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Holistic Approach to New Year Resolutions

I admit it, I failed on most of my New Year Resolutions!

I started out strong, but then ran out of motivation.  2010, while a good year financially for me, was a bad year on a developmental level.

That’s why I decided to buck the trend of stating a defined list of resolutions and instead go for a more Holistic Approach to my New Year goals.

Before I go to explain what I mean by taking a holistic approach to my New Year goals, let me review the results of my 2010 Resolutions:

  1. Losing Weight While Saving Money  – While I didn’t get bigger, I also didn’t lose the desired weight.  So I stalled on this particular goal.  This was my biggest disappointment!
  2. Stop Being a Pack Rat – This resolution I was able to conquer!  This is the only resolution that I was able to beat!
  3. Maximizing Who I Am – This is my biggest defeat.  I didn’t maximize who I am at all!

So in conclusion, in 2010 I started with high expectations, but I ended up disappointed.

A brand new plan, the Holistic Approach:

By Holistic Approach, I basically mean that I’m not going to compartmentalize my life into individual buckets!  Instead I’m going to create everything as just a typical part of the process, and consider everything as a entire system.  That way I just don’t do well in one area while neglecting the other areas.

Next, I will try to optimize the process so that it can be accomplished and in such a way that it’s bearable or at least tolerable.

So for example, I really don’t like the previous resolution of “Losing weight”.  So I will enhance my experience by listening to  a song that will get me pumped up and make me want to work out!, or workout with friends, or maybe my kids…

A bonus is that I have every trick and can use new ideas  to accomplish goals at my disposal!

I admit, I’m kind of winging it here, this will be an entirely new way to approach my goals.  This will be a lifestyle change for me, or at least I believe that it will!


If you are interested in seeing a more traditional and enumerated New Year’s Resolutions, check out the list at the Financial Samurai’s site called Financial Samurai Goals And Resolutions for 2011.  It’s very impressive!

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27 Responses to Holistic Approach to New Year Resolutions

  1. I have never really had resolutions before, but this year I am going to try. I think one thing that is important is to review my goals regularly so I hold myself accountable.

    What did you mean by maximizing your life? Is that a goal that would be hard to attain?

    • I want to try to bring my physical, social and mental areas to as close to ideal as possible.

      I’m going to go about it slowly, over years. There is no rush or race. In fact, I plan on starting out very slowly. For example, I was planning on working out 15 minutes, 3 days a week for physical. Blogging will take care of mental, as I continue to try to both write better and with a broader range. Social I want to start in my backyard, maybe with the neighbors and work peers…

      I don’t think the goal would be too hard since I’m not trying to force it, just a walk instead of a run.

  2. I definitely think it’s a WIN that you didn’t gain weight as a father the older we get. So good job on that!

    For the holistic approach, maybe I will get two calendars, one of hot men and another of hot women to get me pumped to stay in shape! 🙂


    • Thanks, I’m still bummed that I’m not much lighter…

      Hmm, good point about the holistic approach, perhaps I won’t go that holistic 🙂

      Perhaps I should change the word from holistic to “selectively holistic” (how’s that for an oxymoron) 🙂


  3. It always helps if the goals are broken down to smaller, quantifiable steps. For example, ‘I’ll lose x pounds by x date and I will do x and x to achieve that’

    This has always helped me stay motivated and track my progress.

    Holistic approach seems like an interesting concept, more like ‘treat the cause, not the symptom’ in medicine.

    • It’s really a lifestyle change about everything I do. Albeit a slow lifestyle change, but one never the less.

      I’ve had success in the past tracking my weight in a spreadsheet with a low carb diet. It’s a great way to go, but I’m trying more of a transparent change, almost natural. The idea would be that I don’t even weight myself at all, having the new lifestyle automatically take care of my health via living it.

      I’ll find out this year, it’s all experimental for me 🙂 (but I hope it works).

  4. I like the holistic idea, but I’m wondering if you should still set some milestones to measure your progress. I like measuring my goals every quarter; for instance save x amount by March 31st or ride x amount of miles on my bike, etc.

    And don’t feel bad about your resolutions from last year, at least you accomplished one of them!

    • I like your idea of quarterly milestones (I’m a big fan of milestones, I used them to reward my family as we past certain financial milestones on paying off our mortgage)!

      Thanks for the encouragement!, 2010 was a bad year for me, but not my worst by a long shot…

  5. A holistic approach for me is I am happy with my life. The few things I want to accomplish drives me to do more. Without goals, I find myself treading water. That doesn’t work for me!

    • I think as long as I stick to my plan and don’t deviate, my approach will be a precursor to me changing my lifestyle for the better!

      We’ll see, it’s kind of an experiment.

  6. Hi Money, I really really liked this article. The behavioral strategy for losing weight by using music is really smart. I think the holistic approach has some real merit. I’d like to invite you over to my site on Jan 1 to check out my completely non traditional new years resolution post.

    • Hi Barb,

      I’ll be sure to check out your non-traditional New Year’s Resolutions post too, as you can tell I’m looking for some different ideas to be more successful with my well-being next year 🙂

  7. The Honeybee tends to be a pack rat and I’ve been trying to break her of that for years. How did you manage to stop?

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    • It wasn’t easy! I had to go in circles about it until I realize that once I’m gone that stuff is worthless. Morbid, yes, but true though!

      Event then, some of the stuff I had to bag up and put in the basement, just in case! Hopefully I’ll throw some of that stuff away too.

  8. Slow and steady will get better results. I think it is easy to say I will lose 20 pounds next year. And maybe you can lose 20 pounds… but can you keep it off? Me, not so much. I need to learn to change my eating habits, my exercise habits, ( which are pretty much non existent) to improve my chances of success. The same applies to other areas I seek to improve….

    • Hi Kay, that sounds like a great approach too!!!

      If what I’m doing doesn’t work this year, perhaps I’ll follow suite next year with that approach 🙂