How To Stick To Your Resolutions

We are more than 2 weeks into 2014!  How many of you are still keeping your resolutions—and how many of you have already abandoned them?

5 Steps to Keeping Your Resolutions

Resolutions are tricky.  Despite initial motivation it is easy to get lost and off track.

I am a big believer in setting goals for myself— not just at the start of the new year—but all the time.  This process has taught me some tricks to keeping these resolutions that I hope you will be able to apply to your own 2014 resolutions.

How to stick to your resolutions:

1.  Be Specific.  One of the main reason people abandon resolutions is because the original resolution lacks specificity.  A resolution of “get healthy” is ambiguous- does it refer to diet? Exercise? Mental Health?  Consequently it is difficult to know how to go after your goal, asses progress and ultimately know when you’ve achieved it.  A more successful resolution is something quantifiable such as “follow a strict paleo diet.”

2.  Dream Big.  Sometimes when we set resolutions we are so worried about breaking them that we don’t go for real change in our lives.   A resolution that doesn’t take you outside your comfort zone won’t inspire a proactive response.  After all we are creatures of habit.  However, if you set a goal outside of what you know the adrenaline that starts pumping when you think about it has the capacity to push you further in achieving it.

3.  Plan Your Attack.  Often (especially when dreaming big!) resolutions seem daunting.  What are the first 3-5 small steps you can take in pursuit of it?  And I really mean small.  If your resolution is to get a six pack (of abs, not beer) your steps could be  1) research top ab exercise videos 2) create a workout schedule for the week 3) replace all sugary beverages with water.  Be sure to write down the first few steps.  (Personal tip:  I usually only need 3 steps to get me going, but if I get lost or off track going back to writing down the next few steps helps me refocus)

4.  Attack.  Seriously right now.  Go do number one.  I’ll wait.  Done?  Excellent.  Now cross it off your list.  The goal is to check off the next step on your list every day before lunch.  Don’t let the day’s emergencies/issue/etc. get in the way—because given a cm (I live in Singapore—we use the metric system) they will.  And beyond that getting even step one completed gives you a sense of accomplishment that will carry you onto day two.  (Personal tip: Using 3 and 4 on this list I have already made major strides in my 2014 goals).

5.  Be Accountable.  Whether it is to yourself or to a group, accountability is crucial in keeping goals (that’s another reason why number 3 is so helpful—writing down the goal and steps makes it more real).  Share your resolutions with a trusted confidant or simply write them out and hang them somewhere you will see them every day.  I have a remind set in my phone that asks me twice a day if I have accomplished my goals for the day.  I can’t tell you how many times that reminder has gotten me off Facebook and onto my Attack list.

What are your keys to keeping your resolutions?  I’d love to hear how you are proceeding with them thus far this year!

The 10 Closet Commandments

Something I appreciate about creating a personal aesthetic is that it is a task we are always growing at.  What we were when we were 3 probably doesn’t reflect much of our current wardrobe (apparently I owned a purple raincoat that never left my body.  I also recall having super girl pajamas that I liked to wear under said raincoat…).  But while style and consequently our closets are evolving, there are certain fashion rules that can carry through.  I am calling this list the 10 Closet Commandments.  I looked into getting them etched on stone tablets, but realized the process would eat too far into my shoe budget!

10 Closet Commandments

The 10 Closet Commandments:

1.  Thou shall keep your closet organized.

2.  Thou shall try a new combination of pieces at least once a week.

3.  Thou shall clean out the closet regularly of unworn items. (donate or store)

4.  Thou shall only make purchases that contribute to your wardrobe. (purchase with a purpose)

5.  Thou shall invest in pieces that will last.

6.  Thou shall keep trendy temporary pieces to a minimum. (pick a number & stick to it)

7.  Thou shall take care of your clothing. (altering, resoling, etc.)

8.  Thou shall keep a list of items you need. (helping to cut down on impulse shopping!)

9.  Thou shall check the mirror before leaving the house. (just because an outfit is tried and true, doesn’t mean it will work forever)

10.  Thou shall create a wardrobe that reflects you. (you are more than a trend)

 

 

What do you think of my 10 Closet Commandments List?  What would you add?

Playing Games

When I was very little my mom used to teach me from flashcards.  One particular set had the images of North American birds on one side and on the reverse there was the name of each bird along with some general information about the species.  She would show me the image and in turn I would tell her about the bird.  I found this fun.  I am a strange girl, clearly.

So, while you laugh at my unusual childhood hobbies, I will share some youthful activities worth bringing back.

