Blogversation 2012: Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.

I like using the calendar as a prompt in my life. I’m a big fan of birthdays, and I think they can be a good opportunity — along with the new year — to assess where you’ve just been and where you want to go in the next year.

Obviously. Look at this list of past posts I’ve done about resolutions and goals:

My husband did this painting for me in 2010 as an artistic version of a vision board for my life. It hangs in our bedroom so I see it every night, and it reminds me of my life goals.

But it’s so easy to make a disposable New Year’s resolution and forget it almost before the champagne hangover has worn off. Maybe that’s because we set them too big — I’m going to get my novel published and make the New York Times bestseller list — or because we set them too vague — I’m going to get in shape and get healthy. Or maybe we just never meant them at all so we never put any intention behind it?

A while back I read some good advice from a favorite blog, Zen Habits: pick just one habit you’d like to start or quit and work on that change exclusively for two months. Then you can add another.

This spring, I decided I was going to practice piano every day. It’s not always easy, either because I’m busy or unmotivated, but I just made a commitment to make a habit. Once I had momentum on it, it seemed easier. Now John is used to me disappearing for a while after dinner, and will ask if we’re out at night, “Should we get home so you can practice?”

I haven’t set any new resolutions/goals/changes for 2012, though. Maybe because I’m still absorbing the lessons of tremendous transformation in 2011? Definitely have room for improvement — I just need to make my plan and stick with it.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not? Any 2012 aspirations you’d like to share?


Categories: career, lifestyle

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7 replies

  1. (Also posted on my blog, word.)

    I pretty much turn a blind eye to New Year’s Eve (see my post over at TIWTPITF as to why) but I do like to use the New Year to assess where I am in life, even if I don’t make official resolutions.

    This year, I was invited to a party where we would create vision boards. Now, I usually poo poo the woo woo, but I’ve been working hard to change some of my behavior and thinking. I have worked with a leadership coach for six years so I’m constantly thinking about change and vision. But I often keep things to myself, afraid to say out loud what I want for my life, for fear of appearing weak or incomplete or silly. Clearly, I haven’t been working “The Secret.”

    So I’m outing myself. This year, I’m resolving to work on relationships. Romantic relationships, that is. I’m 43, single, never been married. I want to change that. I want to create space so I can let in an amazing man and build an even more abundant, joyful life together. So instead of making a resolution to lose five pounds or work out more or spend less or do this or not do that, I’m working to be open and vulnerable. I’m resolving to let love in, to love myself, to let myself be loved. I think that resolution sort of covers it all.

  2. I don’t make them. Perhaps its because I have such a hard time in general with NY’s Eve. SO MUCH PRESSURE! OMG I can barely stand it. Maybe it’s because there is this feeling that every single person around you is having the most extraordinary time of their life that night! And that one day “if you are really lucky” you’ll get to finally have it too!

    And that’s the way January starts. All these people determined to “do it differently!” And I feel so undisciplined next to them all! It feels daunting. And rigid. And military like in the way it lands – so I wait it out. Til it’s quiet and less popular.

    And come the end of January I begin to ruminate on what “I want to create in this next year” for myself. I don’t call it Resolutions – as that sounds so serious. This way it’s filled with less expectation and more hope.

  3. Let’s face it, this is how New Year’s resolutions go for a lot of us: We set goals, we go after them, we run into a hard spot, we get isolated in that spot, we give up, and then we criticize ourselves for abandoning the dream.
    I think there’s a different way to go about goal-setting and goal-pursuing, and my idea of that alternative path emerged about fifteen years ago.

    I went to Barnes and Noble to listen to Barbara Sher, author of Wishcraft and other books about going after your dreams. During the evening, Barbara said something that stuck with me: “Isolation is the biggest dream-killer.” She encouraged us to start up Wishcraft groups with other folks in the audience. And so I did, with the woman sitting next to me. We formed a group that set goals and met every couple of weeks to keep each other on track.
    Ever since that experience, I’ve done goal-setting differently: I do it in the community of other people. Here’s some examples:

    • I started off this year by going to a Vision Board Workshop with a small group of people. It was so much fun and so inspiring to be in a room full of people who all selected magazine images and made gorgeous visual representations of what they wanted to bring into their lives in 2012. I walked away from the experience with my vision board, feeling so energized, happy, and less alone in my mind with my hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

    • Two and a half years ago, my friends and I started Creative Conversations, a group for women visual artists and writers who meet about every six weeks. We are a group of women who tracks each other’s hopes and goals, and our struggles and victories along the way. We cheer each other on and brainstorm solutions for times when someone runs into an obstacle, be it internal or external.

    Goal-setting and goal-getting is so much more enjoyable and energizing when done in the context of solid relationships with people who know you and want you to have all that is good in life. At this point in my journey, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

  4. I have one foot in the Colleen-camp “I haven’t set any new resolutions/goals/changes for 2012…maybe because I’m still absorbing the lessons of tremendous transformation in 2011?” and one foot in the Lesley-camp who is “practice[ing] daily being the type of person that I’d like to meet.”

    In 2011, I joined my family’s business, switched industries from government to agriculture business, adjusted my focus from project management to sales and marketing and moved from DC back to Wisconsin. And, I ran a half marathon and full marathon.

    The Lesley-camp “resolution” ties to my current mission statement where I strive to: “To be my best self and let life unfold.”

  5. This year I’ve pledged to keep two resolutions:

    The first is to write and publish a fashion-instruction curriculum and guide for pre-teen fashionistas. This means actually setting and sticking to a writing schedule. So far so good, but I need to do better. I love your example of practicing the piano daily and making a commitment to make a habit. Very powerful stuff!

    My second resolution is to practice daily being the type of person that I’d like to meet. The first two weeks of this felt odd (and were a little comical) but its a way to project myself into the future. I’m intentional about this shift practicing for an hour or an entire day. Smiling more, writing daily, being on time, showing extra love to family and friends and spreading positive energy when things are icky are just a few of the things that this new evolving “Lesley Ware” does.

    I’m hopeful that I can stick to these goals — my 2012 Resolutions. Having a public place to share makes them more concrete.

    It’s going to be hard to fail. I’m just praying for persistence.


  1. Blogversation 2012: Some highlights so far « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally
  2. Guest post from Zen Habits: The Three-Day Monk Syndrome « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally

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