Saturday, January 1, 2011

my alternative to making new year's resolutions...

Hi everyone. I'm spending some time on the south coast (of NSW) at my friend Susan's. I celebrated NYE with friends, food and wine...and as it does at this time of year, talk turned to resolutions.
I haven't made any resolutions for a few years (well not publicly anyway)...and I'm not about to start now. But, I'm a joiner and I know that there will be resolutions flying around all over the place (although we didn't admit to many last night...I suspect because we're all too old to bother!) 
But...I have an alternative to making a resolution or three. You see, I think resolutions set you up for failure. Why? 
Because they're almost always about dramatic change. Lose 15kg, quit smoking, get a better job, get fit, eliminate debt, run a marathon (never in a million years!), read 100 classic novels, renovate the entire house (completely inconsistent with eliminating debt, but it might get you fit!), reduce stress, learn a new language...and on and on it goes. A weight of expectation.
But doing nothing in 2011 is not an option, because there are things I need to get better at. Who knew!! :))
So...this is my solution...the achievement notebook. Alright then, a free notebook that came with a magazine years ago that's been sitting in a drawer gathering dust! I am reinventing it!
Yes there is satisfaction in writing a 'to do' list, crossing an item off when it's been done. I absolutely love lists for things I know will get done. But resolutions are different and if you're like me, all you'll see are the things that you haven't yet achieved. And that's where the achievement book comes in. It's still a list...but not a 'to do' list; rather an 'I've done that' list. Achievements. Big. Small. Or somewhere in between. Things that make you sit up straighter, smile (or if they're good enough...make you insufferably smug!)
I don't know whether it will pan out this way, and I'm certainly no psychologist, but I have the feeling that writing down a list of achievements will be somehow more satisfying than crossing items off a list...or satisfying in a different way...that's my theory anyway.
I've divided the notebook into sections...I'm absolutely no expert, but these are the things I want to focus on this year; this is what's important to me (at least at the moment!)...others might work better for you:
  • living a healthy life (and yes, of course weight loss, exercise, healthy eating etc will go in here, but so might thinking positively, meditating and rejecting toxic people);
  • improving my sanctuary...along with my sanity? (some renovations, tarting up the paintwork in a few rooms, making a lovely garden, whittling away at the mortgage, decorating);
  • nurturing my creativity (painting, knitting, sewing, crochet...and who knows what else; simply having a go);
  • learning lots (a few courses, writing practice, travelling, listening; and again, just trying something new);
  • loving well (caring about the right things, demonstrating love, supporting, growing); and
  • a reading list for 2011...that I've already started
Is this ambitious? Perhaps. But I'm placing no demands on myself here. I'm simply choosing to focus on certain parts of my life and recording my successes. A blank page will be nothing more than that, or perhaps it will just be an indication that I've chosen to focus elsewhere. But I suspect there will be no categories without at least one entry.   Yes, of course there will be some failures, but why focus on those? And I will still end up with a list, but everything on that list will have been achieved...and I think that will be fabulous :)
So here's to a wonderful 2011 for everyone. And what about you? Resolutions or not?


  1. Sounds perfect! I've chosen to do something similar - I think another problem with resolutions is that they're closed-ended - when you do lose that 10kg what are you meant to do? {um, probably work on putting it back on...} But goals? Oh, goals are lovely, open-ended and always inspire you to strive - what's not to love? xx

  2. Great idea Kerry. I am not into resolutions, I am more into little goals. I think we should always have something to strive for no matter how small or big, a small goal is always good, it keeps us moving. I always have in the back of my mind "the best laid plans o mice and men".
    Love the idea, and I must remember to write down the books I read this year. (Almost a resolution)

  3. I love it, love it, love it! I've also tweaked the whole 'resolution' thing and I've listed goals on my blog instead. I might have to steal your notebook idea though ;)

  4. OH i love that, an "i've done" list instead, awesome!! Enjoy the coast, love Posie

  5. Brilliant!

    I look forward to this time in 2012 when you can share some of your favourite achievements from this year.

