Resolutions, Resolutions

resolutionsOur favorite things to break. A classic, annual running joke. Typical morning news fodder for the end of the year.

OH, RESOLUTIONS. How we’ve become obsessed with making you, breaking you and laughing it all off.

Last year, I put “keep a New Year’s Resolution for an entire year.” on my Life List.

Then, I proceeded to make a resolution. And wouldn’t you know, in 2013, I actually kept it.

You’re dying to know how I did it, aren’t you? (If not, humor me, for a sec.)

When I set out to choose my resolution for the year, I made sure that it would fulfill three major characteristics:

  • It was something that I had to actively do every day of 2013.
  • It was something that would take less than 5 minutes of my time.
  • It was something that I knew would positively impact my day in some way.

Check, check and check. My 2013 New Years Resolution was a resounding success.

Now, you’re asking yourself, “what could it possibly have been?”

I resolved to make my bed every day in 2013.

Yes, it sounds basic and kind of silly. Like something that I should have, if my mother had her way, learned as a ten-year-old. BUT.

It was an activity, it typically took about 3 minutes and the extent of the positive impact on my day has been way more than I ever expected. My room is tidy 90% of the time, I have a semblance of a morning routine and my bedroom has become a sanctuary of sorts for me – peaceful, relaxing, and used almost exclusively for sleeping.

I loved having a resolution that was easy enough to keep going all year. Plus, the beauty of it is that I know I’ll continue making my bed daily despite the year ending, because now, it’s a habit.

This year, I plan to do it again. So I brainstormed a quick list of ideas that fit my three criteria:

  • Write in a gratitude journal or memory book daily.
  • Floss my teeth every night.
  • Give one person a genuine compliment every day.
  • Meditate for five minutes every day.
  • Leave my desk for lunch every day.
  • Take one photo every day.
  • Remove my makeup and wash my face every night.

The daily part of this exercise makes picking a resolution somewhat challenging, but I made myself think of habits I wish I had (hi, face washing & meditating) that wouldn’t take a lot of time each day to do.

You might be thinking, “Wow, way to set the bar impossibly low for 2014, you loser.”

To which I would reply, “There’s a difference between resolutions and goals, fool.”

Over the past month, I sat down and worked through a long goal setting process. It was intense, emotional and worthwhile. My goals, probably for the first time ever, are realistic and true to what I actually want. After a lot of thought on the matter, I am not sharing them here – I’m testing the theory that a slightly more personal approach is better for me.

One thing I do want to mention with respect to my goals is that things will change a bit on All Things E. I’ll be posting less frequently (expect to hear from me  no more than 3x per week and at least for January, only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the occasional Sunday) and my focus will narrow to slightly fewer topics that make me more amped to share.

2014 is really exciting me. What about you guys? Are you making a resolution this year?


  • Not losery at all – actually really impressive. I went to a panel at SXSW in March about how to make big life changes in small ways, & this totally falls in line with what the high-powered geniusy guy who led that panel talked about. So, hey, you may actually be a genius. 😉

    • Ha ‘genius’ may be a stretch, but this is awesome to hear! SXSW is on my bucket list, I need to make it happen sooner rather than later. Thanks Kate!

  • Kara says:

    I got into the habit of fixing my bed in 2013 and I love it! I love coming back into my room at the end of busy day and finding someplace where I can stretch out without the work of clearing it off first. Totally peaceful. Now, if I could just get my boyfriend on board….

    • Ha, yes! That’s one of my favorite parts about it too. Clean, comfy, inviting. Total win.

  • You are so right–resolutions and goals are very different animals! I had not planned to make resolutions this year…2014 was for goal-setting (and goal-crushing), full steam ahead. Then I realized as I was brainstorming that a lot of the small changes I wanted to make were things/habits I needed to resolve to do, not goals I could aim to accomplish. I think I’ll join you in making my bed every day as I resolve to keep my space clean + inspired + bright!

    • YAY! So great to hear – and I totally agree – goals are so so different. I like the daily aspect of a resolution and making the bed was so much more rewarding than I expected.

  • Emily P says:

    Last year I tried to make it a resolution to call my grandmothers once every two weeks. I failed, but it shouldn’t be a hard thing to implement so I’m going to try again this year and keep the idea present by adding it to my calendar. That should help me stick to it, right?

    • I love that idea. I’ve been thinking about my grandparents a lot lately and how lucky I am to have them so I better make good use of the time I still have with them. I am adding this to my list of things to do better in 2014.

    • I really love this idea too, Emily – I need to do this as well. I know my grandparents would love it. In the planner it goes! 🙂

  • Love this post Erika. I’ve been adamantly against resolutions the last few years, but I think i’ll mix a few of the great ideas I’ve been seeing on blogs this week to make year goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and one or two habit changes, simple things like eating breakfast every day. Here’s to a 2014 of awesomeness!

    • Thanks so much Jenn! I’ve been really enjoying small, weekly goal setting also. As far as habits go – they’re more difficult but so much more rewarding to accomplish, I think. Have you read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg? If you’re into habit formation/change, it’s so worth the read (and I might be giving it away here in a few weeks… so watch for that!)

      • I haven’t read it yet, but am absolutely checking back for your giveaway or grabbing a copy myself!

  • I haven’t set a resolution in years … I love the idea of setting small (but big!) positive goals each day. Oooi, I’m terrible about making my bed everyday, and flossing my teeth, yuck! I’m going to join this little daily adventure with you. I wish you nothing but success in 2014!! xo

    • AH awesome! 🙂 Let’s do this!

  • […] Erika rightfully pointed out in her recent resolutions post, “There’s a difference between resolutions and goals, fool.” Last week, I sat down […]

  • Erika says:

    A long, long time ago (like a year ago, hahahahaha), I made a blog post that was about an inspirational story I heard about making your bed. (Here’s the video I referred to in that post: Anyway, I feel like a small change like making your bed leads to so many bigger things, as you’ve noticed. I also really love your list that you came up with. These things require a small amount of effort, but have a huge impact — especially over time. That’s some smart goal making!!! 🙂

    • Ah cool! I like Marie Forleo a lot (though I do wish her stuff wasn’t always in video-form) – I’ll definitely watch this!

      Making the bed = one of my favorite habits. Hoping that I can magically transform flossing my teeth into a favorite as well (though I’m not holding my breath on this lol).

  • Manda says:

    I wrote in a daily happiness journal every day for a year once. Each day was simply a few bullets of things that made me happy and it was such a great experience. I look back at that journal sometimes and even if my day only had a few items that sound ordinary to others, I remember exactly what happened that day. There was only one day in the whole year where the only thing that made me happy was “my health” 😛

    • Ah this is exciting to hear – for my birthday this year, my sister gave me one of those 5 year memory books – each day of the year has a page with room for five years of memories (just a few lines per year). I’ve been writing in it since my birthday and it’s been a fun exercise. Even on boring days, there’s usually something that’s profound *enough* to write down.

  • […] ridiculously healthy and made flossing my new habit for the […]

  • […] still stand by what I wrote almost exactly one year ago. You can read that here. The gist of that post is that I like to pick a small, daily action to make as my New Year’s […]

  • […] 2013 in Review // Resolutions, Resolutions // Less & More in […]

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