2011 Personal New Years Resolutions

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I wasn't planning on sharing my personal new years resolutions on my blog, but I thought- what the heck, why not? I had a hard time thinking about my new year's resolutions and thought that if I typed it out in a blog post, it might be easier to document it.

I truly find that behaviour change resolutions are much more difficult that financial resolutions, but I will share them with you all in hopes that I am more accountable with my personal new years resolutions. I read in the paper the other day that behaviour changes take 66 days to truly become a pattern in our lives. So that means that if I managed to exercise three times a week over two or so months, I would be “home free” and this behaviour change (working out three times a week) will be ingrained in my personal life pattern… that it will become a routine, instead of something I have to force myself to do.

Personal New Years Resolutions- 2k11:

  • Exercise more! Specifically, exercise at least twice a week (hey I'm starting off slow, they have to be achievable, right? LOL).  This can be in the form of yoga, going for a run with the dog, or hiking.  This was an epic fail last year, so hopefully I will be able to adhere to this resolution.  I did buy a yoga DVD and I have a one month pass for a yoga studio I plan on using in February in which I will be going every day or maybe 4+ times a week.
  • Don't Sweat the Small Stuff– Sometimes I find myself easily aggravated over little things, that really don't matter in the big scheme of things.  I need to be more patient and practice compassion.  I know this isn't really measurable, but I wanted to put it in here anyways.
  • Continue volunteering– I volunteer twice a month at a soup kitchen and I also volunteered as a mentor last year for an immigrant who had recently come to Canada.  I hope to continue this, but having both going on a the same time + blog + full time work + house stuff was a bit much last year.
  • Hike the West Coast Trail– The West Coast Trail is a 75km wilderness backpacking trail on Vancouver Island and it takes about 6-8 days of hiking to finish.  People come from all over the world to hike this popular trail and it is often on many hiking enthusiasts “must do” lists.  300 people a year have to be evacuated out of the trail due to serious injury, so it definitely isn't for the faint of heart.  There are pulleys, cable cars, huge 20 feet ladders to climb… the ladders is the main reason I'm not so keen on it.  I HATE heights (my palms are getting sweaty just thinking about it) and climbing a huge ladder with a heavy backpack isn't my idea of fun… but hopefully I will manage to conquer my fear and not plummet to serious injury!
  • Go hiking once a week at least during hiking season.  I was really good at doing the Grouse Grind (this 2km long outdoor stairmaster in Vancouver) two years ago, but last year I think I only did it once.  I might consider buying one of those “unlimited passes” to download from the cable car this year so I will be forced to hike it more often.
  • Continue blogging three times a week– I love blogging but I find that it takes up quite a bit of my time.  I need to continue on this quest for balance.
  • Read a book every two months– Sad to say, the only time I read is during vacation, but I need to find the time to read in my day to day life.  Usually I'm too exhausted to read before bed.  I'll try and read once a week during breakfast instead of watching the morning news.
  • Bring a lunch to work every day– I actually look forward to my lunches (I make them the night before) and I like how I am saving $8 a day.  Instead of lunches, I save my money for travel 😉
  • Don't go on facebook on the computer at home– I find my self obsessively compulsively checking facebook, maybe 15 times a day, I log in refresh, and log out.  It's almost like an addiction to updating and refreshing!  I look at pictures of friends of friends sometimes, people who I don't even know or even care about.  I know this is definitely not healthy and is a huge time-waster (aka death to productivity).  I am allowing myself to go on facebook during the day on my iPhone, but in the evening, I'm going to try and stay off it.  I'll do this by signing up for that site where you can ban sites from firefox called LeechBlock (shout out to 27 and Frugal who introduced me to this) and you can choose when to ban it (I chose M-F from 1800-2355).

Okay there you have it.. those are my personal goals.  I think the most difficult one would be the exercise twice a week resolution… and reading a book every two months.  Those involve some drastic behaviour changes from what I am currently doing.  Please don't hesitate to crack the whip if you see me falling off my new years resolutions LOL!

Readers, what are your personal new years resolutions?  Do you find that the “66 day rule” for behaviour change is applicable to you?

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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

40 Comments

  1. Fox on January 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Great goals! Yes the exercise one is always the hardest, but it takes time like anything else.

    The facebook ban made me laugh. Did not know such program exists where you can ban your self. Neat!

    Volunteering is very nice of you. How did you find out about the kitchen soup program? Is there one here in Toronto you think? How about the immigrant program? Sounds pretty neat!

    Fox



  2. Jaymus (RealizedReturns) on January 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

    facebook addict, eh? Once you break the addiction, you’ll wonder how/why you ever wasted any time there. Now sometimes when I am sitrting around trying to think of a website to go kill 10-15mins on I draw a blank and then laugh “oh yea, facebook.. haven’t been on there in a couple of months” (and I don’t feel likeI’m missing out at all because of it).

    Funny thing is though, I was recently wondering if I should be getting back in to the whole facebook craze and here you are looking to get out.



