Why I’m not making resolutions.

Happy New Year!

New year, new you? Catchy as this phrase is I’m not buying into it. As much as I want to support everybody’s enthusiasm about starting a new year I’m too realistic for that. Some might say pessimistic but I would beg to differ. I’m not saying it’s impossible to change your life with the start of a new year. In the end, though, this time is no different from the beginning of any other new month or even just week. No lies here: with everybody [in the blog world, not real life in my case], every magazine and website talking about I’ve been thinking about goals lately, too. So yes, I might have some. Changes of the kind I should have been making in previous months already. However, I’m fully aware that the point that also has many people fail their goals is true for me, too: Resolutions aren’t solutions. They don’t solve the inherent ‘problems’* that have held us from making changes before. Those ‘problems’ being that we are who we are. With our habits, personality traits and all the other bits and pieces that make us us. If we want to create lasting change the motivation has to arise intrinsically not bound to a certain date.  Why not throw a big party at the beginning of April? August? I hope you caught my drift here.

*I want to stress that I’m saying ‘problems’ because they’re not actually bad. We simply are who and how we are and that’s okay.

Okay, after that heavy introduction let’s take a look at the past week of life as inspired by Meg.

Week in review

 

Here’s some of what happened in the final week of 2016 for me. I …

Worked three days, taking Friday off to get a few things done before New Year’s Eve and to spend a little more time with my mum, sister and P.

Published two posts: a week in review and my – at least for a while – final weekly good good links. Stressing the weekly because – oh the irony – since making the decisions to stop doing these posts great articles have found me rather than me actively searching them. So I do think the links will be back eventually/later this month.

Read the latest Harry Potter book. It’s a quick read – a day or two – and I definitely recommend it. I admittedly wasn’t expecting it to be this good.

Whipped up a new batch of peanut butter. It never gets old. And – killing two birds with one stone – used the peanut butter remainders in the Vitamix to …

Prepare my healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars for New Year’s Eve with friends. From what I could tell they went down well. I say from what I could tell because we were in the midst of a game of “Who am I?” when I put them on the table. Not to brag but I was [one of?] the first to guess their character – just out of luck, though, pure luck here and it still took me a good while.

Healthy Millionaire's Shortbread Bars - only eight ingredients, vegan and gluten-free.

Changed the sheets on my bed – thinking of Cora here. The heavenly scent of fresh- and cleanliness when I slipped under the blankets at night was well worth the struggle of wrangling with the fitted sheet.

Took a nap on Friday evening. For some reason I was beyond tired all of a sudden and decided to give in. Granted, I should have let myself go to bed as early as 8.30 but my mind wouldn’t have it.

Started a little early Spring cleaning. I don’t want to think about the whole work ahead yet – going through all the rooms and closets – but starting out was a good decision.

Took my dad’s car – that we share – to the car dealer to get the replacement second key fitted. Holy heck expensive. We’re talking close to 200 €/~210 $ here … Needless to say I decided to keep that shiny new key to myself ;).

Went on a long walk in the winter sun with my mum, sister and P. I will miss these now that my sister and the little one have left again. Good company lets you forget about the cold outside.

Orchidee_flower_orchid

Read every afternoon after work and at least a little every morning, too. This has truly been such a wonderful addition to my days in the past year that I’m definitely going to keep.

Finally cleaned my electric water kettle. It had been a while and I’m honestly not quite sure why I don’t clean it more often. On the note of electric kettles: is it true these aren’t common in the US/Canada?

In full disclosure I wasn’t going to write this post. I’m a little anxious to share the next few lines because opening up is scary but I feel I should to explain things a little. The past months haven’t been easy for me [mentally] but even I was surprised by my mood dipping harshly after my sister and P. had left. It’s not something I want to talk about in detail – a mix of heavy post holiday blues and an overall internal mess I have to work through. This isn’t to say my life was awful – there are always silver linings – and my mood definitely doesn’t dip like this on the regular. As if she had known my mum knocked on my door in the late afternoon asking if I was up for a walk and this honestly saved me. I’m not exaggerating here. Yes, I might be in my twenties but the fact that mum’s the best just doesn’t change. We have our rough times, too, but today I was eternally grateful for her being part of my life. While I might not feel 100 % amazing now I was able to see the light again.

If you read the whole post: thank you. Really.  I’d send you a cookie but I’m afraid it wouldn’t keep too well over the distance. Once again, though: I’m not asking for sympathies here. My intent is simply to be honest about what’s going on and also excuse for my lack of blogging and commenting activity.

Now that you listened to me rambling on for ages tell me about your past week! What happened? How did you spend New Year’s Eve? Did you make any resolutions or monthly goals [I’m thinking  about picking these up again]?

