Old Year Resolutions

It’s December first.

That means there’s one month left in 2012. (Are you so impressed right now with my math skills and calendaring talent? Cuz, whoa, I should probably be an executive secretary or a physicist or something. 12 minus 11 is ONE y’all. ONE.)

What this means is that each and every one of us has a list of things that we wanted to accomplish this year that we haven’t looked at since, oh, say February. If we were really diligent, then March.

At the gym the other morning my friend Konrad came up with this new, great plan: we’re going to focus on our Old Year Resolutions this month.

I invite you all to do the same.

Look back at your journal, and dust off that entry from January first. What were your hopes for this year? What were your aspirations? Which goals have you accomplished, and which ones can you still focus on this last month to bring closer to completion?

Don’t be discouraged by how much might not have happened.

Take a moment to celebrate the progress, any progress, you made in any goal. Be grateful for the chance you had to work on it, and pat yourself on the back for all you have been able to do so far this year.

Then look at one or two of the ones that you didn’t quite get to. Are there a couple that you could rework and fit into this last month? Is there anything that is close to achievement that, with some great focus, you can finish by 2013?

Now, make a short list–one or two or maybe three.

Then, and this is how we have decided to work it so that we actually get our stuff done, but feel free to skip this part if you’re too afraid: we decided on a really uncomfortable, realistic consequence if we don’t accomplish our Old Year Resolutions.

One of mine goals, for example, is fitness. I adjusted my goal to make it reasonable for a month, and then came up with my punishment: If I don’t reach my weight loss goal in the month of December, then I will be violently dragged willingly play a game of church basketball.

You have no idea how much that punishment terrifies me, and therefore motivates me to NOT MISS MY OLD YEAR RESOLUTION. 

Here’s an old post that might show why, just a bit: The Day I Realized I’m Exactly Like Jimmer Fredette. (Is it lame that as I reread this post I was laughing out loud at my own writing? Probably. Old Year Resolution: don’t laugh at your own blog posts ever again. It’s just sad.)

Anyway, I’d love to see any Old Year Resolutions you come up with. And I’d especially like to hear about your clever, motivational punishments. I bet you guys will come up with some awesome stuff.

Let’s make the most of the rest of 2012! I’m off to go on a run so that I do not have to be subjected to church ball.


  1. Don't be ashamed. I go back and read my old stuff all the time, and find myself amused beyond what should be legal. You're the only audience that has exactly the same sense of humor as you.

  2. This is great. Last year I didn't make any resolutions but to survive my breast cancer, so I guess I made it! Why do you have a pic of birth control in this post? It's . . . weird. lol <3 you guys!!!

    1. That's a good point. Was one of the resolutions to have a Weed IV on the way? If so, we totally understand why thou shalt not be posting for the next month (sheer exhaustion). It's a novel way to meet your fitness goals. though.

    2. What a coincidence, the other day I was talking with some friends about most embarrassing moments and you know you can never think of any when people ask but I remembered mine this morning (before reading your post.)

      A couple of years ago I was trying to make new friends and decided to make a goal to do things that I would never normally do. . . or rather should never normally do i.e. sports. I made the goal because one of my roommates asked if I wanted to be on their flag football team and I laughed in his face, but then I started thinking about it and thought, "hey I should try it, and I should try tons of other things too so people will be my friend." So soon after making the goal a friend invited me to play a friendly game of basketball. I explained how terrible I am at basketball but they assured me that it really didn't matter (after all every guy is good enough at basketball to play a pickup game right?) Turns out his assurance that it didn't matter was a total lie. Do you know how mad people get when you aren't good at basketball and you are on their team?

      It was awful, I hated every moment but I just kept running back and forth on the court waiting for some miracle to make me good at basketball and having no idea what I was doing. At one point I was certain someone had broken my neck (turns out it wasn't) and I was making sure I was okay while running back to the other side of the court with everyone else when I got a really dirty glare from one of the players on my team. I knew I needed to get out of there somehow. . . luckily the person who invited me showed up right then and I told him he could take my spot, after a moment of convincing him that I was truly and totally okay with him taking my spot he finally did and I RAN out of there…literally, I ran and didn't stop running for probably an hour, I was really hoping that the running would make it go away but it never went away and it never will.

