Revisiting and finetuning new year resolutions and habits

by Sylvia

2013 resolutions
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I contemplated whether or not I should do a ‘resolutions’ article this year. As I mentioned last year I quite like the idea of living in the moment and the ‘no goals’ movement that is popular with some people. On the other hand it’s good to have some targets and I realised that I fell short on some of mine from last year. Since I feel that these resolutions could apply to many more of you I thought I’d post them again and fine tune them a bit for this year.

Another reason I decided to post them, is that I really love to get some idea of what your resolutions. So I hope you will share them with me!

Here are some of mine:

1. Do more strength exercizes

This is often mentioned as one of the most important things you can do to avoid being weaker in older age and as the prevention of osteoporosis. As I suspected I fell way short on this one. I’m not sure if I’m determined enough to succeed this year, but I feel I need to strengthen my back and am planning on doing more Pilates. Hopefully that counts?

2. Do regular yoga

As much as I have tried to really like yoga, I still find it tough exercize. Maybe it’s because the yoga studio I’m practising is just too good! They are very particular on doing each stance correctly and I have learned so much this year. But the downside is that it’s just plain hard work. I like the really relaxing yoga that just releases the stress. I realise, however, that this would be a real cop out as it wouldn’t actually help strengthen my body. Since I’m planning to do more Pilates than yoga this year, I have changed the ‘weekly’ to ‘regular’.

3. Eat less sugar

I changed this into a more specific resolution. I generally eat pretty healthy but the main culprit of bad habits in my eating is sugar, which I also wrote about in my article: how to quit sugar and stop sugar cravings. I believe that too much sugar is unhealthy and I’m still due to read the book why we get fat (I got side tracked by 2 fabulous fashion books I’ve been reading: D.V. and The House of Gucci). I made little progress on this resolution this year, so I’m really hoping that this book will persuade me to cut the sugar drastically. Other than that I follow most of the guidelines in the article of my husband on weight loss without diets.

4. Make time for friends

Still a very important resolution for me. This site takes a lot of my time and some of my friends have left Singapore. I really need to make more time to meet people face to face and find new friends offline too. As you may well know, meeting face to face with friends on a regular basis actually contributes greatly to our happiness and when we are happy, we look and feel better as well.

5. Cut the frumpiness

I made some good progress on this resolution. I make more of an effort to dress up as I go out, even to a point that my husband feels I’m overdoing it. He is very much the very casual dressing type and I usually look overdressed next to him. But I’m enjoying it and feel so much better. I can still make improvements with my hair and makeup and could plan my outfits better beforehand. As you may already know I’m having the new year style challenge next week (please join in!), which should give us all a head start to look even better in 2013. Look good, feel good!

6. Add more color

I wore more colour than ever before in 2012, but I feel I can do even better. I will be keen to add more bright colours to my wardrobe in terms of clothes and accessories and be even more creative with it. Expect plenty of articles on colour this year, as we still need to brighten up those streets. A great plus it that you will almost always receive more compliments on your clothes when you wear colour!

7. Do something you are passionate about

This has many benefits. Studies have shown that having either a job or a hobby that you are passionate about,  keeps you younger and more alert. It also helps to make you happier and more motivated in everything you do. That is the reason I started this site and I’m so pleased that so many of you have responded to it. It is so rewarding to get your messages and comments that this site has helped you in some way. My other passion is to show others how they can do something with their passion too! To that end I will be holding a talk on 18 January at local women’s organisation Wings, where the topic of my talk will be: From passion, to blog, to business! I will share my knowledge on how you can turn your passion into a blog and possibly a business, using your free time, free tools and a lot of your passion about the subject. If you are in Singapore and wish to attend (it’s free), let me know!

8. Do something that scares you every day

I’m not great with stress and like to stay within my comfort zone. However, I feel it’s important to challenge yourself, learn and do new things. And that requires stepping out of  that comfort zone on a regular basis and take active steps towards your goals. To that purpose I intend to do more public speaking and workshops, create more videos, possibly even a podcast and do more projects with others. Let’s see how far I can come this year!

9. Do the right thing for your health

You always realise how important your health is when you’re unwell. Without your health there is not much you can do at all. So it’s important to make the right choices and actions. My back ache and posture are still issues I have not conquered and as mentioned before I should also control my sugar intake and need to work on my fitness.

10. Have more Fun

I’m still a bit too serious and need to have more fun! I’m actually thinking of doing some Zumba classes (which would help with fitness too) and I’m planning on singing in a pop choir this year. Let’s hope there will be lots of other opportunities to have fun as well. In the meantime let’s have fun on this site too! And if I can’t provide it, I can always count on my trusty contributors (Rita, Greetje, Suzanne to name but a few)!

Do you have any resolutions for this year? Or are there some habits you want to change?

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Rita

:-) I like #10…Yes, let’s have some (more) fun!! All of your resolutions ring true…I need to do some of all of them. I don’t usually make resolutions, but have some general ideas. One thing is that I really need to commit to eating more veggies each day. I’m good at not eating bad stuff, but not always good at making sure I get all the good stuff. There are days when, if I didn’t count tea as a veggie, I’d be in trouble! (It is a veggie, right? It comes from a plant.) I’m also planning a bit of a career transition this year…taking some time off in the spring to figure out what the next fun thing I want to do might be. I’m leaning toward doing some volunteer work for a while, but definitely need to develop a plan. Good luck to you and everyone here on their resolutions, goals, etc. :-)

Sylvia

Haha Rita, I never thought of tea as a veggie! But you may have a point. I even drink green tea, which is said to be very healthy. An easy way to eat veggies is to have salad with your meals every day. Green leafy ones are the best. It’s great for your digestion too to have some uncooked food with your meal each day and after a while you will love it! Good luck on your quest to find out what you want to do next. It’s tough but so important!