 

Happiness-inducing today:  The walk with my mum.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21

Pinterest: MissPolkadot21

Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
Tell me three [or more] achievements from your past week!

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What to remember if you didn’t reach your goals this past year.

This might be my most spontaneous not-entirely-random Thinking out loud post ever. Originally intended in a slightly different way, the fact I didn’t get a chance to post earlier today [in my mind: at the only time fitting] turned this around with a new realization or better yet reminder. When I had to realize I wasn’t able to post in the morning I figured all was lost. I tend to get into this perfectionist mindset where I need to hit publish by [insert time] or else the chance is lost for the day. And with that my mood plummets a smidgen upon the realization that – once again [obviously overlooking the many days I did get post published in time] – I failed my own . Which leads me to the topic of this post …

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

2015 was a catastrophe.

Not my words but the ones by a lady I heard when turning on the radio the other day. Granted, knowing what exactly made her feel this way would have been enlightening but the radio show’s task for its audience to use five words or less didn’t allow for more. Nevertheless, she wasn’t the only one summing up the past twelve months in less than kind words. Which got me thinking.

Was my 2015 what I’d hoped for? No. But rather than consider the whole year a fail or lost I’m trying to see the positives. I’m not pretending this was easy every day but it’s worth it. Life is never just sunshine and while there was a lot of rain – to stay consistent with the metaphor here – I know the sun will shine stronger again. And never forget to see the silver linings. Even if there’s no way you can see the positives of the past twelve moments now remind yourself the past year was one wasted. Remind yourself of this:

You can still make your life worth living. You still have the power to create awesomeness.

It bears repeating: mindset is everything. Just like we’re told to see our diet in the big picture rather than fret about a few indulgences more every now and then life in itself is a big picture issue, too. Not to get too scientific here but with a current life expectancy of about … years even having one or two – though I do hope you can see at least a few happy moments in every day/month/year – won’t weigh too heavily.

On a walk

I refuse to consider 2015 a year lost. Despite the many sad moments I had, the frustration and thinking I couldn’t move on: it had its beautiful moments – many, in fact. I might not be where I’d hoped to at this point but that’s okay. We need to forgive ourselves and I’m not saying this with myself in mind only. I see so many people beating themselves up for slipping up in recovery, messing things up in relationship or not meeting their expectations in whichever area of life.

It’s okay. We are okay. We still have time to accomplish your goals. Whether it be in the next 366 (!), 388 or 460 days. There are obviously things we don’t get a second try at. In my life, in yours. But those again are the cases where we have to forgive ourselves and eventually move on to try better at the next chance we get.

flowers

If, by the end of January, you feel like you haven’t made progress in area x or y in life yet: it’s okay. See where you went wrong, learn the lesson and keep trying. Just don’t ever give up on yourself. Never.

And with that I hope you’ll have a great New Year’s Eve – as relaxed or wild as you please – and I’ll see you again on the other side … of the calendar page.

Happiness-inducing today: Winning a game of Yathzee when spontaneously playing wit with my mum. The fact she suggested it alone made me happy [she swears she didn’t like playing games].

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

No specific questions. Just let me know how 2015 was for you or any other thoughts on the topic.

Thinking out loud #4

There we are on the second day of the new year already. I hope you enjoyed the day off yesterday as much as I did. It’s time to think out loud again today and I’m happy to join Amanda’s link-up once more. Are you ready for the first installment of randomness in 2014? There we go!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Did anybody else feel it was Sunday yesterday? That’s what holidays happening to fall into the middle of the week do to me. I swear I was feeling decidedly weekend-y already and still could do with another day off. Despite the short work week dare I say I’m …

2. While I wish I could to share my fun New Year’s Eve happenings with you I’ll have to admit it wasn’t all that exciting. My sister and her husband had invited some of their friends all of which I get along with quite well, too, as well as two of my cousins. It was a nice but – at the risk of sounding like a party pooper – it wasn’t my favourite NYE so far. Mostly sitting around only occasionally dancing  little too uneventful for my liking :). I much preferred my New Year’s Eve the year before. Back then I celebrated at a friend’s house chatting and playing board games, eating chocolate and chips until midnight and then watch an hour-long battle of the fireworks in her neighbourhood.

3. On the upside I was on dessert duty [again] this year and had fun trying some new vegan recipes to share with everybody. Totally breaking the ‘rule’ of not serving guest anything you didn’t prepare before but – crossed fingers might have helped – they were well appreciated. My camera’s battery is currently recharging so I have no pictures to share right now. I promise I’ll post them soon.

4. Do you know if creativity is an inheritable trait? If yes I hope my mum passed it onto me and it just has yet to spark. She never ceases to amaze me with her simple but stunning decorating skills. Okay, I might be biased here but I still think it’s cute.

