Welcome to our Campfire. Every month I host a virtual campfire called “The Personal Development Campfire.” It is our chance to gather with blogging friends and share some varying views on the topic of the month. This month’s topic is “Resolutions.”
I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions. I find there to be too much negativity surrounding what should be a positive experience. It always seems that the talk of New Year’s Resolutions is immediately followed by discussions of how nobody follows through with their resolutions. I attribute most of this to be poorly decided and poorly planned resolutions.
Each year it always seems as though everyone wants to lose weight or exercise more. Those are noble aspirations, but they are rarely backed with the drive or desire to follow through. I grew so frustrated of hearing this year after year, that I gave up resolutions a long time ago. In fact, in a post I wrote last year I simply stated that I made decisions rather than resolutions. While I still think that’s true, simply changing the word doesn’t change the fact that I do resolve to make changes in my life. I don’t typically tie it to the new year, but I often decide or resolve to make changes and improvements.
I read a post recently that said the best time to make a resolution is when you decide the change is needed. That might be around the new year since that is when we focus on the upcoming year and we establish our vision for what that year will hold. Often though, we think of new changes randomly throughout the year.
I hate that the powerful movement of New Year’s resolutions has lost focus and momentum. It’s turned into just another meaningless fad and popularity contest. We all get to tell our friends how cool we are because we are going to start going to the gym three times a week. That frustrates my beyond words.
Help me Re-energize the Resolution
Let’s put the meaning back into the New Year’s resolution. I sometimes forget that my voice as a blogger wields a little power. When many of us band together we grow this power. I’d love to start a movement to “Re-energize the Resolution.”
Let’s spend a day or two thinking about part of our lives we’d like to improve. Actually put some effort into analyzing ourselves and focusing the vision of what we expect from ourselves. Let’s make a resolution that we can stick to. Find something that will make a big impact, and back it with a plan for action.
Here are a few ideas and the backing to get them started
I want to help you get started on our quest to re-energize the resolution, so I’m giving you some examples. You can use these resolutions for yourself or you can use them as a guide to create your own actionable resolutions.
Resolve to read more or to learn to love reading
I made this resolution about 10 years to go. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
- Go to the bookstore and buy three books.
- Buy one book from Classic Literature.
- Buy one self-help or personal development book.
- Buy one book from the best seller list.
- Take the self-help book and put it in the bathroom. This is your bathroom reader.
- Take the classic and the best seller and put them somewhere visible, near where you might like to read. On the nightstand or near your easy chair.
- As soon as you get home and have placed the books in their designated locations, read 50 pages of the classic or best seller. It usually takes at least 50 pages to get familiar with the story and to meet the characters.
- Read a little every day. Once you finish a book, buy another. You have the three books in rotation, so you won’t have the excuse of “not having anything to read.”
- Finally, if you get 100 pages into a book and you really don’t like it, then take that book to the used book store or donate it, and pick up a new one.
That’s basically the plan I used when I discovered my love for reading. With books from the best seller list and classic literature, you are practically guaranteed to find something you like. If you don’t like one, then you still have a spare. The personal development bathroom reader will keep you in the habit of reading, and will help you learn something while using your “downtime.”
Resolve to cook, learn to cook, or cook more often
Cooking is a useful and valuable skill. It will save you money on expensive meals and will keep the family fed with healthy meals. Here is a process for learning to cook if you decide to make this resolution.
- Know that cooking isn’t magic, it’s simply following directions.
- The recipe is your list of directions.
- Forget about the fancy cookbooks for now, you don’t need them. You can get many great recipes for free on the Internet. Start at www.allrecipes.com. Browse the “Popular Collections” to find something you might like. You might start with Chili since it’s easy and yummy, or head to the “Quick and Easy” section. (Another great thing about online recipes is that you can read ratings and reviews for each dish!)
- Once you find a recipe, print it out. You can get fancy and read directly off your laptop or iPad later. Your first few times in the kitchen might get messy, so a printed recipe works best.
- Make a list of the ingredients. (Note the quantities too.)
- Go to the store and buy the ingredients.
- Make sure you have plenty of time to start cooking. Your first time through any new recipe will take at least double the suggested prep time.
- Plan to cook one new meal each week. Pick whichever day is most convenient to you, and shoot for the same day every week.
- Accept failed attempts and yucky recipes as steps in the quest. We have tried some recipes that looked great but tasted awful. We had some that we tasted and then immediately tossed in the trash. These are called “pizza nights.” Don’t be afraid to fail. The few failures you experience will pale in comparison to the “better than restaurant” dishes that you’ll soon be making.
That’s it. It is a simple plan and a useful resolution.
Let’s bring some meaning back to the New Year’s Resolution! Whether you use one of my suggestions or go with your own, make the resolution, and back it with a plan for action.
What is the Personal Development Campfire?
This post is participating in the Personal Development Campfire series. Imagine all your favorite personal development bloggers gathered around a campfire. Campfires are great center pieces of relaxed and free flowing conversations. Think of all the wonderful conversations and the wealth of topics that might arise. That’s the idea behind the Personal Development Campfire. Your favorite bloggers all gathered together discussing a new topic every month. (Bloggers click here for details on participating in the Personal Development Campfire.)