My 5 New Year’s Resolutions For 2014

body image issuesI’m not entirely sure how this happened, but it appears that in less than a month we’ll be entering the year 2014, in which I will relentlessly chase down the age of … 49.

WHAT? 49. Forty-nine. Forty plus nine minus zero equals 49.

Guess what? I’ve never felt better, and, except for that one facial tic, I’ve also never felt more attractive.

In fact, I went outside this morning, set my timer at 10 minutes and started jumping rope with a jump rope recently purchased because I’m entering my 49th year (in case you missed that niggling obsession in the first paragraph).

I jumped quickly and steadily for 3 of those 10 minutes, but then had to rest my spleen. I’m going to work my way up to 10 minutes.

Because I’ve decided to age backwards. Like Benjamin Button.

I will be a peachy-faced infant when I die. There are many reasons I plan to age backwards. First and foremost, I think we can all agree, is my vanity. It makes me happy when gardeners still whistle at me. Sometimes I whistle back.

Secondly, I want to be around to walk my daughters down the aisle (Henry’s not aware of this plan so keep it on the down low), to take care of infant grandchildren so their parents can sleep through the night, and to make my man eager to reach for me at night.

(Do you hear me Henry? Drop and give me fifty!)

Entering midlife has really brought home the fact that how I take care of myself now is going to have a huge impact on how I age in the future. So.

These are my 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2014:

1. I will keep my weight in a healthy range.

I’m 5’ 6” and 1/2″ (that extra half inch counts!) so, for me, the range I’m comfortable with is 135 to 145 lbs.

It might be different for you depending on many variables; bone size, muscle density et. al.

But I think we should cut ourselves some slack and allow for a ten-pound range to play inside to avoid body image issues.

2. I will do some form of exercise four times a week.

I was trying to do a very rigorous Pilates-style core-building exercise four days a week and realized it was simply too much for my body.

I gave myself a break and decided that twice a week should be my goal. That way I could avoid all-or-nothing-at-all thinking.

Then two or more days a week I add cardio by walking and/or masochistically jumping rope (which is great because it’s cheap, you can do it anywhere for any amount of time).

Here’s the thing about exercise. Any amount is great. If you only have 5 minutes a day to exercise, jump a rope. Or drop and do 20 push-ups. Even just taking time to stretch in the morning will positively impact your quality of life over the years.

3. I will predominantly ingest food and drink that are beneficial.

This one is my most challenging. I have an intense sugar addiction. Just writing the word “sugar” made my mouth water.

But I’ve been using a fitness app on my phone that helps me track calories in and out.

This alone has made me aware of how many calories IN SUGAR I’m eating daily. I was mortified. Seeing the numbers in black and white has helped me lower my sugar intake.

Having said that, let us not forget that wine, while having some sugars, also has wonderful anti-oxidants. Just saying.

4. I will practice and maintain a good attitude toward life. 

Having a sense of humor and gratitude go a long way. Also, sometimes sitting in the audience of your own life is useful.

Step away from challenging people and situations until you are able to objectively observe what is happening, as if you were the audience, not the performer, in your life. This can take the emotional charge away and bring clarity and insight.

5. I will cut myself some slack.

I’m an ambitious perfectionist who is always mildly dissatisfied with her career. I always think I should be doing better, that I’m somehow underperforming and don’t know all of the things I think I should know by now.

I find it much easier to encourage other people than to encourage myself.

There’s an inner critic that’s taken up residence in my prefrontal lobe. I’ve given up entirely trying to banish the bastard, but I try to recognize when he’s talking to me so I can talk back and take away some of his power.

Bottom line, I want to learn to be nicer to myself.

There you have it. My top 5. Possible, maybe even probable.

