Reflecting Back and Looking Forward

Reflecting Back and Looking Forward
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I usually post a Top Ten list on Tuesday, but today is so close to the New Year that I thought I’d tie the two together.  Honestly, I can’t come up with 10 New Year’s resolutions…talk about setting oneself up to fail, that would be a good start.  So instead, I’m going to take you through my top events of 2014 and a few items/resolutions I have for 2015.

I consider a New Year a milestone.  I like milestones, they offer the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start anew.  I think many people feel that way so there’s no better milestone than January 1st.  But…I wish it fell on a Sunday.  If I’m going to work on changing a behavior or try developing a new habit, I’m more likely to begin on a Sunday.  So I feel a bit conflicted about a New Year’s resolution beginning on a Thursday this year, it’s completely throwing me off.  Apparently O.C.D. has no limits when it comes in the form of orderly processes.  Oh well, buck up sister.

And then the other thing is, if I say I’m going to commit to something, I’m more likely to adhere to the commitment if I write it down.  Years ago I used to keep my resolution list in the drawer where I kept my toothbrush and used it as a good reminder every morning and evening.  That really helped me stay on track.  I take resolutions seriously, so if I say I’m going to do something, I do it.

It got me wondering how many people actually make New Year’s resolutions.  How many write them down and are committed to them?  What is the average amount of time lapsed before resolutions go by the wayside?  What percentage of people follow through to the end of the year?

So I did a little research and here’s what I found:  According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Scranton, 60% of all New Year’s resolutions fail.  Seventy-seven percent of the resolvers studied made it through a full week, 55 percent stuck with their goals for a month. By June, six months into the New Year, only 40 percent of those who had made a New Year’s resolution were still sticking with their goal.  But only 8% of the people studied followed through on their goal to the end of the year.

I guess the world is made up of only 8% finishers.  As I’ve said before, I’m a finisher, I like to see things through to the end.  Yes, I may trip along the way but I always seem to get back on track and stay focused on the end result.  It takes discipline.  That discipline gives me the energy and determination I thrive on to feel the exhilaration at the finish line.  Accomplishing a goal is a win, that brings me full circle is my desire to complete a process, to tie up loose ends.  It’s just how my brain works.

I started 2014 with a pretty lengthy list of things I wanted to do; exercise more, spend more time with those I care most about, travel, probably not much different from anyone elses.  I would say I pretty much nailed it although I let up on the exercise a bit midway through the year because of back pain but that has subsided so I’m back at it.  2014 was an awesome year, chock-full of travel and adventure.

Let me take you through a recap and outline my 2015 goals that I resolve to accomplish.

10.  March/April 2014 – Paris, Paris, Paris.  Are you tired of me talking about Paris?  Bummer, I’m not going to stop.  And my next trip to The City of Lights will be in August of 2016.  Paris was definitely the highlight of 2014 and what made it even more special was that Kate was able to join me on the back-end of this trip so we had 10 glorious days wandering the city together, rambling down to Lyon for a couple of days and up to Giverney for a day trip.  Absolutely everything about this trip was perfect.

9.  May 2014 – I ran a marathon relay with OBF and his daughter and son-in-law in Fargo, ND.  Wow, was that a great feeling of accomplishment.  I did it!  And I’m considering signing for the half marathon in 2015, I only wish I had a crystal ball to know what the weather is going to be like on that day.  I’m a fair-weather athlete.

8.  July 2014 – I spent a few days with a dear friend and her family in Chicago and then on the way home I made a stop off in Milwaukee, one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

7,  September 2014 – I headed to Colorado for my best friends daughter’s wedding.  (got that?)  Seeing her family together with good friends spanning decades made for a perfect day for an outdoor wedding in the rockies.  I also took advantage of my time to explore Estes Park, Breckenridge, Vail and Boulder as well as some great quality time with two colleagues in Denver.

6.  October 2014 – OBF and I spent a week in Quebec City and Montreal.  We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly to see the spectacular fall colors at their peak.  Quebec City was definitely my favorite place of the two cities and of course I was happy because I got to brush up on my French.

Now onto 2015….

5.  2015 – It’s going to be an exciting year as I take on a new position with the company I work for.  There will be new challenges and much travel.  I’m looking forward to the change and as you have probably figured out by now, I’m perfectly happy living out of a suitcase.  It’s going to be hectic and I’ll need to remind myself to just take it one day at a time.

4.  2015 – As a member of the Y, I’m committing to taking advantage of the group classes such as yoga.  I’m more of an individual athlete (ok, athlete is a bit of a stretch), I like to use the equipment at the gym at my own pace while listening to favorite playlists on my iPhone.  In 2015, I’m going to participate in more of the group activities at the gym.

3.  2015 – Be more mindful of the amount of the personal time commitments I make.  Honestly, I barely had space to breath in 2014.  There were weeks where I didn’t have one evening to myself.  That’s going to change in the New Year, I’m going to make more time for me.

2.  2015 – Take a road trip.  There are so many places I’d like to explore, NYC, Banff, Glacier…I haven’t determine the destination yet but I will definitely be steering my way down the highway of exploration.

1.  2015 – Continue to live life with my internal compass guiding me, I have a powerful inner voice that never leads me off course.  I just need to listen and trust the path where it leads.

Are you like me, you reflect on the previous year and sum up your accomplishments, reevaluate where you could improve?

I feel many people go about New Year’s resolutions in the wrong manner.  Like it’s a punishment or an extreme change….the “cold turkey” concept.  But when you look at it more as a behavior modification and make adjustments the rest will fall into place.   I think anyone can quit or start something but sustaining the change is the true challenge.  It’s like me going to the Y, am I going to say I’ll to go to the gym and work out every day…there’s no way I’m ever going to do that.  You need to be realistic with those resolutions and be mindful of them…daily.

When you are mindful you’ll be part of the 8% group who sees their resolution through to the end of the year.  What a great feeling of accomplishment that will be!

Happy New Year everyone!  Thank you for following me, commenting on posts and your on-going love and encouragement to follow my dream.



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