    Felicity x

    PS Your notebook is a bit like my concept of the blog celebrating the positives as the year unfolds.

  6. I love your idea, Kerri. I also am not a fan of resolutions. I call mine "plans" and I rarely make them at the end of the year. I finish one and start another one. It's a continual, never-ending work in progress. Happy new year.

  7. I don't make New Year resolutions because I either fail or forget them altogether. I prefer to set myself achievable goals throughout the year. I think the notebook is a good idea. I like that.

    Happy New Year xx

  8. Happy New Year to you!

    I have so enjoyed your blog this year.

    I just noticed on your sidebar that you read Linda Holeman;s book the Linet Bird. I have read many of her books and have had her to my house for supper. My brother dated her for quite a while. She is so lovely and has travelled a great deal doing thorough reserach for her books.

    I am looking forward to reading your blog in 2011.

  9. Kerry, I love it! Your first list could have been written by me and as there is no way I would accomplish all those things I never make NE resolutions!
    Think I might try my hand at the achievements though.
    Hope you are enjoying the South Coast and that it has been dry and sunny for you
    Look forward to more lovely visits with you this year and maybe we can fit in a reality one! with the very best wishes for the New Year ~ Julienne

  10. A great positive attitude Kerry and I am with you! I don't tend to make resolutions but I do like to cross achievements off the list. I found an old list the other day and happily crossed nearly all items off before binning it (other items no longer relevant). So I will be making another achievable list to go on the fridge and I will keep my mental goals in my head - I believe we all need them. Happy New Year to you! ;-)

  11. Kerry..thats a fabulous idea and far more realistic..I LOVE IT!! In fact...I have a couple of little notebooks I have lying around that Im sure would make a great 2011 list of achievements book..thanks for the inspiration lovely. Happy New Year to you x

  12. When I do resolutions, I write them down and just use the word more: I want to write more, I want to exercise more, I want to have more fun. I'm concentrating on the last one. Seriously! Many thanks Kerry for your posts, especially the ones about your crafty achievements. I love them.

  13. Happy new year Kerry. Your achievement book reminded me of my "DONE" lists when the kids were little. I could never figure out where the day had gone with the first baby and then when the twins arrived, that I started writing down what I had done in the day. It is amazing when you do that, how much you actually realized you accomplished! Great idea! Must admit though, that all you crafty bloggers inspired me to write a list of Projects To Do in 2011 (most of which are half started)Hope you have a wonderful year that you share parts of it with us through your blog. love mary

  14. What a good idea! I like to think of "goals" rather than resolutions -- you know . . . aim high and be happy with what you achieve. Best of luck for a fabulous 2011.

  15. You're so clever Kerry, only you could write this way about resolutions. I like the idea of having positive statements to motivate. I've used only one word for each resolution, otherwise I might feel overwhelmed! Your list is perfect too..Happy New Year! Rachaelxx

  16. Hi there Kerry. Love this approach. I might just dig up an old notebook myself! I've got lots of time on this road trip to muse on the possibilities for achievements big and small. Happy hols! Deb

  17. Hi Kerry,
    Well, I think that you have got it spot on. I don't think that I have EVER made a New Year's Resolution even when I was young !! You are so right about the burden that you put upon yourself. Also, why does it have to be on January 1st ?!! Can't people lose weight in July ?!! haha
    Wiahing you a wonderful 2011, filled with joy, happiness and many special moments ( and lots of acheivements ). Thank you too Kerry for all of your lovely comments and support in 2010. Wih much love. XXXX

  18. Hi Kerry, what a good idea. I love it! Hugs to you for the new year. Emma.

  19. Congratulations on your blog giveaway win of the IKEA Beloved homes book, enjoy your break Kerry, love Posie

  20. This sounds like a great idea and will be so satisfying looking over all the achievements as you record them.

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