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5. After we recently got into yahtzee playing when my sister and her husband were around my mum thought out loud about  buying both a yahtzee set and Monopoly for us. That’s huge coming from her as a declared board game-averse person. I’d better offer getting the games before she reverses her decision …

Yahtzee

6. My fondness of scented candles is quite possibly the best I could have had. After above-mentioned NYE party my parents’ guest apartment [where I’m currently living] smelled of burgers and beer. Don’t get me wrong: that’s pretty much to be expected at a party where those foods are served. However, I was not so fond of living with that scent permanently. Solution: the impulse purchase of a gingerbread-scented candle I’d made on Monday. Much better.

7. Money can’t buy happiness but fuzzy socks and that’s a first step. Can you believe I hadn’t owned a single pair prior to seeing them appear all over the blog world and purchasing some on Monday? Quite possibly the best investment during the last week of 2013. I got home all excited showing them to my family – I may or may not have quoted a certain movie 😉 and I’m sure Amanda approves.

Fuzzy socks

8. Could there be a nicer surprise than the kindness of a stranger? Though not a resolution I intend to keep up sending snail mail in 2014. If you want a fast shipping it’s important to add the blue priority stickers – at least here in Germany. Only you don’t always get them when purchasing stamps. Imagine my delight when I bought four international stamps recently, asked for the stickers and got not only four but a whole bunch of them. Thanks to the clerk at the post office!

Priority stickers

9. While at my grandparents’  during the holidays I didn’t bring any non-dairy milk so I prepared my morning oatmeal with water only though I usually use water and almond milk 50:50. Surprisingly enough I found I enjoyed the taste even more and have been keeping it that way since returning home. Even though the almond milk adds a nice creaminess I find the flavor of my add-ins to shine through more not using [too much of] it.

10. A new year means starting a new month in my planner and while I bought it long ago I didn’t have many appointments to add to it last year. Fingers crossed 2014 will provide lots of use for it!

Planner

Happiness inducing today: An overall great first day of the new year.

How did you spend New Year’s Eve?

What are some of your favourite [board] games?

Is anybody else ready for the weekend already, too?

Happy New Year and setting [realistic] goals

Happy New Year to all of you! Orchids

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you. 2012 was the year I finally brought up the courage to start a blog – I was afraid nobody would want to read – and I don’t regret it a single bit. The blog community is full of amazing people. I’m so thankful to have gotten to know all of you. Thanks for your sweet, supportive, encouraging and inspiring mails and comments! Each of them brought a smile to my face, made me feel understood and gave me strength when I needed it. Especially following through with my Christmas bucket list was a lot easier knowing I had your support so thanks once more.

Christmas starts

Yes, I know I might be a bit late but I’d still like to chime in on that one topic: New Year’s intentions. Making resolutions and setting goals to work towards isn’t per se a bad idea in my opinion. It’s the details I needed to rethink.

In the past I’d set goals like “getting rid of my ED” or “become an organized person”. I’m an all-or-nothing person: It’s either doing it all the way or not seeing it as an achievement. Unsurprisingly, I failed on them. Striving for smaller goals never seemed enough for me. But too ambitious or unrealistic plans set you – or at least me – up for frustration. You can’t plan on when to be fully recovered or when to reach a satisfying degree of organization.

Garden

 

Does failing to achieve your goals at the end of one year mean I’ll never reach them?  But really, what else but the beginning of a new month does January 1st mark? Yes, way back in time somebody decided that it also marked the start of a new year. But like Amanda said in yet another great post: I’m still the same person in this new year. The goals I set still exist and can be followed over the course of however long it takes me to reach them.

Granted, I won’t be able to make up for my failed attempt at winning an Olympic Gold medal in 2013 ;). [Hey, nobody told me procrastination wasn’t an Olympic discipline yet!] But at least I got to interview an Olympic Gold medal winner while interning at a fitness magazine so maybe that counts :D?

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

Also, I might not have gotten rid of my ED yet but I did move on in recovery. It’s the little steps that count. Every one of us has his own speed in life and that’s perfectly okay. Comparing how far I’ve come with somebody else who had a completely different initial situation won’t get you anywhere but closer to frustration. Take your time to achieve your goals. Falling back into old habits temporarily is normal and okay. Just keep pushing on.

My plan for 2013 is to set smaller, realistic goals for each month which will include tackling a food bucket list. I know I’m up for a lot of change [which I’ll talk about another time] so setting huge goals for the whole year wouldn’t work out in anyway. Let’s see what 2013 has on offer for us!

 

Tell me: What did you do on New Year’s Eve? I spent mine very low-key at a good friends’ house catching up, eating delicious food and watching her family’s 30-minute firework shenanigans :D.

Did you make any resolutions or what’s your take on them?

Do you have any big plans for 2013 already?