4 simple goals

New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation. Typically, they don’t last very long, and they leave us feeling defeated. After a few weeks we realize we aren’t losing weight or giving up the bad habit we denounced on January 1.

This year’s attempt was my most successful yet…I almost made it through February. I tried to make my resolutions easy to remember, and used tally sheets to keep track of my progress. My New Year’s resolutions were 3-2-1:

  • Work out 3 times a week
  • Try 2 new things every week
  • Make/craft/write 1 thing every week

The resolutions worked! I lost weight. I tried new foods, new routines and new lines of thinking. I made lots of bunting, cut out children’s book character silhouettes and wrote a few prose poems worth keeping. Other goals came and went as the year rolled on. Now we’re already two months away from 2014 and whatever fresh start it offers.

Last week I read this post from blogger extraordinaire, Elsie Larson, about setting four specific, but simple goals for the rest of 2013. I loved the idea, and am excited to give it a whirl. Here are my four goals for finishing the year well:

goal 11.) Do something beautiful, and keep it to myself. This sounds selfish at first, but let me explain. When I go on an awesome adventure, see a gorgeous sunrise or have a bright idea, my first thought is usually to publish it somewhere. When something is pretty I take a photo and post it on Instagram. When one of my students is genuinely sweet or absolutely hilarious, I start texting my friends about it right away. When I have a funny thought or stumble across a wise word, I start formulating it into a Tweet. It goes back to the old “if a tree falls and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound,” thing. If something beautiful happens in my life, and no one is there to be impressed with me, is it still beautiful? I think so. And that’s why this is my first goal.

goal 2

2.) Speak a little Spanish every night before bed. When I came back from Peru last spring, I was ready to move to South America and stay until my Spanish was as good as Shakira’s. I  bought Rosetta Stone with a few of my friends, and chico, was I into it! I don’t remember why I stopped, but I know that I’m ready to get back in the saddle. Me llamo Mallory y yo quiero practicar Espanol.goal 3

3.) Drink juice every day. My brain has plagued itself with guilt over my eating habits for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved food, with a particular fondness for the foods that are the worst for me. I remember doing the South Beach Diet as a 14 year old and seeing results, but thinking, “there is literally no way I can do this forever.” Usually my attempts at healthy eating fail, and then the guilt becomes even worse. Lately I’ve been learning about the emotions and spirit behind my diet/guilt cycle, and I don’t think this is a good time for me to jump headfirst into my 45th round of Weight Watchers. So for my health goal I want to keep it as simple as possible. I will drink juice once a day. Vitamins are good. Juice has those. I am picky about the fruits I eat. Juice is made of fruit, without the scary textures and seeds and stuff. See? Simple. goal 44.) Check Instagram no more than five times a day. This is the goal I am most embarrassed about, but I started it today and am already noticing a difference. Social media is scary for a lot of reasons (the way we compare ourselves to others/our need for constant affirmation/false senses of community/diminished real-life social ability/etc.), but my reason for setting this goal is a simple, practical one. I have other stuff I need to do instead!! I check Instagram on my phone incessantly during the day. I use it to check in with friends from around the world, people I admire and musicians who inspire me. I follow my favorite bloggers, people from high school and friends who post pictures of their adorable babies. As much as I enjoy it, I know this sucks up wayyyyy tooooo muchhhh of my spare time. I sit down to start my assignment for grad school and scroll through IG for 25 minutes. I pull in the driveway at 10 p.m. and end up chilling in the dark car for 15 minutes marveling at the fun my friends are having. I have so much to do, and my time management skills are so poor, this goal is going to be important. I can already tell.

So those are my goals, and hopefully I’m sticking to them! I’ll post again sometime soon with an update. If you see me in the meantime, ask me how they’re going 🙂 I could use the accountability I’m sure.

xo, Mallory

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