  • Puzzles:  Of course it has to be appropriately challenging (don’t bother me with anything below 1000 pieces).  Puzzles are great for maintaining and developing cognitive skill, including everything from spatial awareness to problem solving.  I am a big fan of doing them with your partner or roommates and leaving the puzzle out to be worked on over several days.
  • Board Games: Okay, confession first, I am not allowed (per Lukus and my parents) to play board games with others (apparently I am a little too competitive). But for those of you who can, games like Scrabble and Scattegories are great for developing vocabulary and memory.
  • Manhunt or Capture the Flag:  Both these games are a blast to play.  This is especially true now that I am no longer limited by a curfew and can play at any hour.  These games are great for developing teamwork and strategic planning skills.
  • Kickball:  There seems to be adult kickball leagues all over the place- and with good reason!  Like the previous games, kickball is ideal for teamwork.  Additionally, its physicality is perfect for an active lifestyle.
  • Coloring:  Seriously, grab a coloring book or a paint-by-numbers and get to it.  By coloring for the joy of it, you are able to tap into creativity that otherwise gets stifled by everyday adult monotony.

Closet Case: How to Organize Your Closet

Another fall tradition (it actually is repeated in spring) is the great closet clean.  As the weather changes and I move from flip-flops to boots, it becomes necessary to update and reorganize my closet.  That means a complete overhaul.  As in everything comes out, is sorted and then returned to a new home.  Lukus is wildly lucky, because his side gets cleaned and organized so that it doesn’t detract from mine.

closet case

Before…

Are you feeling disillusioned and jealous?  Do you too want an extraordinary closet?  Then do not fear  Check out my before and after photos and I’ll share the steps on how to organize your closet.

After!

After!

  1. Take everything out of your closet:  Literally everything.  A clean slate is the best way to get a real picture of your options.  I like to lay all my clothing out on my bed and to organize it by item (a skirt stack, a blouse stack, etc.).
  2. Try things on:  I went stack-by-stack and tried every article on that I hadn’t worn in the last few weeks.  Anything that was questionable was donated. Also, clothing items that need alterations were set aside.  Use this time to identify what items you need to complete your wardrobe.
  3. Determine seasonality:  You probably won’t be wearing a white cotton sundress for the next few months.  Separate that and any other pieces not appropriate for the fall/ winter.  These can be stored either in the back or in another closet, under a bed or something similar.
  4. Get the right hangers:  Use matching hangers.  Once you return clothing to the closet matching hangers allow for a more uniform look.  Additionally, this helps to conserve space.
  5. Establish a closet order:  Know where shirts, pants, skirts, etc. will hang in the closet.  Start returning the clothes.  I like to hang them by item and within each item by color.

 

Light Up The Scoreboard!

Today is a big day in my life.  Okay, maybe not my life, but in the current college football season.  Today, the Florida State Seminoles take on the University of Miami Hurricanes.  The meeting of these two teams are characterized by field goals and extra points going wide left/ right.  Drama.  This is a long standing rivalry and honestly I hope the ‘Noles destroy the ‘Canes.  In fact, I hope they stun them into silence.  I want the Seminoles to light up the scoreboard!  Oh my gosh, I am out of control.  I am sorry.  So let’s just talk about the ways a football team can score.

    TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 07:  The Miami Hurricanes defense lines up against the offense of the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 7, 2009 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

  • Touchdown:  This is of course the biggest and the best.  Worth 6 points, a touchdown is when the ball is taken into the opposing teams end zone.  The ball can either be passed or run into the end zone.
  • Extra Point/ Convert:  After a touchdown is scored a team earns the chance for bonus points.  The most common method is the extra point.  The ball is snapped from the second yard line, held by the place holder and the kicker then attempts to kick the ball through the uprights (goal posts).  If successful, this is worth 1 point.
  • Two Point Conversion:  This is the second method for scoring bonus points after a touchdown.  Here the teams line up on the second yard line and the scoring team is given the opportunity to score by passing the ball or running it into the end zone again.  As the name suggests this is worth 2 points.
  • Field Goal:  This occurs typically on fourth down when the team is in the opposition’s territory within the kicker’s range.  The process works like the extra point with the goal being the ball going through the uprights.  This is worth 3 points.
  • Safety:  This is the only way a team not in position of a football, can score a point.  Most commonly, a player scores if they tackle the opposition player, who has possession of the ball inside their own end zone.  The tackling team scores 2 points for the safety.