Making the Most of Your New Year's Resolutions

  new year's resolutions for 2016

(Photo by our friend, Marc!)

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It's been a little over week since we rang in the new year. That's given me plenty of time to reflect on the successes and "opportunities" from my 2015 resolutions and fine-tune our 2016 new year's resolutions!

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New year's resolutions can be tough! Stay with them!

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I tend to choose new year's resolutions that are more like goals and that have measurable outcomes. That way, I can hold myself accountable and measure my own progress throughout the year! I think this helps me stick with resolutions each year.

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Our Resolutions, Past & Present

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Bailey's 2015 Resolution:

Run 550 miles. I was so amazed when I finished this resolution/goal in OCTOBER - especially since I was literally finishing my 2014 resolution (run 500 miles) on New Year's Eve. I actually ended the year having run 625 miles. Not bad at all!

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Vince's 2015 Resolution:

None (Vince is not very big on resolutions)

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2015 Blog Goals:

Post on average two times per week. Well, I did the math and since July I only posted 25 times in 19 weeks. That only comes out to an average of 1.3 times / week. Some posts are better than no posts, though, and that's where I was at the beginning of the year!

Monetize the blog. My naive self of course thought that this would be really easy. Not so! No matter how much I read up on this subject it appears to be a difficult thing to achieve. Makes sense, or else everyone would have a blog. I'm going to keep trying and experimenting, though!

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Bailey's 2016 Resolutions:

Run in four races 10K or longer. I'm really excited for this new year's resolution! For the past two years I made mileage resolutions (run 500 miles in 2014, run 550 miles in 2015) and this year I wanted to change things up a bit. Since I love races so much - especially ones out of town! - I decided this would be a perfect goal! I ran two half marathons last year so I figure that these four races will include two 10Ks (a new distance for me!) and two half marathons.

Take photos with my nice camera once a week. I am super lucky to have the camera equipment that I have, but I rarely get to use it! I want to get a lot better at photography, and use all of my wonderful camera toys, so I have made it a resolution to use my nice camera equipment at least once a week this year. So far I'm off to a good start!

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Vince's 2016 Resolutions:

Workout once a week. Vince wants to lose a few inches on his waistline and this small start is a step in the right direction.

Play basketball once a week. Vince hates to run. When we were dating I tried to get him to come out with me when I went for runs. It didn't go well. Vince prefers competitive team sports, where I prefer sports where I compete with myself. Therefore, basketball is a great way for him to socialize (read: compete) with friends, workout, and have fun!

Develop a system of mini goals to reach long term goals at work. Vince is starting to work on a lot of long-term projects at work. To help him better manage his timelines, he wants to develop some sort of weekly system that'll help him focus on the small steps that build up to a completed project. I could definitely use this too!

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2016 Blog Goals:

Post twice a week. Let's try this again, shall we? Hopefully this year I can make this a reality!

Determine our niche in the blogosphere. Now that we have some blogging experience under our belt, I am determined to find our authentic voice and niche within the world of the interwebs. I don't fully know what it'll be yet, but that's what 2016 is for!

Improve my social media knowledge and presence. Social media isn't going away and I need to learn more about it! Thankfully I enjoy engaging with you all on my social media accounts; I'd just like to get better at it! That way everyone (including my followers) wins, right?

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Tips for Taking Your Resolutions to Reality

Make your resolutions measurable! You may have a new year's resolution that's going to take a long time. Maybe it's daunting, too, like a fitness resolution. These types of resolutions are best executed when they're broken up into manageable pieces. For example, last year when I did my 550 mile running resolution I broke that up into weekly distance goals. Running 550 miles comes out to roughly 10.6 miles per week. I used this weekly mileage as a mini goal to aim for each week. There were definitely a few weeks where I didn't even come close to meeting that, so I'd focus on making it up across other weeks. This system kept me focused on "getting through the week" rather than being intimidated by my larger resolution and it helped me reach my goal!

Revisit your resolutions every month or two. If your resolution doesn't really lend itself to mini goals, I recommend putting in your calendar a reminder to check in with your resolution every month or so. That way, your resolution will still stay close to the front of your mind and you'll be more likely to complete it.

Make them attainable. Don't set yourself up for failure! If you've never run more than a mile in your life, maybe don't make a resolution to run a marathon every month in 2016. No matter how determined you are, you probably aren't going to feel satisfied attempting a resolution like this. Instead, be honest with yourself. Start small and realistic. If you're blowing your resolution out of the water after six months, you can always up the ante!

Remember that resolutions (and you) don't have to be perfect. Resolutions are goals people set to improve something about themselves. That means that you're trying to override a strong habit with an equally strong habit. You're going to mess up along the way. Sometimes you're not going to reach your mini goal. You're going to get tired of your resolution and try to revisit it later. That's ok! Remember that resolutions are a journey - embrace it!

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What resolutions do you have for 2016? What tips do you have to help reach your goals?

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New Year's Resolutions: the most stressful time of the year. Learn a few tips & tricks to stick with your resolutions and SUCCEED.