Every single one of my New Years Resolutions have already been derailed, in the first six weeks of the year.
My resolutions weren’t anything revolutionary or out of the ordinary. Not even all that difficult really, with the exception of that 33 grams of fat thing (multiple sources recommending this as a means of preventing a cancer re-run). That one is REALLY difficult.
- Exercise daily
- Become skilled at yoga
- Keep daily fat intake under 33 grams per day
- Eat 7-9 servings of vegetables per day
- Take at least one picture every day
- Get my house organized, and keep it looking nice
So what’s going on? Why can’t I stay on track with these relatively simple and straightforward changes? Well, aside from the fact that I’m a full time student, and I have a toddler that climbs on me like a monkey all her waking hours, and I’m still recovering from 2nd degree radiation burns over half my torso, I’ve had a few writing gigs lately as well as some other opportunities to learn and gain experience doing exactly what I want to do for a living. Mama’s been a little busy. Maybe, for starters, I over-committed myself. Maybe I need to give myself a break.
So what to cut? Most of the items on the list above are recommended to prevent a recurrence; the house, well that just needs to get done. Obviously I can drop the picture a day idea, but that leaves 5 things – major changes for a 15-hours-a-day-on-the-computer-while-eating-junk-food type of girl like me. Bear in mind that the vast majority of the computer time is spent on school.
I read a wonderful article a few weeks ago about creating sustainable change in our everyday lives. I really wish I could remember where I read it; I would give the author some link love here. The article stated that in order to make a real and lasting change, we need to make one change at a time, make it really stick, before adding the next change. Over the course of the year, devoting 6 weeks or more to each individual change, we can create sustainable change in several areas with a much higher degree of success than the “I’m going to change everything all at once” approach.
Change is not something you do once and then get on with your life. It takes practice. You fall down and then you get back up again. Over and over and over and over again.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to decide to make a change, but I’m not going to change everything at once. I’m starting with the eating 7-9 servings of vegetables per day, and if I don’t hit my goal one day, I’ll keep trying the next day. Once I’ve built a practice of eating vegetables, I’ll add working out every day. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to exercise between now and when I start working on that resolution, it just means that the focus on habit building for that particular change will be delayed.
I’m still a bit overwhelmed by the amount of kitchen time eating that many vegetables will take. I’m now accepting applications for volunteer prep cooks if you’re interested in chopping vegetables.