coke. I have it rarely so it doesn’t seem so hard but when I do have one, its because I really, really, really wanted it and its delicious so it seems sad to abstain from an occasional treat anyway.

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