      Lesson Learned: There is no such thing as a friendly game of basketball and I do not make friends that way, quite the opposite in fact.

      Needless to say, I told my roommate that night that I would definitely NOT be joining his flag football team.

      Josh, meet your goal. . .

  3. My friends and I had a facebook group of 12 in 2012 goals with 12 goals for various categories of life. Mine included household projects, DIY (pinterest-y projects), recipes to try, and exercise. We found out we were pregnant with our first kid when the weather turned decent so my exercise was reduced to swims/walks. And our household project priorities changed a lot too. But with a do-able old year resolutions style list…I can keep baking and decorating. So my goals for December are:
    Santa Cake
    Swiss cake roll
    Toilet paper wreath-Collect and create http://pinterest.com/pin/131589620331870653/

  4. Well I honestly do not remember making any goals last Jan. Although things I have been striving for this year have been; getting fit, getting healthy mentally, taking my medications, seeing a counselor regularly. All of which I have done really well at overall. My weight fluctuated this past year but I am taking good care of myself now and actually lost 4 pounds last month.

    So my goals are going to be; keep everything up. Specifically; go to the gym at least 4 times a week, do 2 strength training days a week (if for some reason I can't make it to the gym, do something at home). Finish or be very close to finishing my Runkeeper fat loss program.
    Spiritual goals; have one meaningful pray a day and read at least one verse of the scriptures a day.

    Punishment; I have to clean the shower. I hate cleaning the shower. WORST. THING. EVER. Also I have to scoop up dog poop in the back yard, which has not been done in a while and it is cold outside aka it will really suck.

    Exceptions to punishment; If I honestly forget to read my scriptures a couple of times I will let it pass. Also if I get sick or my back is acting up I am excused from those days of working out.

    Game on Josh, game on.

    Also is it awful that a little part of me hopes you fail so you have to play basketball? Under the condition that someone will be video taping it and you will be posting it on here. I say you throw that in there and make this more interesting!

    Can't wait to see you guys.

    1. Tammy,

      True true. Bathrooms in general are just a fest of nastiness, especially public ones. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone not wash their hands WITH soap, I would be one rich lady. If baffles me that people think water will do the trick. Sorry guys water is NOT magical.


      True true, hopefully I don't have to do it but if I do the plan is to do it right before it snows, if it hasn't snowed yet by the end of this month.

  5. Heeeeey. So. A friend referred this article to me today and for some bizarre reason, I just felt this burning desire to share it with you despite the fact that I don't have any way to contact you except through commenting on your latest post. So here's the link:
    ANYWAY. Also. This is the first time I've ever commented on your blog and I think you're delightful and have a nice day and you're great bye.

  6. At first glance on my smart phone, your pic reminded me of ladies' contraceptive. Ha take that, personhood republican legislators! I'm gonna go get a job a Hobby Lobby and buy some!

  7. I don't do new year resolutions because people don't keep them and I feel like I am constantly trying to improve myself anyway. But I am kind of doing something similar to this. Instead of setting goals to eat better, exercise, and budget responsibly after months of holiday bingeing, I'm doing it before.

    I felt really bad after eating most of the chocolate out of my 3year old's halloween candy so I chose to not have any sweets between then and thanksgiving. My wife and I redid the budget nov 1 and we're going to keep it through the end of the year. And I've resolved to run a personal half marathon by the end of Dec since I kept putting off the one I had planned to do Columbus day weekend.

    I also like the idea of making it a contract with a punishment involved. It reminds me of an idea called the $500 diet. You choose to do something measurable and specific by x date and then with a referee, promise that if you fail, you donate a sizable amount of money to an anti charity. Like Media Matters if you're a republican or The Heritage Foundation if you're a democrat for example.

    1. Wow…thanks for making me feel better about my candy eating after Halloween. So it really wasn't stress binge sugar cravings From starting something new, but rather my motherly protective instinct.

