In Italy we say that whatever you do the first of the year, you will be doing the whole year. Which I guess explains why most people choose to spend their New Year’s eve having fun with friends and loved ones, eating and drinking and generally being up to no good, and then New Year’s Day eating some more and chilling (read: recovering from all the above.)
Then on day 2 of the New Year, we rush to get started on our New Year Resolutions – because clearly, when it comes to being productive, the 2nd of January is the official start of the year.
That, or most people would rather take the chance that they won’t get the resolutions done, rather than taking the chance that they won’t be having fun with friends, partying, drinking and stuffing their faces. Yeah, I know, DUH.
Still, even for those of us who have a hint of type A, control-freak, slightly-OCD-and-neurotic-but-only-in-the-slang-sense type tendencies, New Year Resolutions are a tough cookie. The tough part comes not in making them, but in actually making them happen. ’cause let’s be honest, fairly often our list of new year resolutions ends up being more or less a battle plan for the first week of the year; or if you are feeling virtuous, the month of January.
Soooo… let’s enlist some help shall we?
When tackling lifestyle changes or any kind of new habit, having a support network is one of the best ways to increase our chances of success. Being part of a group of people means you can motivate and empower each other, and that you feel held accountable so you are less likely to slack off.
One of my favorite initiatives of this kind is the Love Your Body Challenge, created by Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up; this challenge goes from New Year’s Day to Valentine’s Day, and it targets, among other things: self-esteem, nutrition (finding a healthy medium is so challenging, isn’t it?), making exercise a regular part of your life (without becoming obsessive) and so forth.
If you want to take it one step further, or simply feel that you need a brief respite from daily life to recover from the holiday excesses, you can take the Free 3-Day Detox from Food Matters:
or if you are a seasoned pro and just need a good jumpstart to get going again, maybe you’d like to tackle the 21-Day Challenge from Kristina of FullyRaw:
Then there is the New Year, New You Online Summit from Village Green Network, which covers a bit of everything, from fitness to inspiration, from health to money saving tips and lots of stuff in-between:
Let’s change gears: if your new year’s resolutions revolve around being better organized, you might like the 2014 challenge from Pretty Well Organized, which breaks things down into monthly and weekly goals, so you can handle everything step by step!
If your resolutions involve being more creative, check out the MCP Photo a day Challenge for 2014:
And finally, my favorite and the one I recommend everyone take: The Goodreads2014 Reading Challenge:
It really doesn’t matter if you read classics, chick lit, YA or romance novels, of if you are addicted to Anita Blake or “For Dummies” manuals – reading is good. Some would argue that you really need to read classics for it to be worth your time, but I believe that anything that gets us away from the screen and onto the page (so to speak) is a good thing and you should go for it. My goal is set at 40 this year. What is yours?
Whatever your resolutions and your intentions for this year, I wish you lots of long-lasting motivation, energy and enthusiasm in your challenge!*
And to steal from a beloved work of fiction, May the odds be ever in your favor
*And please, please don’t let the fact that some of these challenges are already underway deter you from participating! Jump in, grasshoppers!