Lofty Expectations For 2020

It’s time for people to design their personal blueprint for the year 2020 and I encourage you to be intentional. Now, you have to find the right speed for you, though! As humans, we run

It’s time for people to design their personal blueprint for the year 2020 and I encourage you to be intentional. Now, you have to find the right speed for you, though! As humans, we run out of gas if we jump on huge, unattainable and exhausting goals. Why are you trying to run a marathon when you’ve never even owned sneakers, baybee? It would be like me trying to learn to be a sous chef in a five-star restaurant. Making lettuce “chiffonade” style is enough for me, so why push my boundaries?

 

Travel is always a good resolution, but, remember – it does not have to include accommodations at The Taj Mahal. OK, some folks need to feel special but if you belong to the Ordinary Club of Nice People, a clean, pleasant place (no, I’m not saying not a hostel) with good food and beer is just fine.

 

It’s also intoxicating to expect to do Herculean squats and build a ton of muscles in 2020, but set realistic goals. Enrolling in the gym is a big plus, because having a schedule there and group fitness classes can make it even better. If binge eating rears its ugly head during short periods of time, don’t allow guilt to give you cement feet … any movement is better than no movement. Some effort beats no effort, and progress is better than perfection!

 

Life in moderation is the key to enjoy life. Reaching a goal half-way can also make you a happy camper. Besides, if you are lucky enough to see and do everything BIG in life, nothing but boredom awaits and that lofty list of goals for the New Year becomes slimmer. Your list might include 10 expectations because you’ve just celebrated the New Year with booze, dancing and optimism but in the end, if you only accomplish 2 of them, celebrate that achievement. Yes, at the end of 2020 you will feel a slight pinch that boxes on your list couldn’t be checked – that is your motivation.  Your expectations and abilities change yearly, so chill and do what feels good but with some elbow grease. I mean, you can’t sign up for a Spanish class and never return the following day because you hate the musty room and can’t understand the instructor. If you aren’t a prima donna, ordinary things worked around a schedule can become addicting.

 

You need a plan to make realistic resolutions stick. You don’t wake up January 1 and list things you’ve never ever done. Also, make rewards a real thing to follow-up trying things on your list. For example, I love going to work-out but create a constant plan each time I go. That plans includes a post-sweat Starbucks iced coffee with low-fat milk and nothing sweet. It’s my personal reward.  And trust me, I use this same reward system each time I work out. Minus the double chocolate brownie that I would break the showcase for, but it’s not allowed on my list.

 

Don’t worry about making mistakes and slipping up. So what if you can’t afford that cruise to Cozumel, or join your employed friends for a $50 lunch. New Year, New Me is just not that realistic. Start small. Think about what you did last year that made you feel good and kind. Give yourself time and try to build on whatever gave you satisfaction. I’m in love with Post-it notes and each day I make a to-do list (so I am a little OCD). Sometimes I just don’t get to the last item on the list but it keeps me in line and I keep a pad in the car so I don’t forget what I didn’t do.

 

So to recap, don’t take up a hobby like dancing and know you have 2-left feet and can catch a beat. There are a whole lot of other dances you can learn. You don’t want salsa to be a lofty expectation. Forget creating a garden if you feel wishy washy about it, plant babies are highly demanding. You better LOVE seeing a luscious tomato bloom from a seed and deal with birds who also love to taste it before it blooms. Things take work in life. A little can go a long way as long as you feel good. There are always other options in life. I may carry a gym bag in my car at all times to keep me in line, but I can also be tempted to skip the gym and grab a burger if a good friend calls. Not-so-lofty resolutions are perfectly fine, especially if they are successful. It’s all about the journey and not what happens after you arrive.

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Cindy Small
Cindy Small arrived in N. Alabama following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A native of New Orleans, she graduated from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Masters in Historic Preservation Studies. She spends her spare time writing a weekly “Spotlight” column for The Decatur Daily as well as reading her non-fiction short stories on NPR. Published in various literary journals, her writings are always humorous added with a speck of arsenic.