    1. Come again? I'm really confused by this statement, since it is coming out I'd left field. If you are referring to my brother in general then that is sad. Yay for online interaction where people don't even have the balls to identify themselves, let alone say it to their face. If it is not something you would say to his face, keep it to yourself. How would you feel is someone out of the blue called you an idiot for whatever reason? We all do things that others deem "stupid", some are some not. Plus you know him how? Oh through videos and his blog? Wow you must be an expert on him then huh?

    2. Josh did use Church Basketball as a motivation. I can't say I find it all that intelligent, despite being a great motivation… though saying "You are an idiot" without further explanation isn't the best way to express this. I've always been partial to "thou fool!" for such behavior…

  8. Growing up, I remember doing something called "Gifts to Jesus," and I saw it as a sort of New Years Resolutions substitution. Before we opened our presents Christmas morning there was a special box under the tree with papers in it, and we added new papers to it every year. We reflected on our lives and wrote down what we would do the next year to love and honor the Savior. Sometimes we would read what we wrote down in years past. I guess it's kind of like the parable of the talents–improving upon what we've been given, spiritually, temporally, personally, emotionally, etc. I've never done it with my own family but I think about it every December. Maybe my goal/resolution for this month is make our own special box for our annual gifts to Jesus.

    Another thought on resolutions…they change. I've had events happen to me this year that didn't only change what I wanted to do in 2012, but with the rest of my life. Resolutions should be adaptable that way. Open your eyes and see if what you're working on is the really the thing you're supposed to be doing.

  9. Confession…. I LOVE this idea. Is it wrong to 'make up' New Years resolutions just to have some old year resolutions to accomplish? Or to borrow someone else's and help them work on their list????

    ::blushes::: I don't make New Years resolutions. I have this ADHD thing going on… And so I have to just grab the tiger by the tail and hold on whenever I can. If I wait until Jan 1st, I just plain old forget.

    But this would be fun!!

    Anyone wanna toss me a few things? Or does that defeat the purpose? Wait!! Whomever has 'delegate authority' or 'trust others more' on their list… Toss me a chore or three 😀 and we'll divide & conquer! Mwahahaha. We can so totally do this.


  10. THANK YOU for being so honest about your basketball suckiness. I too cracked up at your last post, mainly because I can relate so well! I can't tell you how many horrible memories I have being laughed at in P.E. (even in college!) because I couldn't even get the ball in the DIRECTION of the hoop…maybe I should make basketball my punishment too!!

  11. I was pretty sure that I didn't make any resolutions this year. And I was going to comment something along the lines of "I must've known this was going to be a crappy year and so I made no goals so I wouldn't feel guilty for just trying to survive. . . . " And then I went to my blog to check, and yes, I did indeed have goals for the new year. Crap. Now I have to feel all guilty when I don't do them for yet another month (I usually only have to feel guilty during the month of January dang it!). Alright. . . maybe I'll try to do better. I'm still not expecting much. :/

  12. It is so true – I often see lesbians playing softball. In fact, there is a tournament every summer I believe. So when you and Joanne come up to Canada to visit, we shall go.

  13. @ Tammy…

    … It's linked to the BBQ Gene. 9 girls + 1 BBQ = elbows to the face, full contact tackles, and one very empty bottle of lighter fluid.

    – Grey!

  14. I think this is the first year ever that I've accomplished any of my resolutions.
    Losing weight was one- of course. I'm now 35 pounds lighter than a year ago. I'm also exercising regularly, so that's a good thing.
    I wanted to increase my spirituality, and I think I've done that. I'm studying more than I have since my mission (which was eons ago).
    I didn't get my book published, but not for a lack of trying, so I'll just carry that over till next year.

    Avoiding church ball of any kind would be a huge motivator for me. I'm sure I'd trip over my own feet, like I did when I was 14.

  15. I love that you said "or a physicist" in the first paragraph! "Physics is phun" as one of my profs used to say (or at least very interesting).

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