  3. Steve Zussino on January 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

    My wife and I are looking to also hike the West Coast Trail.

    Let me know if you would like to create a group.

    That is great with your volunteer work – I usually just volunteer at the odd event around here.



  4. Liquid on January 5, 2011 at 9:56 am


  5. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

    @Steve Zussino- Cool 🙂 Have you guys done the JDF yet? I think every little bit of volunteering counts. I wish I could do more event volunteering but find that I can’t get organized enough to do it sometimes (e.g. signing up for orientation etc.)



  6. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

    @Fox- I didn’t either! I was so happy when I heard about that. About volunteering- there are lots of programs out there for soup kitchens, I’m very sure there’s one in toronto. In BC and Alberta, there’s a website called www.govolunteer.ca and in toronto there is www.volunteertoronto.ca/. You should be able to find some soup kitchen volunteer opportunities there. Also, a lot of the time you don’t have to be consistent at volunteering, you can just join in whenever you have the time, which is good for packed schedules. Hmm for the immigrant program, I’m sure there is something in toronto, because it’s such a big hub for immigrants to canada, but not sure what company you could find it under.



  7. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

    @Liquid- Wow, thanks for that quote- it’s so true!



  8. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:48 am

    @Jaymus- yup, total facebook addiction. I think I might have even been under reporting the 10-15 visits a day. it might be more LOL. You tube is another website that you can kill 10-15 minutes of time easily. I can’t believe you haven’t been on in a few months, how do you find the self-restraint!?! Amazing! You are a man of willpower, Jaymus.



  9. SavingMentor on January 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I have to say I’ve never been much of a personal goal setter … and maybe that’s my problem. There is never enough time in the day and right now I have a lot of extra time on my hands. In 1 month, I will have a lot less. My goal is to simply not die from stress!

    If you are able to accomplish all of these things while working full time and having a relationship and a blog, then I salute you!



  10. Invest It Wisely on January 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    The west coast trail looks like it would be a lot of fun! Good luck on the resolutions, and I agree with you about Facebook!



  11. Money Rabbit on January 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Wow, Leechblock is AWESOME!!! I’m definitely signing up!!!

    These goals are fantastic. I would like to try some hiking this year … jealous of the beautiful trails you have out there in BC!



  12. Taylor on January 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    If you want to feed your travel addiction while also checking off the volunteer and exercise boxes check out Team Diabetes. Raise ~$6000 for the CDA and you can go to Iceland or Turkey etc to run in a race (flight & accommodation covered). There are other great causes that do this type of fundraising too. Maybe one of them calls to you.

    Good luck meeting your goals! I hope the West Coast Trail is amazing!



  13. Money Rabbit on January 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I’ve signed up for the Goodlife marathon here in Toronto, and I signed up to have Team Diabetes benefit from my entrance fee. As the sister of a Type 1 juvenile diabetic, I love seeing posts like Taylor’s!



  14. Financial Uproar on January 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Good luck with your goals Y&T!

    Like you, I found I was spending too much time on Facebook. Realizing it was just wasted time, I deleted my account. Ever since I did that I haven’t even been tempted to go back. Now I laugh at all the suckers who waste their time on FB.



  15. krantcents on January 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Personal and financial resolutions need a plan! The personal ones need to quantified as much as the financial ones. How will you know you accomplished?



  16. lovely leverage on January 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Wow you have a lot of goals. I think the hardest must be #2 Don



  17. young on January 5, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    @lonely leverage- A lot of my colleagues tell me that meditation is seriously the way to go… I try it on and off, but very informally. I actually tried the other night while taking a bath, and fell asleep in the bath tub! I agree, #2 seems to be the hardest, but I think it will be the most rewarding in the long run. There is no better reward or better goal than trying to be a better person. That’s what life is all about, right? 😉



  18. MD on January 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I thought you said your goals will be realistic? Bringing your lunch to work and not using Facebook? Come on now lol!

    Working out is very good. I’m trying to cut down on my workouts because I think I’m addicted. I train more often than is needed.

    what are the travel plans?



  19. young on January 5, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    @krantcents- Hmm, the “don’t sweat the small stuff” isn’t quantifiable.. I can’t really say that I will get mad only once a month … can i? LOL



  20. young on January 5, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    @Financial Uproar- Were you spending too much time on facebook looking for pictures of Taylor Swift after you “became a fan” on facebook? LOL (I guess this is an inside joke between us since we talked about it on twitter)… I wish I had the guts to delete my account.. though I think you can always get your account back.



  21. young on January 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    @Money Rabbit- Wow- amazing! Marathon AND charity…! I didn’t know you are a sister of a Type 1 diabetic 🙂 I have a colleague who’s daughter is a Type 1, and my heart breaks at the responsibility a small child has to deal with (e.g. testing, not exercising too much etc.). Did you watch the Amazing Race and how the Type 1 diabetic physician won? I was so happy when I saw that.



