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New resolutions, new you

New resolutions, new you

2016. Yep, it's officially here. And so, as we all tend to do at the beginning of a new year, we aspire to become better versions of ourselves in some respect with our New Year's Resolutions. But wait - why is it that that term "New Year's Resolutions" seems to nearly always bring about just as much unease and skepticism as it does aspiration and hope?

Well, new year's resolutions in many ways seem to have become the popularized whipping boy of American culture when it comes to personal development. Without intending to sound jaded, I can recall all too many conversations around this time of year that view new year's resolutions with a certain doubt...as if they were things we already had an inkling wouldn't be fully realized. Whether these be weigh-loss goals, career goals, new hobbies to discover, our view on new year's resolutions seems to have a little gray cloud of skepticism that accompanies them more often than not.

So, with that in mind, I thought we'd provide some interesting and attainable goals that some of the House Party team is focused on in the upcoming year. In addition, I wanted to include a simple way to assess goals to ensure that you're setting yourself up to really achieve them this year.

 

Some of our team's 2016 resolutions:

 

Eating more healthily

Ok, yeah, yeah...this one isn't exactly unique. We see it on nearly every new year's resolutions list. However, the difference here is that one of our team members is making sure to keep accountable with healthier eating by joining a group of friends who are focused on a week-to-week dietary overhaul. Others that you care about = accountability. Week-to-week = manageable!

 

Awesome places in your own "backyard"

I love this one. A team mate of ours is making sure at least once each week to discover a new place in their neighborhood. Whether it's a new coffee shop, an undiscovered bench to sit and enjoy a new perspective or a historical site nearby. We've all got so many undiscovered gems literally within walking distances from our homes just waiting to be found. Try taking a new route to and from work or errands to see your neck o' the woods from a fresh, new perspective. We also love the trusty old Foursquare app to help us discover new things we may not know about places we've never been. The app is now focused solely on recommendations and discovery and since we rarely scratch the surface of our own neighborhood since we tend to operate in some sort of routine, it could be just the answer. Download it and give it a try!

 

Thinking on things we're happy about each day

Ok, sounds simple, right? And, sure, it's easy to do on a Saturday morning in mid-January. But, it's more of a challenge to be able to simply remind ourselves about the things we're happy and about which we feel fortunate on a sweaty, hot and stress-filled day in late August. Yet, isn't that the goal of new year's resolutions? Making lasting and voluntarily-chosen improvements in our lives. So, there's no better place to start than taking a few minutes each day - beginning, end, somewhere in-between - wherever you feel comfortable and thinking about things that make us happy about our lives and our situation: A friend that recently wrote you from out-of-the-blue, the way your spouse or partner knows how to hold you when you've had a long day, the depth of our child's smile...anything that brings a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. It may seem small, but moments like this on a daily basis can fundamentally change how we view ourselves, our lives and how we interact with the world around us.

 

Boundaries with mobile devices and social media

This is actually on our list, can you believe it? Look we all know and LOVE the power of social media and our mobile devices. In fact, they're what help make the House Party community so friendly, exciting and effective! They can connect us with our friends and family regardless of where we all are and bring us closer together. Like all things though, moderation can help balance life. As a society, we spend a ton of time on social media. We're not asking people to fundamentally change that; but, these can also sometimes bring us further apart instead of bringing us together.

If you're spending time with a friend or family and you're glued to the Twitter feed on you mobile device...well, that can be a bit of a bummer for those people you're with. So, one of the new year's resolutions for a few of our team members is to make more conscious decisions about when and how they use their mobile devices and social media: Is it alienating my spouse, partner or family if I'm doing it at the dinner table? Did I really just hear what my child just said as I checked the latest fan tweets on the big game? Do I surf on my mobile device in bed into the wee hours instead of just relaxing and getting solid sleep? These and so many more situations are some of the things that prompted some to really look at their habits and decide when and where's appropriate. We'll see how it turns-out!

 

Hobbies you love or loved and should revisit

This one is from yours truly. I had a couple hobbies that I used to love doing in high school and college; however, once I moved into apartments it became a bit harder to do them. I suppose I should share what hobbies these are, so that the quandary is a bit more apparent. I love woodworking, building fine furniture and throwing pottery on a pottery wheel. Now, living in an apartment doesn't exactly make it conducive to doing woodworking. (You can imagine the noise complaints from neighbors once I fired-up the table saw for an hour or so!) Prices for studio space are a bit ridiculous in New York City, so I tended to let that be an excuse to more or less ignore these favorite pastimes of mine. Well, not this year. After some copious searching I found a class for 2 months that allows me to get back to throwing pottery on the wheel. It may sound odd, but it's a perfect foil to working on the computer and meetings during the day and an excellent artistic outlet.

So, what hobby or craft have you loved and perhaps longed to do again? Rekindle one! This is the year. And, like I did, perhaps an economical way to do it is to enroll in a local class. It will not only be a benefit for you, but also the people around you. Whether the hobby produces works that you can share with people or not, you'll certainly be sharing a happier version of yourself with the world!

 

How we (& you) can achieve them:

Here's a simple, straightforward way to goal-set that I've found helpful and new year's resolutions are a perfect example for which to use this framework. SMART goals are there to make the resolutions successful.

  • Specific: Seriously! (No just saying, "I want to be a better person." Write down how.
  • Measurable: Key, make it less easy to have interpretation about success. Where possible make it objective.
  • Achievable: Is this something that you can feasibly achieve?
  • Realistic: Is it actually realistic to have as a goal and achieve?
  • Time-Bound: Give yourself a deadlines or, better yet, deadlines to break the goal into manageable pieces.

What are some of your new year's resolutions and how are you working to make sure you can achieve them this year? We want to hear your inspiring plans!

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