That's it. If I see one more "challenge" out there I am going to vomit. Congratulations, 2014. You have somehow already ruined my love for the New Year. Oh sure, you started out harmless with your goal setting and good doing. However, everywhere I turn it seems there is a new challenge in place. Eat Right for 21 Days! Be a Better Mom Challenge! Fitness Challenge! Yadda, yadda, yadda. Stop. For the love of all things, just stop.
I know. How could I be saying all of this when I am a fresh start, goal listing, champagne cork poppin', New Year lover? Because with all of the challenges that have arisen over the past week, so have some posts about throwing your New Year's goals and resolutions out the window and how the "New Year's Resolution" is an outdated concept. At first, upon seeing these posts, I was like "Aw, hell no! I disagree!". And to some extent, I do disagree. Personally, I find nothing better than sitting down with my racing thoughts and picking out a few major "to-dos" that I want to tackle in the upcoming year. I've learned over time not to make my list too outrageously long or set goals that are unrealistic. I've also learned that if I don't get everything accomplished on my list that it doesn't make me a failure. I view it as my life prioritizing itself. If something doesn't get done after a couple of years on the list, it clearly wasn't that important to me. For example, in 2011, after a hellish day at work, I picked up a mini notebook. I started a "gratitude journal" to help remind me of the good things in my life. At first it was just to get me through a bad day. Then pretty soon I put this expectation on it to write in it every day. In 2012 and in 2013 it was on my list to use daily. I did awesome. Until June. Then it wasn't touched. Both years. I didn't even bother putting it on my list in 2014 because it will fail yet again. I know I'd rather focus my energy elsewhere.
These anti-resolution rants also reminded me of the efforts I've put into transforming my every day habits. They reminded me of why some things shouldn't be goals and rather they should just be part of YOU. Diet and exercise are things that you will not see on a goal list of mine ever again. Why? Because I have educated myself to make a lifestyle change that leads me to better health without being tied to a magic number. By making it my lifestyle, I don't feel guilty when I cheat. It's a choice that I am making in that moment. If my pants don't fit then I better make some better choices, stat!
Now, your head is probably spinning. "This lady doesn't know what she's talking about. Yes goals! No goals! Yes challenges! No challenges!" Let me bring it home for you. Here it is. Wait for it...
Goals are great but they may not work for everyone. Some people LIVE by the never ending "to-do" list just to cross things off. Others might not be like that. Regardless, you can't beat yourself up if you don't accomplish everything. Learn from it and move on. Challenges can work and create new habits. Some people need a target to shoot for and people around them to help motivate them. Others just do it without question. Regardless, you have to have the motivation to keep going once the challenge is up. I even hold my own Shaklee 90 Day Challenge! It worked for me. It worked for others. But the true test is after the challenge is up! Learn from it and move on. Make these things part of your every day life.