  22. young on January 5, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    @Taylor- Thanks- that’s a good idea! I’ll look into that 🙂 I know that there are fundraising efforts for Mt Kilimanjaro too at the local children’s hospital.



  23. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    @Money Rabbit- I would like to do a marathon! 🙂 Maybe I’ll sign up for one this year too. That might get me back in shape too.



  24. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    @SavingMentor- Really? I find these things not too big to accomplish.. they don’t take time every weekend, or every Tuesday, for example. Things like that would be a lot more difficult to accomplish because of the time commitment involved. We’ll see 🙂 Will let you guys all know next year!



  25. young on January 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    @MD- lol, actually i’ve been bringing my lunch to work daily already 🙂 so it’s not too much of a stretch. What WILL be a stretch is the face book thing. I have already been kind of cheating by going on my iphone hahaha oh dear…. ooh the travel plans- you’ll see what the are.. not too much this year, now that I have all this mortgage debt 🙂



  26. Samantha Dermot on January 6, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Looks like you will be too busy in accomplishing all your resolutions! lol Personally, I also have my own resolutions towards my personal growth. I’ve been focusing too much on my online activities that had a great impact on my social life. I wanted to regain that life again especially that I’m still young. I hope all of our resolutions will be fulfilled as we take our 2011 journey.



  27. retirebyforty on January 6, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Great goals! Good luck to you.
    I think 66 days is not enough to build up a good routine. I was just thinking about this yesterday when I was at the gym. There were the regulars vs the New Year crowd. The regulars are always there from week to week. The New Year crowd are usually gone by March. I think it take about a year to form get comfortable in a routine so keep at it. 66 days is definitely not enough. You should at least count 66 exercise days, that will probably take half a year. 😀



  28. Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter on January 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    This is a great list of goals. Yes you should start exercising slowly so you don’t injure yourself. Plus, exercise requires habit. Once you have been able to maintain 2 days a week for 6 weeks, then try 3. It is better to be consistent.

    I also like your goal about not sweating the small stuff. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of spinning over things that are secondary to what’s really important. Kudos to you for trying to break this habit.

    Thirdly, I like you goal about bringing a lunch to work everyday. I can promise you you will see many benefits from this. You will feel better, you will save money, and you will have more time. We always bring a lunch and we wouldn’t do it any other way.

    Best of luck with everything.



  29. twentysomethingmoney on January 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    These are some great goals! I’m trying to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ too, but I find when you care about something (even work!) its hard not too — things always go wrong, and you always want to try to fix them. But in 2011, I’m trying to ‘care less’ and keep the big picture in mind.

    Good luck with the goals!



  30. Evan on January 6, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    And installing the firefox add on after this comment! I don’t even care about the people aspect of it I get sucked into those stupid 1min long games…



  31. Financial Samurai on January 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    The western trail hike sounds great!

    For some reason, I never got into Facebook. 15X a day is a lot!!!



  32. young on January 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    @Evan- LOL! YOU’RE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who plays farmville…! Or bejewelled.. That isn’t a one minute long game though… though I wouldn’t know because I’ve never played it. I just came back home after a long day and all I want is to do some fb stalking, but I can’t because I have leechblock. hehe…



  33. young on January 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    @twentysomethingmoney- I know what you mean! I think we’ll both actually have to take a deep breath and say “big picture” when something isn’t done the way we want it done exactly. 🙂 That will be our mantra for 2011- big picture. not big pimpin’.



  34. young on January 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    @Miss T- Thank you for your suggestions. Definitely wouldn’t want to injure myself.
    Re: not sweating the small stuff- it’s very very easy to get into this spiral. I guess the first step is realizing it.
    Thanks! I hope I fulfill these 2011 resolutions too 🙂



  35. young on January 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @retirebyforty- hehe.. the “new years crowd”. You should do a post on how long each one actually lasts! Okay, I’ll try 66 exercise days, that sounds like a good suggestion. To be honest, I haven’t done day 1 yet, but it’s because I”m sick. I’ll get at it tomorrow, I promise!



  36. young on January 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    @Financial Samurai- you’re so lucky! It’s such a time waster and it makes you feel bad about yourself because you know about acquaintences’ or friends’ lives without even having to have a real conversation with them. Kind of creepy.



  37. retirebyforty on January 7, 2011 at 5:27 am

    Hope you feel better soon!
    I think I will make a post about the New Year crowd. 🙂 thx

    ps. come see my directorial debut!!!



  38. entrepreneurs startup on January 9, 2011 at 6:38 am

    great resolutions from all points of life. these resolutions keep one happy in their life



  39. Little House on January 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

    The hiking goal is great – I have trouble fitting in hikes and my hiking friend had a baby and now won’t hike! Argh. 😉

    Good luck on your goals this year!



  40. young on January 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    @Little House- Oh no! Everyone having babies all around you 😉 It’s happening for me too! (people around me having babies, not me having babies). Hey lady, you cycle everywhere- if I were able to do that I wouldn’t need to hike 😉



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