Resolving to continue to do well next year

The end of the year–the darkest days–feels like a time when we’re supposed to feel bad about ourselves. Lose weight, eat better, find a new job. Pack away those Christmas lights, too, while you’re at it. New year, new you. Because whatever you’re currently doing isn’t working, you flawed human.

But here’s a thought: What if the you isn’t that bad? Or, actually, is pretty great? What if there are some things you’re currently doing that are worth continuing into the new year and beyond?

Of course I have goals for the upcoming year (and I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t accomplish them. In fact, I just checked out my goals for 2017 and I most certainly did not accomplish my goal of doing five non-assisted pull ups. Pretty sure that I can do one at the moment–maybe two.) But this year I’m also going to make a goal of continuing the good habits and practices that I’ve been doing for the past year and longer. Not because I want to dismiss the good things I’ve got going on, but so that I can acknowledge the work I do almost every day to be my best self and continue the momentum.

I resolve to continue to do the following things in 2018:

Go to the gym regularly. Sure, I could go more often, but I’m already at four days a week–sometimes five–in addition to daily-plus walks with the dog. I’m getting exercise–cardio, weight training, core workouts–and I feel better, physically and mentally, for this work. And that’s pretty great. I’ll stick to my schedule. Speaking of the gym…

Listen to podcasts during exercise. I used to be a music person at the gym or while running, and have multiple Spotify playlists to assist with distracting myself from the pain and boredom that can come with staring at yourself in the mirror while doing a bicep curl or cranking on the elliptical. Anything but the right kind of music (*cough* Lady Gaga) wouldn’t motivate me, but after feeling engaged during a recent run with a politics-focused podcast, I’ve changed my tune.  Exercise time is an opportunity to feed my brain so I’ll continue to do so.

Back away from social media. Like many other humans, I crave the instant gratification and endorphin rush that comes with checking Instagram or Twitter. I’ve deliberately stopped using Facebook (and would walk away altogether if it weren’t for that I have to use it for my 9-to-5) and have forced myself to do something else–or the task at hand–when I’m feeling bored. Scheduling time to engage rather than defaulting to whatever I find on the internet when I’m trying to avoid something else is just a smarter use of my time. 

Make better grocery shopping choices. I’ve known for a while that agribusiness/a lot of commercially raised meat products aren’t great for the environment in a variety of ways, but I justified the purchase with my lacking income. However, the time has come to do better. I can make room in my budget for higher quality, local, and more ethically raised meat, eggs, and produce, and I’ve been doing so in the past few months. Somewhat related…

Use the slow cooker. I know. I rolled my eyes at the slow cooker for a long time because a lot of recipes I encountered turned out mediocre, overcooked food. I love to cook but I need more time to do the work and creative projects on my plate–and I’m not going to find that extra time by paying for prepared food that I could make it at home. So, I’m going to continue to search for high-quality and healthy slow-cooker recipes that will save me time but deliver a good meal that will last for days.

What about you? What habits and practices are you doing that you’re going to continue into the new year? Or do you have resolutions you aim to accomplish in the new year?

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