3 minute read

IGNITE February 2019

What to do about your failed New Year’s resolutions

Forget about it. You are already great. You don’t need to change anything. Anyone who says otherwise is just jealous. Haters gonna hate.

Sign up for a luxurious retreat to reach that goal. One week of yoga, silence, meditation. Preferably one in Costa Rica, Hawaii, or at least a nice Hilton. It’s unlikely you can maintain any practice learned at this retreat when your daily life takes over. But, you will leave feeling refreshed and hydrated. I can picture your beautiful Instagram photos and am ready to click “like.”

Stop making New Year’s resolutions and start making shorter-term goals throughout the year. Make an action plan with small, attainable goals and be flexible and forgiving with yourself. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else.

According to ABC Action News, the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2019 are, in descending order of popularity: Exercise more and lose weight, save money, make new friends, get a new job or hobby, find love, travel.

Let’s address each of these vague and unattainable goals that only lead to heartache and disappointment without measurable achievements.

I am not a financial planner, personal trainer, or life coach and have no other expertise in these areas. Yet, I too make unattainable, unrealistic and perfectionist goals for myself on a regular basis that I have to tamp down with the hammer of reality. In the end, I usually make progress towards my goals. However, I have never mastered two additional languages. I am not always nice to everyone. I spend money frivolously more than I should.

Let’s be honest though, that coffee I’m not supposed to buy makes me happy, and I can still buy my lavender mocha from Rockford Roasting Company occasionally without going into bankruptcy.

Exercise and Lose Weight

Just going to the gym for 20 minutes and walking on the treadmill is a victory. Doing a new exercise class that leaves you sore for a week is an accomplishment. Take small steps. Sign up for the YMCA, Orange Theory, or whatever place fits you and your budget. If you never went to the gym before, go once a week. If you don’t want to join a gym, walk for 20 minutes over your lunch break. You aren’t on a reality show and shouldn’t expect yourself to become a buff, lean, exercise machine in a month or a year. Just keep doing you and keep trying.

Save Money

Consult online resources to budget, download an app like Mint or talk to a professional financial planner. Review your expenses each month to see where spending can be cut. Looking at your account and budget can be like actually paying attention to those screen time reminders on the iPhone. I get it, Apple, I spent 1.3 more hours a day on my phone, but there were a lot of cat and otter videos to watch on Instagram this week. Leave me alone. It’s okay to be the friend who wants to cook a cheap meal at home with your friends versus going out. I don’t know anyone with the last name Joneses, so don’t try to keep up with them by purchasing things you do not need.

Make New Friends

As an adult, making new friends often feels like the first day of kindergarten. You aren’t sure: who anyone is, why you are there, and why you aren’t at home with your mom. Now that you are an adult you should know, everyone is just as selfconscious as you, and you are not that awkward. The key is to get out there and talk to people. Find events where people have common interests. That could be a pottery class, volunteer event, running group or any other event where strangers are thrown together.

Get a New Job or Hobby

■ Set aside time to work on your applications each week.

■ Sign up for a class, join a sports team or a volunteer organization.

Find Love

I have no advice about this. Let love find you. You are enough. Otherwise, options seem to be meet people in real life or on the Internet. Godspeed.


Do you have three weeks’ vacation time, but feel bad leaving work? Stop it. Vacation is good for you or at least some credit card commercial told me that recently. You don’t have to go far to take a day off. Take the day off to snowshoe at Rock Cut. Leave work early and get your friends a coveted table at Prairie Street Brewhouse’s Dinner on the Dock.

Probably just do that last one, thanks.