16 thoughts on “My 5 New Year’s Resolutions For 2014”

  1. 1. keep my words sweet, in case I have to eat them
    2. Pick up the phone once in a while (instead of sending an email or text to someone I love)
    3. Dance
    4. Practice until I am (at least) regionally recognized as a world-class kisser
    5. Write (instead of talking so much)

    Shannon, you need to come to Austin and take some classes from Coco Lectric, and see a JiggleWatts show. Burlesque is a super body positive movement and some extra jiggle is an asset 🙂

    1. Ooh, that sounds incredibly tempting! I think I was a burlesque dancer in a previous life! Must follow your resolution to keep my words sweet. Mine really do taste sour going down.

  2. I will stop obsessing that I need fixing and instead try assuming that I might be just fine the way I am!

  3. Yeah, I obsessed over 49, which was probably a good thing as it made 50 seem easy. All the agony about getting so close to 50 at the dreaded 49 was too much to carry for two years, so the zero at the end of a new digit was not overly traumatic. Now to make sure sugar does not catch up with me.

  4. I have to say, my list is similar. The one thing you mentioned though, that I’ve never heard before was the idea of sitting in the audience of your own life. I love that – really resonates! I’m going to steal it and take it forward into my New Year, if that’s OK!

    1. Hello Lady Jennie — Keeping everything in one piece is an excellent resolution. One tricky thing about living online is that we compare our insides to other people’s outsides. We’re all just doing the best we can. In the last week I’ve felt sorry for myself for many reasons that I don’t always share on my blog as I like to put my best foot forward, so I think keeping expectations low is actually an act of self-love. Kisses to you and your beautiful family this holiday season. xoxo P.S. I was hoping we could sleep together again very soon?

  5. I want to hike more and see as much live music as possible in 2014. I had the same resolution last New Year’s but I would like to renew it this year because I think I can do MUCH better. I enjoy jumping rope. What I love most is hula hooping. I have a weighted one on my front porch. It’s fun and makes me feel sexy! The neighbors stare and I just wave and keep on hooping. I’m trying to master some tricks off of YouTube. It’s hard!

  6. Hi, Shannon. Brand new reader here (found you via The Bloggess), and right behind you at 47 in 2014. I love your resolutions! I only have one – to be more fit. I’m financially challenged, so I can’t afford gym membership or classes or anything like that, but after New Year’s we’re making room in our house for enough floor space that I can set up a TV and DVD player to do exercise videos at home. LOVE your jump rope idea! I don’t know why I never thought of that myself. Thanks for the great blog and good luck on your resolutions in the new year!

    1. Hi Deana — Welcome to my site. Needless to say I love the Bloggess. Let’s keep in touch with each other about our resolutions. I think mine will probably be easier to achieve after Winter break. xo

  7. 1. Learn to play the piano. I am taking possession of my late grandmother’s upright piano. I had a few lessons on it when I was 6, and I played tenor sax in middle and high school, so I already have some of the basics. This year I will fill my house with music!
    2. Be busier doing the things I want to do, instead of the things I have to do. I like being busy, but I don’t like working. Somehow I have to make my work the kind of busy I enjoy.
    3. Create a blog about things I love. It will be very eclectic.
    4. Laugh more with my husband. Now that our twins are three, it seems like the parenting intensity is letting up a little. Maybe we can afford to relax a bit more.
    5. Love myself the way I am today. This is the only me I get, and the only today I get. Why be at odds with either of them?

    Since 5 seems to be the magic number, I’ll just stop.

  8. Hey young Shannon,
    Am 14 years ahead of you. Just had two strangers tell me they thought I was in my mid 40s so it is possible to go backwards. So there’s that.
    Being single and ‘elderly’ the goals are:
    -to keep up with all my much younger co-workers regarding all the pain in the butt tech changes.
    -to hoard $$$ like crazy for old age, even though actual future retirement is unlikely
    -to knock off some more aging for all typical reasons, via exercise.
    You are my first blog entry ever. (IS this a blog??) I hope I can figure out how to come back here. I love your honesty!

    1. Jilly thanks for stopping by! Yes this is a blog and I hope you do come back! Love your resolutions. All the constant tech innovations drive me nuts too, but I suspect that learning them is keeping my brain in shape, so there’s that!

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