Rita

Thanks, Sylvia! I do love salads, especially with spinach. And thanks for the encouragement. It’s funny to be thinking… “now what do I really want to be when I grow up.” :-)

Sylvia

I went through the process as well and ended up with this site! A good book for asking the right questions is What colour is my parachute. Although more aimed at younger people, it still takes you through a whole set of questions and tasks to finetune what you love and what you’re good at. You could get it from the library…

Rita

That’s a great idea…thanks! I had forgotten about that book. My husband worked through it years ago. I’ll check for their latest version. I’m glad you ended up with this site! :-)

Suzanne

“Tea is a vegetable”?! LOL! Oh I am so using this! I think that might be Engineering Thinking Rita but hey – it works for me. :)
Best of luck with your career transition! Don’t be afraid to try a few things before you find the perfect fit. Be happy and have fun!

Rita

Sounds reasonable, right? LOL! Thanks for the good wishes…I’m hoping I can stretch the right side of my brain a bit (if I still have one!) :-)

Sylvia

Yes and engineers are very smart people, so Rita MUST be right!

Rita

LOL!!! Now if I could only draw a tea leaf or describe one in poetic terms without giving dimensions and such. Yikes! Haha!

Heather Fonseca

Like you ive Ben thinking about doing a resolution post but unlike you my resolutions aren’t very fashion orientated. Will anyone be interested in my resolution to put money into my retirement account every month? Or to wake up earlier so I can Tidy the house before taking the kids to school? I don’t think so!

Greetje Kamminga

But so recognisable hahaha

Sylvia

You may be surprised Heather. As Greetje said, we can all relate to that….

Nanne

I try not to make too many resolutions, but I have some. First and foremost to get better at staying in touch with friends and family!

Sylvia

That’s a good one Nanne!

Marla

I only made one resolution this year and that’s to take a photography class.

Sylvia

Yes great one too. It’s totally worth it. I did it in 2012 and will continue in 2013. That reminds me.. I still need to complete my assignment to get my certificate.. So many things to DO this month.

Greetje Kamminga

Your list and me:
Point 1: doing so for the past 8 years and will continue doing for the rest of my life.
Point 2: if you know it helps strenthening your body, then “regular” is not going to help.
Point 3: always a good point. I am doing the same.
Point 4: where would we be without our friends? Very important point. I have to be careful there too, with my new found and time consuming hobby.
Point 5: you can never be overdressed. Just looking better than the rest. Please continue. I will do the same.
Point 6: agreed. I have to especially add more colour in my winter wardrobe next fall.
Point 7: with me little blog I have finally found my hobby. Really enjoying it.
Point 8: getting out of your comfort zone… OK. But every day? Would be too much stress for me.
Point 9: I have the same problem: posture. Good resolution. Have to work on it.
Point 10: is my one favourite resolution: MORE FUN. YEAH ! How about joining one of these Japanese classes where they laugh all the time? It really works. So good for your body and health.

Sylvia

You’re tough Greetje (on point 2 and 8)! But I think you are right on both points. But I’m going to see if I can replace yoga with Pilates. I MUST do one of them each week!

Suzanne

I do not like to make resolutions but the whole month of December was one long party, dinner, celebration after another. I had too much sugar, red meat, champagne (yes Anja it is possible!), and carbs and not enough sleep or exercise. I long to get back to my healthy eating and walking. The windchill at the airport at 9am today was 3F so it is hard to force myself out the door when it is that cold but it feels good once I do it. :) Plus, I am pretty sure that walking in heavy snow boots counts as strength training! (Back me up here Rita!)
I cherish my friends. They have had to take the place of my family and we truly do treat each other like sisters. I feel like I have added a few “Blog Sisters” over the past year too. You can never have too many sisters. (I may have actually forced an entire Dutch family to adopt me!)
I really need to buy less clothes. I am counting on the new style challenge to help with that. Items better suited to my real life – just fewer of them.
The one big goal I have for 2013 is to get back into the schools to work with the children. I trained to be a teacher but only taught a few years before staying home to raise my own family. I was always room mother, team mother, party mom while my children were students and now I feel the need to go back (as my teacher friends are leaving in defeat) and try to make a difference. We no longer have social workers or counselors in our buildings – but we have armed guards. There is so much I have no control over – but I can do something.

Rita

Absolutely, Suzanne! And heavy boots + snow is even more of a workout! Maybe you’ll even need a pair of slightly heavier boots, for when your current boots become too easy to walk in? :-)

I love that you are thinking about heading back to the classroom. The world needs good and kind teachers, and the girls especially need good role models. You’d be perfect!

Suzanne

Hahaha! I’ll just wrap ankle weights around them! But that is a good point. :)
Thanks for your encouragement! I love little kids and they truly are the future. They carry the hope of making the changes that we do not seem able to. I meet young college kids who are so full of plans and dreams. You have to believe in them!

Sylvia

How wonderful that you are thinking of going back to teaching. What a treasure you would be for the school and the children!
As far as stepping out in boots, that definitely counts as a workout!

Greetje

And blog sister… you have not forced your Dutch family to adopt you…. we had already filled in the application form.

Zubee

Hi Sylvia, thanks for sharing your resolutions with us, I especially like the one about cutting out frumpiness, it’s something I personally could do more of.

Teresa Freeland

Sylvia,
I wrote a post regarding resolutions on my blog. It’s based on the top ten resolutions people made in 2012. I pretty much decided to take a year off the resolution road and just go with what I already try to do every day; make time for friends and family, make every day count for something – even if it may seem insignificant to anyone else but me, and keep writing!
Teresa

Sylvia

Great idea. That is pretty much what I will try to do this year!

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