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Make Goals, not Resolutions

How many of you have made a new year’s resolution? You sit yourself down at the end of the year and pretty much figure out what went wrong over the past year and what you can do in the next year to avoid those mistakes, right? Maybe you put on a few pounds, so you’re going to try a new diet. Maybe you went over budget, so you’re going to put together a new budget and stick to it no matter what. Maybe you want to quit smoking, learn a new hobby, go back to school, get to the gym more, or spend more time with your family. All seem to be a step in the right direction, right? I mean, you’d make a resolution to positively change your life, so it has to be good. Right?


Then, December 31 rolls around, the ball drops, and you have to actually stick with that resolution. At least you’re supposed to stick with it. But, then, you’re at someone’s birthday party and there’s cake (it might be my party, since I am, indeed, a January baby) and you think to yourself “one slice won’t hurt.” Or, you get sucked into the after-holiday clearance events at all the stores and you’re like “omg, this is such an amazing deal that just cannot be passed up” and, before you know it, you’re at the checkout line with a ton of decorations that won’t get used for at least 10 more months…and that’s if you’re even able to figure out where you’ve put them 10 months later.


Listen, I am NOT here to be a Debbie Downer, I swear. I’m just being real. You see, the problem with resolutions is that they tend to be pretty extreme and, once you break your resolution, it’s pretty typical that all bets are off, right? You chalk it up to another disappointment and think “oh, I’ll just try again next year.”


No. No. No. NO! You guys. Stop doing this to yourselves. Instead of resolutions, can we try something else? Instead of making empty promises to ourselves and disappointing ourselves, can we try making goals instead of resolutions? The way I see it, goals are not as scary and are more attainable. Goals can be broken down into not-so-scary, manageable steps and tasks. Progress can be made towards goals whereas resolutions, in my experience, tend to be overwhelming and get broken easily. But, goals? Goals are the way to go.


My weight loss blanket so far! I’ll add 1 row of crochet every day. The cream lines are the end (there will be 1 cream line at the start of each new month). When I lose weight, I crochet 1 row of the lighter blue. When I maintain weight, I crochet 1 row of the medium blue. When I gain weight, I crochet 1 row of the darker blue. So far, so good!

Just to give you an idea of how having a goal could be more productive than having a resolution, let’s go over one of my goals. Being a blogger for the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club, I definitely want to go to the gym more. I could’ve totally made “go to the gym more” a resolution, but, here we are, 4 days into 2020, and I haven’t been yet. If this was a resolution, I probably would be like “yeah…it hasn’t happened yet, maybe next year.” To be completely honest, I haven’t been since before the holidays! I know, I’m bad. But, you know what? Life took over, the holidays took over, stress and chaos took over and I became a mombie (read: mom zombie) that had pretty much given up any sort of self-care and was just hoping to survive the holidays. Maybe the same thing happened to you and that’s ok. One of my goals for 2020 is to get healthy and get my body in better shape. So far, I’ve been back with the keto way of eating since January 1, so that’s going well! I am not new to Keto and know that, with the right mindset, I can keep it up. To help keep my mind focused on this goal, I’ve started crocheting a “weightloss blanket” for accountability. While it may sound silly, it’s a visual representation of my progress and is something that I know will help me stay on track. While doing Keto is getting me to eat better, I initially started this lifestyle for weight loss. In 2018, I lost 40 pounds on Keto. In 2019, my diet was all over the place and I gained 10 of those 40 pounds back. In 2020, my goal is to lose at least 30 more pounds.


Now, for my “get my body in better shape goal,” that’s where the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club will come in handy. I am a busy lady. Between shuttling the kids back and forth to school, taking care of my blog, co-leading a women’s empowerment group, doing marketing and advertising for various local businesses, and taking the kids to and from sports lessons…there’s not much time left. You know what, though? When I take care of my body, I feel better. I can think clearly, I am less stressed, and life just seems better, so, I’ve got to come up with a plan to get to the gym. Here’s where breaking a goal into manageable steps comes in handy. The whole “go to the gym” goal can be scary, right? But, if I break that down, it becomes achievable. To start off, I’m giving myself the goal to go to the gym at least 2 times a week. Maybe I’ll do a class, maybe I’ll go on the treadmill or go use the awesome Queenax again. What I actually do may change, but what’s important is that I actually make progress and GO TO THE GYM. When I’ve gone at least 2 times a week for a month or so, I’ll bump that number up to 3-4 times a week. Who knows – I may even bump up the number earlier! Don’t you feel better when you go to the gym, too? You start going a little bit and then, somehow, it’s like your body craves going to the gym? It’s pretty cool, right? If you’ve been at that point in your life, but you’ve strayed (like me), don’t worry…you have not failed and, if it’s something you really want, you will get there.


So, if you’ve made resolutions that just don’t seem to be working, consider making some goals for yourself instead. I promise, you won’t be so hard on yourself and you’ll be more likely to actually achieve, or even surpass, your goals!


Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 boys.


Created in 2018, Elizabeth owns and publishes South Jersey Family: a free resource allowing local families can enjoy quality time together with the help of a local events & activities calendar, local reviews & recommendations, and more. In addition, Elizabeth helps to empower local women by co-leading the Cherry Hill Believe Inspire Grow Pod through monthly meetings and a Facebook Group


When she’s not busy taking over the world, Elizabeth can be found listening to The Beatles, being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, or searching for deals in the aisles of Target.