It’s that time of year, when people look at the bright shiny new year and think “I must do something to improve myself”. This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing, but if you’re anything like me, it’s also the time when you make all these nice, shiny promises to yourself, knowing full well that you’re going to wind up breaking them as the year winds on.
It’s human nature to want to commemorate something new with some kind of improvement to their lives. Sadly, the power of habit usually wins – especially with me. I freely admit to being lazy (as I tell my co-workers, I want to do it once, right). I also admit that what passes for my mind has gone awol, and wherever the bloody thing is hiding it’s not doing any of the work I need it to do.
So, I’m not going to actually do any resolutions, as such. I’m going to try to do certain things. Like try to reduce the beached whale effect to something that’s less than 200lb. Ultimately, I should be somewhere around 175, but since it’s not that long since I saw under 220 for the first time in ages, I’m keeping it slow. That way I’m making new habits, not trying to break old ones (I’m a comfort eater, and a boredom eater. If I’m not completely involved in whatever I’m doing I’ll nibble non-stop, which can be bad because my body does not give proper “hungry” or “full” signals).
And try to write. This could be interesting if the alleged mind remains lost in whatever tropical paradise (I’m sure it’s enjoying the drinks with the little umbrellas. Bastard doesn’t even send postcards), but I need to push this or I’m going to feel even more like a fraud than I already do.
Try to convince Midnight, our very own basement cat with all the ebulz that entails, that it’s quite safe when the hoomins have one hand on either side. If I keep at it, I may even get to where he allows me to pick him up. He’s a purrer and a snuggler, but he does not do cuddles. Or being picked up.
I’m at the point where two hands are accepted without attempts to kill or flee (or both), but it’s slow going.
Try not to stress out to where I’m useless. Which is a big one for me – right now a stressful workday is enough that I’m wiped for the evening, and work is not going to stop being stressful for the sake of my energy levels.
I’m half tempted to add try to win the damn lottery if only so I can think about early retirement, but I know better. I won’t argue of something like that happens, but the chance of it is somewhere south of zero – and that’s with buying tickets.
Here’s to a good year and goals achieved, however large or small they may be.
Slow and steady works better. I’d hoped to lose weight this past year. I doubled my bench-press weight and more than doubled my dead-lift. I put on muscle and have not lost weight. So my 2020 goal is to lose weight. I’m a grazer, which is a problem when people send munchies to Day Job. They don’t send celery and fruit.
This. So very much this. We have a snack cube at work, filled with a variety of crisps, chocolates, pop-tarts and other such munchies. Every time I refill my glass of water, I’m faced with this collection of Things That Are Bad For Me.
Having to test my blood sugar was Good For Me. Because I kept on telling myself I needed two hours before I could test my blood sugar. (It carried over to the days when I tested at other times once it became a habit.)
My workplace has something similar – and even worse for me: Orange Juice. I view it as my daily (if I’m even in the office) willpower test. Every time I leave the breakroom with only what I went in there for, I give myself a pat on the back.
I don’t always get that pat, but the occasional bag of chips will not kill me; getting one every time I walk through just might.
Just a few days ago I attended a webinar on why New Year’s resolutions fail. According to the presenter, they lack three critical things:
1. They are not specific.
2. They are not measurable.
3. They are not on a timetable.
Typical resolutions are so vague and general that it’s easy to let them slip away as the excitement of the new year fades.
He also noted that most resolutions are about getting rid of a problem (losing weight, getting out of debt) or breaking a bad habit (quitting smoking, stopping wasting so much time on empty entertainment). Because the brain reacts more strongly to a loss than a gain, phrasing our resolutions in a negative way can set us up for self-sabotage by convincing the hindbrain that the very thing we’re trying to overcome is precious and must be clung to.
Yeah, been there, done that, broke the rules. Even when I set myself proper SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, Time-bound) I still end up breaking the things because I live in the universe of “everything else is more important”, helped ever so much by a work arrangement where everything is more important than everything else (which translates to you deal with the latest screaming panic, then try to get back to whatever you were prioritizing beforehand. Is it any wonder I come home brain-dead and don’t do anything?)
Kate, I’ve started telling myself “Put your own oxygen mask on first.” Because with kids and parents and husband, all needing more than any one person can give, it’s very easy to not take care of myself, and that means I have less and less to give.
Feel free to use it for yourself.
Understand about the “everything is more important than everything else” problem. I’m currently trying to get a whole bunch of projects lined up into some kind of order, because they’re all clamoring for my attention at once. I made a list, and immediately started thinking that one of the later items really ought to be moved to the top and gotten done right away. But the things that are being cut in front of are also important and need to be gotten done right away too.
It doesn’t help that I have a family member who, if I have five tasks that need doing and start on one, will immediately start trying to jockey another task in front of it. If I move to that task, assuming that it’s more important, this person will immediately start trying to jockey another task (not the one I set aside) in front. It’s like no matter which task I’m working on, this person wants Something Else done first. Not anything in particular, only that it be something I’m not currently working on. Pretty soon I’ve got a whole row of half-things in my wake and nothing accomplished except massive stress and frustration.
I’ve tried asking this person which thing is the most important thing, only to be told, “All of them are important.” Saying, “I didn’t ask whether, I asked which One. Singular. Thing. is the most important thing so I can do it first and get it done and then move on to the next task” either gets a repetition of the assertion that all the things are important, or silence. Trying to point out that I have only one me and cannot do everything simultaneously gets either annoyance or incomprehension.
I’m starting to wonder if this individual literally can’t hear what’s coming out of their own mouth and understand what an impossible situation they’re creating, or they don’t understand why it’s a problem. I do know that it’s absolutely crazy-making.
“It doesn’t help that I have a family member who, if I have five tasks that need doing and start on one, will immediately start trying to jockey another task in front of it.”
I have that too. I find “No.” works about as well as anything. If I’m already working on a request, and a new request is made every five minutes while I’m working on the first, I just say “No, not doing it, go away and come back when I’m done Task A.”
Sometimes there’s pouting, but I ask “do you want me to do A or not?” and the person concedes that yes, they still want A.
Some people want everything, all at once, right now. Me, I want a Lamborghini. They can have their everything when they bring me my Lambo. ~:D Until then, one thing at a time.
Hmmm….I have to deal with someone who thinks I can four things at the same time….
AKA a wife, 😎
“Oh, they are all of equal UNIMPORTANCE. Got it.”
Alternate, a To-Do or Priority list.
TOP ITEM: Kill any fools who refuse to prioritize.
(Try to avoid any actual killing.)
I resolve to continue on as I presently am until forced to change by the Universe. Because that’s what’s going to happen no matter what I say about it.
Could be worse, you know? I could have someone screaming at me that I lack commitment to my goals. I’ve seen that show before, and I have two middle fingers for that guy. ~:D
Kate, I hear you. I’m not making a list this year, but I am reviewing habits and changing some. Hopefully that will be more successful. Well, I will get to that as soon as I get through this trip with students and can get 5 minutes to breathe. I have three days until we fly home. I can’t wait.