Sunday, December 30, 2012

Talkin' About a Resolution

What do you think about New Year's Resolutions?

The past few weeks I've been reading about the most common resolutions, the most commonly broken resolutions, and how to make your resolutions stick.

Of course, I (and you) don't have to wait for the new year to set goals.   In fact, if you read the comments on different blogs and sites, you'll see lots of people who think that New Year's Resolutions are lame.    Who wants to fight for a treadmill at the gym in January with all those people who have resolved to "work out more" in the new year?

Resolutions are goals. 
As you think about planning for the new year, reminder yourself: 
It's a resolution (aka goal), not a wish.   

I can resolve and write down that I want to be a size 10.   I can wish all I want.   I can put up inspirational quotes in my office and motivational pictures on my fridge.  I can buy size 10 clothes for when it (magically) happens.    But without taking steps to achieve my goal, it's nothing but wishful thinking.

Have you ever done this?  Made a New Year's Wish?

According to, the most commonly broken New Year's Resolutions are:
  • Lose Weight and Get Fit
  • Quit Smoking
  • Learn Something New
  • Eat Healthier and Diet
  • Get Out of Debt and Save Money
  • Spend More Time with Family
  • Travel to New Places
  • Be Less Stressed
  • Volunteer
  • Drink Less
How many of these things are on your list for 2013 in some capacity?

Last year, to have a visual for 2012, my sister and I made "vision boards."  Harnessing that inner scrapbooker from 10 years ago who has fancy scissors and stickers, we were crafty for an afternoon cutting out pictures, goals, and quotes for the new year.   

I've looked at this board almost every day for the past year.     

Some things weren't goals.    I already knew I was going to Greece, so putting a picture on my board was more to remind me that fun was already in store for the new year.   

One of my goals was to pay for a vacation in cash.    This was a success!   It also took a lot of planning and spreading out the expenses over the course of 6 months.  I didn't just wish myself a vacation.  I worked to make it happen.    And when I came back from the Caribbean, I had a tan, souvenirs, rum cake and no new vacation debt!  

There are other things on my 2012 board that, in hindsight, were just wishes.   Things that I wanted, but didn't put in the work to make them happen.     Let's not do that again for 2013.     

I follow The Happiness Project and was inspired by Gretchen's post on December 19, 7 Tips for Sticking to Your New Year's Resolutions.  

Here's a few of the tips that resonated with me. 

Be Specific.   

A vague resolution like "lose weight" or "meet new people" is hard to fulfill.  Think it through.   How will you lose weight?  How much will you lose?   When will you lose it by?  What kind of people do you want to meet?   Where do you want to meet them?   What do you want to do with these new people? Why?

Hold Yourself Accountable.  

I think about my quest to "do more fitness."  One way I hold myself accountable is by having a personal trainer.   Appointments are scheduled and money is paid.   It gets done.  But I need more than six hours of fitness a month.   How can I hold myself accountable?    My goal for January is 15 days of fitness.    I have 6 training sessions scheduled.   So the other 11 days are up to me.    I can ski.  I can go to Zumba.   I can swim.  I can bike.  I can jog in my neighborhood.    I'm holding myself accountable by keeping a calendar where I write down each day that I got my fitness.   When I hit 15, I know I'm done.    Anything after that is the proverbial icing on my fitness cake.      Rather than a generic "do more fitness" resolution for the new year, I'm going to target a specific goal and measure my progress:  15 days of fitness each month. 

Positive Resolutions

Not everything has to be a trial or a punishment.   Not every resolution has to be giving something up.   Think about positive and fun things you want to do.    The list of broken resolutions includes "Travel More."   That's nothing that I've struggled with.  Maybe because it is something I enjoy, so I take the time, energy and planning to get it done.    A positive resolution for me could be "Try a new Denver restaurant, festival, event or museum each month."   A positive resolution is something that you would enjoy working for and planning.   You'll still get the same sense of accomplishment for achieving your positive resolution.


This year I'm using a dry erase calendar and working on my goals by month.   Whatever goals / tasks I identify for the month will be written on the side.   The day that I do them, they get marked on the calendar.    It will be my easy visual.   How many days of fitness do I have left?   How many blog posts have I written?   How many healthy recipes have I tried?   Did I get my external hard drive?   Did I paint the bathroom?    It will be easy to see whether I made excuses or got it done. 

