A blog by Maddie Brady

Why I’m Doing Resolutions A Little Bit Differently This Year

This year, I’ve decided to forgo big, yearlong resolutions because they simply don’t work for me! Making a huge proclamation at the beginning of the year is simply setting myself up for failure. I know myself well enough at this point to know that I get easily derailed by goals like that. If I miss a day or something unexpected comes along, I get completely upended and feel like I can’t get back on the horse.

I definitely still have yearlong goals: to feel more fulfilled in my career and to make decisions that are right for me instead of fixating on what other people think I should do. But they’re really big goals and where do I even begin? Taking a huge, nebulous project and breaking it down into small, achievable steps is what I do at work all the time, so I’m curious if this will translate to my personal goals.

So, I’ve decided to do something different this year: to break down my resolutions into smaller, more realistic goals. Each month I will set a few intentions for myself that I want to work on and that I feel will bring me closer to my big, year-long resolutions. This gives me the flexibility to try new strategies and to react to what lives brings along, while still giving me some structure and momentum. I hope a new approach will help me be more realistic, less discouraged, and focused on creating good habits instead of reaching arbitrary goals that don’t suit me anymore.

With all that said, this is an experiment. Part of doing what’s right for me is letting myself try new things and then not judging myself if they don’t work out. I’m going to give it the old (women’s) college try and see how I feel about it. And you guys know me, I can’t resist a good personal project!

Here are my goals for January of 2018:

  • Start journaling regularly again. I went through a period over the summer where I journaled first thing every morning (as part of The Artist’s Way program) and I really took to it. Having that space to reflect and sort through my feelings first thing in the morning was a relief and I think it will make me happy to bring that back for a while.
  • Drink more tea. This may seem random, but it stems from a couple of issues I’ve been having. I want to drink less caffeine because it aggravates my anxiety (science here) and less alcohol because I think it’s the culprit behind some stomach issues I’ve been having. I like having something to sip on at night, though, that feels luxurious and relaxing so I think herbal tea will be a good substitute. Any other suggestions of what to reach for instead?
  • Be more consistent with my blog posts. I feel like I’m starting to get into a rhythm with my posts and I want to keep that up (and do even more!). I’m really starting to focus on what I want this space to be – what I want to talk about, what my voice is, etc. And I know the best way to figure those things out is to write more! Keep your eyes peeled for more good stuff here.
  • Read more instead of watching TV. I’m trying to avoid numerical goals like “read 2 books” or “spend 1 night a week reading” because these ultimately aren’t what help me reach goals. I want to read more in general and I know I will if I make a habit of reaching for a book instead of turning on Netflix.

That’s it for January – I figure that will be enough to focus on for the next several weeks. At the end of the month, I’ll do a check in about how these went and set some new intentions for February (or continue with some of these). I like documenting this kind of personal growth stuff, so I think this will be a fun little project that I can continue to revisit regularly.

Are you setting resolutions this year? Do you think the whole thing is a scam to get people to buy gym memberships? I always like hearing. 🙂 And check out my favorite moments from 2017 along with a few things I’m really proud of in this post.



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