First Quarter: Affirmative, Roger that.

28/03/2012 § 6 Comments

Image via George Eastman House

Ladies and germs, March has been a terrifically busy, yet rather challenging month, I kid you not.  As we close out this first quarter of 2012 — poof! gone! — I wanted to briefly discuss the topic of resolutions, both of the New Year’s and Lenten variety.  Ohhhh yes, remember those?  As we inch closer to 2013, how have you fared?  For me, I’m rating my success a solid C+

As for resolutions: I’ve started three books but I haven’t been able to fight my way to the end of any of them.  I have done some running, but nothing near the distances I need to be ready for a half marathon.  I haven’t actually cooked anything, but I have started to buy groceries.  I haven’t been anywhere near a horse.  I have been actively working at identifying what I want, clearly asking for it, and working to make it happen.

As for Lent: I have successfully banished the snooze button and breakfast sandwiches, but dairy, on the other hand, has been harder to shake.  (We’ll talk about passive negativity in a moment…)

When I take a step back and see all the goals I made for myself and my uneven progress toward achieving them, I have a natural inclination to focus on what hasn’t been done and freak myself out about that.  I’m obviously a failure.  Not only will I completely ignore the big wins (my love of the snooze bar is well documented — an epic snoozer, I would sometimes hit it for over an hour before rising), I will cast aside the smaller victories I’ve made in the process of achieving the greater goals (e.g., groceries first, then cooking) as not good enough.  And then the fatalism comes shuffling in: Since I’ve already messed it all up, why even keep trying?  For me, it can be difficult sometimes to give myself a break and let success come a little slower than my irrational brain — and pride — would like.  So here’s where my attempted ban on passive negativity steps in.  By honoring what I have already accomplished and by recognizing that achieving these goals will not be a quick as flipping on a light switch, I feel more relaxed and much more open to the change and commitment these resolutions require.

But how to do this?  As crazy as it might sound, I simply try to take a moment to reflect on my progress, call out my victories and give myself a mental pat on the back.  You could do this in a moment of meditation on the train or in your car, write about it in your journal, or if you’re not shy about expressing it you could give the words even more strength by saying them out loud.  By choosing to spend my time thinking, writing or even speaking positively, I give power to these thoughts and my spirits are immediately lifted.  It becomes easier to accept the little stumbles on the way to achieving my goals.  I am reminded that as long as I pick myself up, dust myself off and start again, everything is fine.

And for a little inspiration, two child affirmation prodigies you may have already met, but should definitely visit with again:

So let’s agree to take a moment and have a bit of celebration for the awesomeness that you are, and commit to making the second quarter even better.

And I would love to hear about your goals and your progress as well!


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§ 6 Responses to First Quarter: Affirmative, Roger that.

  • emmaaubryroberts says:

    Hi Mariah! Daily reader but first-time commenter. Just wanted to let you know how much I admire your blog’s point of view—you nail that balance of style, sass, and smart writing that is inspirational without being over-the-top. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  • emmaaubryroberts says:

    Hi Mariah! Daily reader but first-time commenter. Just wanted to let you know how much I admire your blog’s point of view—you nail that balance of style, sass, and smart writing that’s inspirational without being over-the-top. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  • Nat says:

    I agree with the commenter above – I love the balance of your blog, and I’m a regular reader – I’m really missing your Charm School!
    I’ve had a few set backs with some of my new years resolutions, but on reflection I’m making some progress… thank you very much for reminding us to give ourselves a pat on the back sometimes for the progress we have made, not just an appraisal of how far we have to go.

    • Hi Nat,

      I’m really happy to know that we both took time this week to celebrate ourselves. Thank you for reading and for your kind words. I am missing Charm School too, but I’ll definitely be writing similar kinds of posts for the other 11 months of the year. I would love to hear any thoughts or suggestions you might have!


  • What an honest post! I’m sure we all share some of the sentiment here – I try not to set many resolutions since I end up breaking them and feeling bad, which kinda defeats the point of setting out to do new and different things. I set myself a few challenges this year – I’m getting there with them, but I hate to deny myself things so my challenges are always things to do more of rather than what not to do – which could be easier….?

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