What about you?   Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  How and when do you set your goals?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Le Claire, Iowa

I took a brief trip back to the Quad Cities for Christmas.
What?  You don't know where that is?   Don't worry. 
It's on the border of Illinois and Iowa and has two cities on either side of the Mississippi River.  Moline & Rock Island in Illinois.   Bettendorf & Davenport in Iowa.   
Christmas took me back to the Quad Cities.   I haven't spent much time there since I moved to Colorado.   Mom and I spend time together all over the world.  We just don't spend our time together in Moline. 
The traveler in Mom matches the traveler in me and so she took us to explore Le Claire, Iowa.    Le Claire has a cute little main street with restaurants and shops - most of them have an unobstructed view of the river.   
These were my favorite places we visited in Le Claire.   They are all featured in the collage above.
Our family can't resist a wine tasting.   A little sip of Ms. Chevious?   Don't mind if I do.
Especially at Christmas, it's impossible to pass up the smell of fresh popcorn.   Chocolate and Peanut Butter was my pick of the day.    
Yeah....just like we can't resist wine.   They had some special coffee liquor and strawberry vodka.   Later on, Mom and I doctored our eggnog with their Cody Road.    I also learned about the existence of Benny's Bloody Mary Beef Straws.   Who knew?
A fun and eclectic shop in an old house.   Every room was different.   The basement?  A giant wine cellar with all kinds of gifts and goodies.    I got to snuggle with their golden retriever (I think her name is Lily).   Their previous golden retriever, Brady, got to meet President Obama in 2011 when he came through Le Claire.   Their family even wrote a book about it called Brady Meets the President.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Denver Ugly Sweater Run

'Tis the season for all kinds of festive merriment.    A fun new tradition in Denver is the Ugly Sweater Run 5k.    Even better, we were able to buy discounted entries through Living Social.      As you can tell by this picture, it was not about actual fitness, but more about rockin' your ugliest sweater, taking a winter walk/jog, and having a beer with friends.  
It was a beautiful December day in City Park. 
Thousands of people in their holiday finery from head to toe.  
Dogs in costume.
Hot chocolate aid stations. 
I didn't know that such a variety of ugly sweaters existed in all the world.   As my friend reminded me...all these sweaters were actually made commercially.   Throughout the past 20-30 years there has actually been a demand and desire for all these sweaters.   Including my fine feathered find, complete with shoulder pads and geese with wreathes around their necks.    According to the tag it was from the Christmas Collection 1993.    There I was in high school and someone had purchased this sweater, brand new, to wear with pride in their family Christmas photo.
If you don't have an ugly sweater of your own, hit up a thrift store right after Thanksgiving.   You can find all kinds of treasures! 
Save the date.  The 2013 Ugly Sweater Run will be December 8 next year.  You know you want to.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Passports with Purpose a Success!

Exciting to see that on the last day of the fundraiser everything fell into place and $100k was raised by the travel blogging community (and their friends and followers) to build wells in Haiti.
Thank you to everyone who participated! 
To learn more about Passports with Purpose, click here.
To learn more about, click here
Something to ponder as you go about your day

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Denver Parade of Lights

I had a first time experience on Friday.    I had VIP passes.    

To the Parade of Lights.     Oh yes.

What do VIP parade passes get you?   Grandstand seating at the parade start right at the City County Building.    It was the perfect backdrop to all my pictures.  No scrounging to find a spot on the sidewalk along the route.  Also, access to bathrooms, hot chocolate and cookies.

The parade is a wonderful way to start celebrating the Christmas season here in Denver.    


Passports with Purpose is up and running through December 11.  If you'd like to win hotel stays in Downtown Denver (or other great prizes), click here to donate.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's All So Wonderful

This week's Five Minute Friday prompt is Wonder.


Looking at the stars is both a beautiful experience and one that boggles my mind.   Space is huge.   I can't fathom how big or wide all that space is.    It makes me feel small and insignificant.   

In early November I was on vacation with a friend.   We stood on the deck of the cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean Sea and looked up at the stars.    

We wondered:
How can anyone look at the stars and doubt the existence of God?  

The beauty of nature is such that it's hard to believe that it all happened by accident.   

As I travel, I like to be in the moment and just enjoy what is. 
The moment I'm in is the only one that I'm guaranteed.   








The world is full of wonder.   It can be exciting.   It can be exhausting.

It can be wonderful. 


Five Minute Friday is a feature on Lisa Jo's blog encouraging people to write for 5 minutes completely unscripted or unplanned on a particular word.   FMF is taking a vacation in December...don't worry, I'm sure you'll find a way to use those minutes for something fun.  


Related Posts with Thumbnails