Realistic Resolutions

Every year I make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Every year they’re broken within a month. Why do I so willingly set myself up for failure?

This year, I’m doing it differently and I encourage you to do the same. Also, take a look at Vanessa’s 2013 wishes for more inspiration on 2013 resolutions.

Here is a list of standard New Year’s Resolutions and my suggested realistic replacements:

Resolution: Lose weight.

Replacement: Eliminate one bad food from your diet. If I replace french fries with salad, I may not lose 20 lbs in a month but I’ll definitely be a bit healthier and my “jeans” can go back to being “fat jeans.”

Resolution: Join a gym and exercise more.

Replacement: If you join a gym the first week of the year, it’s going to be packed and all the good equipment will be taken. The regular gym-goers will be all mad because of the newbies and it leads to frustration, so you’ll quit going. Skip the gym membership and buy a new pair of walking or running shoes. Download the Ease Into 5K app and either complete the program or find the workout pace you like. Set a goal for one day a week and then add another day. I intend to spend one lunch hour a week doing the Week 3 Day 1 workout. I hope to be up to two days a week plus a weekend by the spring. Another idea is to do squats while you’re in the shower. Trust me, you’ll feel a difference if you do just ten of them.

Resolution: Quit smoking

Replacement: Really, there is no replacement. Smoking is a terrible habit and you should quit. Like now.

Resolution: Control spending

Replacement: Baby steps. Set a budget, play around with it for a few weeks and stick with it. If you love expensive shampoo, switch to a cheaper body wash. Buy store-brand perishables like milk and eggs. Skip the daily Starbucks run and make your own coffee at home.

Resolution: Eat more vegetables

Replacement: Not really a replacement, but a suggestion. Sign up for a CSA–Greenling is a great one in Austin–and follow their recipes. They deliver right to your door and the cost isn’t much more than a trip to the farmers’ market. Speaking of, farmers’ markets are great for more than just produce. We buy fresh meat and cheese there, too. We feel better when we eat better.

Resolution: Spend more time with family and friends

Replacement: Spend more QUALITY time with family and friends. Ditch the tech and TV and head outside. Kids love hiking, even if it’s just a stroll around the neighborhood or hitting the pavement in a new city or town. Play games, take up an easy craft or explore your local museums and libraries. Set a small goal of having a phone conversation with a friend at least once a week. OK, realistically, once a month.

Resolution: Learn something new

Replacement: It’s great that you want to learn guitar or how to sew, but maybe you should wait a few weeks and see if it’s something you really want to do. Just ask the $500 of sewing equipment that’s sitting in my shed and the boxes of Lucy’s cut-up onesies that may or may not some day be a quilt.

Resolution: Drink less alcohol

Replacement: Drink more water

Resolution: Be happier

Replacement: It’s easier said than done to try to be a happier person. But if you try to eliminate just one stressful element from your life, it will make all the difference. Take a different way to work if your commute is terrible or download audiobooks. If you work with a difficult person, avoid them at all costs or else kill them with kindness–then they’ll think you’re nuts and will leave you alone. If your kid is in the throes of the terrible twos, try to make them laugh during their meltdowns or at least make yourself laugh because you’re trying to reason with a toddler about where they left their juicebox.

Resolution: Take better care of your skin

Replacement: No replacement here. Take better care of your skin, you only get one shot at it. Wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.

Resolution: Read more

Replacement: Read Austin Moms Blog every day!




Lisa Caldwell

About Lisa Caldwell

Lisa Caldwell, also known as Hip-Baby Mama, is a writer, designer, blogger and all-around social media junkie. Originally from Pittsburgh, Lisa has spent the last 15 years in Reno, NV with her husband Todd and her daughter Lucy. Climbing out from the fog of casino smoke has been a great move as Lisa adapts to life as a Texan. You can read about her further adventures at
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