On the last day of 2017, I asked you for tips about sticking to New Year’s Resolutions.
I’m glad to take the advice for myself, because I always make resolutions but have a hard time sticking to them. A lot of you said your advice was to not make any resolutions — because then you can’t break them — and suggested if these goals were that important, they shouldn’t wait until New Year’s.
But I’m a very deadline-oriented person, so I tend to put things off until there’s a reason. So that’s why the start of a new year seems like a good time to make some changes.
There were a couple themes in your advice: Accountability is a big one, because telling others means you create some peer pressure to keep the goals alive. But also people said it’s important to structure the resolutions in a way to where if you don’t live up to one of them during a given week (like not having time to work out), you don’t just completely fall off the wagon and stop doing it altogether.
So I’m going to give you my resolutions now — primarily to be accountable for them.
1. Drink 75 ounces of water per day
I’m terrible about drinking water. When I’m at the track, I don’t want to constantly have to pee — so I don’t make an effort to drink water. I’m not in the habit.
But I know it’s super important for good health, so I’ll give it another try. I’ve tried apps before that help you track it, but the goals are so lofty (100 ounces of water per day?!?) that I typically fail right away and then just give up.
I just downloaded a new app and it lets you set your own goal. I put it at 75 ounces of water per day. That’s still a TON compared to what I usually drink, but it seems perhaps more doable than 100 — and maybe I will be able to have a better shot at keeping up with it.
2. Average 10,000 steps per day
They say 10,000 steps per day doesn’t really do much for your health, but it keeps you from being too sedentary (which can be a real problem for me when I’m sitting at the computer all day).
But if I said, “I will take 10,000 steps every day,” I would fail almost immediately. Instead, I’m going to try to average that amount so if I have a bad day or two, I can make up for it.
That’s going to be a big change for me, because last year I only averaged 5,700 steps per day (according to my iPhone). So this one might be hard.
3. Triple the number of days I work out
Last year, I rode 455 miles on my bike — which was pretty good for my standards. But I only worked out a total of 33 days last year. That means I only exercised on 9 percent of the days! Clearly, that is not a healthy lifestyle (especially for someone who has high cholesterol like me). So I need to improve that, and in a hurry — or I won’t be here for as long as I hope.
I’m going to shoot for 100 days working out this year (“working out” meaning a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise). Hopefully that will help my overall health.
4. One hour every day for correspondence/finances/housekeeping
My biggest weakness in Year 1 of running my own site was failing to stay on top of things like replying to emails and DMs (I still have emails from last March that I’ve been meaning to return), staying organized with finances (tax season is going to be rough) and making improvements to the site/podcast/Patreon page.
Obviously, the top priority is the editorial content (columns, interviews, news, etc.). But I just need to make more time for the rest of it — whether that means waking up an hour earlier or just using my time better.
5. Keep improving as a person
I have so many faults and flaws, and I need to work on becoming a better human overall. You can’t really ever stop when it comes to that. I need to make sure to recognize my shortcomings and try to fix them where possible. This one is pretty general, but there are too many specifics to tackle just one.
So those are my five. What are yours? If you want to write yours down for accountability as well, feel free to post in the comments section below.