Let’s Talk Resolutions

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It’s that time of the year where millions of people are thinking of resolutions to undertake in the new year, including myself. Many of us make 7-10 resolutions which we know we can’t sustain, and last year I admitted defeat when I said “My only resolution for 2015 is not to have any resolutions, because I never keep to them! Instead I’ll just set goals and work hard towards them.” Why do I  want to talk resolutions then?

I read an article last night which I felt compelled to reblog here, which had some great advice for architecture students to do over the summer break. These included stepping away from the computer and experiencing the built environment in person, use a sketchbook, go on a road trip, read books and make something with your hands. A resolution by definition is “a firm decision to do or not to do something“, and looking at those items they would make great resolutions to take through all of 2016.

But what about quite possibly the the most popular resolution in the world, lose weight? While the notion of making a firm decision to lose weight is positive, to say ‘My new year resolution is to lose weight‘ is setting you up for failure. Believe me, I’ve been there four times already. This year I’m not having that resolution, I’m not having any health related resolutions, instead I’ve got one goal. When it comes to health it’s more motivating to have goals than resolutions, when you have goals you start to naturally alter to suit the goals.

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My goal next year is to complete the Great Ocean Road Marathon, well half of it, in May. Then I want to complete the Melbourne Marathon, all of it, later in the year. I’ve already started training for it (which you can follow my Instagram journal) and have lost close to 2kg in weight. Things like ‘drink more water’, ‘eat healthier’, ‘wake up earlier and exercise’ etc are common resolutions but these will become habits as my training intensifies for this goal. I’ll have smaller goals such as distances, speeds and even weight, but they are merely sub-goals from the main goal.

This is where I believe in some instances goals are stronger than resolutions. You can make resolutions to help achieve your goal but if you make resolutions with no real clear goal, specifically health-related, then after two months you will give up. However some things just can’t be translated to a goal, which I typically refer to being quantifiable.

I joined in the #NewYearsResolutionIn5Word hashtag with something that may not be quantifiable but it is something I want to do. A few months back I started watching Casey Neistat videos, a YouTuber who’s done a lot. He talks often about story telling and shares all these adventures, and since started studying again it’s something which I’ve lost. One resolution is to just have adventures, create memories, experience life.  What that is exactly, I don’t know, but time will tell.

That’s that, while I don’t have 10 resolutions I believe quality over quantity. If I can step away from the computer (and phone screen) more, have adventures which creates memories, read more, use my sketchbook more and make things with my hands, coupled with the half-marathon (and hopefully marathon) goal, then I’m in for a pretty good year. What are your resolutions, and/or goals, for 2016?

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