What’s your mid-year resolution?

Where you're going BLOG

Yogi Berra’s aphorism may be funny, but it rang true on December 31 as I pondered the year ahead. “What do I want to accomplish in 2014?” I asked myself. “And where do I want to go?”

Although the answers came immediately, I resisted making any grand resolutions. Instead, I decided to make one small, positive change every month.

I started in January by giving up sugar. In February I exercised every day. (Well, almost.) As the months passed I spent less time on Facebook, wrote more, and gave up drinking.

And you know what? I’m not one inch closer to my ultimate goal of being self-employed and living in Paris. But I’m much happier, a little bit healthier, and generally less itchy (May: all-natural skin care).

Although it sounds trite, making these small tweaks has had a profound impact on my sense of discipline and self-control. Even more surprisingly, it’s been easy: As it turns out, you can do almost anything for a month.

I’ve had some help, of course, in the form of a supportive (though perpetually amused) husband — and a simple little app called “Streaks.” Maybe I’m a bit daft, but I find it terribly motivating to watch those “x” marks accumulate each month.

June Streaks no booze

I’ve also found it terribly reassuring to see that the occasional small lapses happen (*ahem,* big giant wedding) … and that they’re not the end of the world. When you see 20 days of success, it’s easy to overlook the two “failures.”

But perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned a lesson about setting goals: Even the most lofty ambitions are achieved step by step, one day at a time. Maybe that’s how I’ll end up self-employed and living in Paris.

Anyway, today we’re officially halfway through 2014. What’s your mid-year resolution?


    • Brilliant comment as usual, Xpat! You’re right, of course: It’s all in how you look at it. Never mind my silly month-olutions, then. I’m back to floating “accidental-like on the wind,” à la Forrest Gump. (Big grin.)

  1. I love this post and I really admire the way you tackle (if I can use that word) your resolutions. They say it takes 21 days to start a new habit. So I think you are spot on with your monthly goals. I have another friend who writes down monthly goals, and somehow they seem much more achievable than trying to do it all at once. I just need to start now, I kinda gave up on making resolutions as I often seem to fail miserably. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. This is really cool that you wrote about this. I have been thinking about it since you told me about it in person, wondering if an app might help me channel some of my wayward ways. Still not sure yet! I join your other friends and readers in thanking you for the inspiration.

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