New Year, New Plan? Not So Much

photo (1)Real life kicked in today for most of us with the first Monday of the year. We could go all Garfield on this Monday or we can attack it, even in a slow way with a glass of juice and some toast while we develop our grand plan.

The first pressing issue of the year is our word. Do you have a word to help focus you and define your year? No? Then give up now. By now you should have picked your deeply meaningful word, made a decoupage project surrounding it, and ordered a necklace on Etsy with the word in script on a simple silver chain. If you can’t handle that, then the year is already a loss.

Next up is ambitious resolutions set for ourselves that we already violated by Jan. 2, making us feel like failures. Nothing like feeling all hopey changey, only to feel like a slovenly loser two days later because you ate one leftover chocolate or made it half-way through a Diet Coke before remembering you were only drinking water this year. If you ate the chocolate AND drank the Diet Coke, give up now. Your year is a loss.

A crucial step of goal setting is broadcasting your plans on Facebook. If you didn’t use Dec. 31 to announce publicly your plans to run a marathon in March despite a history of sweat aversion, then you’ve set yourself up for failure. If you bypass Facebook for Pinterest, don’t think we don’t know what you’re up to. A flood of pins about running and the superiority of runners lets us know that you’re trying really hard to get from couch to 5K gloating asap.

If 2013 taught us anything, it’s that no action of any size or thought regardless of substance happens unless posted on Facebook. (Twitter doesn’t count.) Even if you are merely out running errands, if you don’t check in, we will never know how productive you are. If you don’t check in at every chain restaurant, we will never know how low your standards, and if you don’t take selfies at each of these spots, we’ll think you just don’t care about us.

Our goals for us and everyone:

*Don’t worry about letting a single word define your year. It’s good to have a word to remind you where you want to go or how you want to be, but don’t let the one word mafia discourage you from picking a bunch of beautiful, challenging, centering words. Or don’t pick any words. It doesn’t mean you don’t have goals or direction.

*Tone down the selfies. You know who you are. Anyone on Facebook has at least three chronic selfie posters in their stream. If I wanted to know what you looked like four times a day, I’d buy Google Glass and Skype you in. (Is that possible? It doesn’t matter, we wouldn’t do it.) There are times when moments call out to be captured, but only about 1/16th of them need to be shared. We’re not saying to give them up completely, but to reduce the overall number. Make 2014 about self-editing…and that doesn’t mean photo editing.

*Be real. It’s okay to acknowledge outloud that signing up for a marathon in March isn’t all the motivation you need to get off the couch. Definitely stop talking about your big marathon on Facebook. Let us know when that big, successful run occurs, but don’t over promote in the name of accountability. There’s a fine line between accountability and smugness: please watch it.

*Be gentle on yourself. If you’ve already had the chocolate you promised to give up or had to listen to a lecture at school pick up on the horrors of Diet Coke, it’s okay. Try again, re-adjust your goals if needed, and keep your chin up. Enjoy your life, get good sleep, hug your kids, and connect with friends. No matter what your word/s, success is sure to be found there.

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