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4 reasons why New Years Resolutions don’t work

Having trouble sticking to your new years resolution? You aren’t alone.

In October of 2009, I decided that I wanted to learn Spanish for a few reasons.danielle ford new years eve

1) I’ve always been kind of ashamed of being a Mexican who doesn’t know how to speak Spanish. A lot of the time, after I meet someone new, during that initial slew of awkward questions we exchange to break the ice, I get asked, “What nationality are you?” I answer with “English and Mexican.” The next question is always “Oh! Do you speak Spanish?” And that’s when I lower my head a tad, drop my eyes to floor and shamefully respond with “No, I don’t.” I feel like, being Mexican, I should know Spanish.

2) I really hate being out of the loop. When I’m at a restaurant or shopping or anywhere and people around me are speaking Spanish, it drives me crazy because I want to know what they’re saying! It’s not that I want to listen in on other people’s conversations. (Ok, maybe I want to a little.) But it’s mostly that I don’t know if they’re talking about ME. Or if they’re discussing something that I might want to know or something that could be of importance, like maybe they’re sharing the cure for Cancer. (That’s totally possible.) I really just like to always know what’s going on.

3) I’ve dreamed up these highly-unlikely-to-ever-happen situations in my head where I would NEED to know how to speak Spanish. For instance, I could be driving on a dark, lonely highway in the middle of the night and my car could just stall out of nowhere and I would have to wait and hope that someone comes by soon to help me. Well, what if that person only spoke Spanish? They could be talking to me and motioning for me to get in their car and I wouldn’t know if they were saying, “Please get in my car so I can drive you to safety” or “Please get in my car so I can murder you and dismantle your body.” Or what if I was visiting Mexico with my family and we got arrested by the Mexican government because someone tipped them off that we were American drug lords. They could be questioning us about our involvement in the war on drugs and if I knew how to speak Spanish, I could tell them, “We aren’t American drug lords.” And save the day.

(I’ve played out another “save the day” story in my head: I’m on an airplane and mid-flight, the pilot has a seizure or heart attack and a stewardess shouts frantically, “Does anyone know how to fly this plane?!” – And that’s why “Learn how to fly a plane” is on my bucket list.)

Anyway, I had decided that I wanted to learn how to speak Spanish.

I went Barnes and Noble and bought this huge box set with 20+ CDs to listen to. I could have started the 1st CD in October, when I got it, but I started thinking that the holidays were coming and I might not have enough time and then *LIGHTBULB* I realized that I could make “Learn Spanish” my New Years resolution. Brilliant!

On January 1st, I followed through and popped the CD in. It started off OK. I began listening to and repeating about 10 simple, common phrases like “Nice to meet you.” “Where is the bathroom?” “What is your name?” By the end of that session, I had those phrases down perfect and I was thinking that at the rate I was going, I’d know Spanish within a month. The next day, there was a new set of phrases. “I’m happy to meet you as well.” “The girl’s bathroom is there.” “My name is Danielle.”  I memorized them all and was feeling like a Mexican Rock Star. The third day, the CD explained that I was supposed to match the phrases from the first day with the phrases from the 2nd and that’s when I realized that I couldn’t remember anything at all from the first day!

So, I got really pissed off and QUIT.

That was the end of my Spanish education. After looking forward to cracking open my Spanish course for almost 3 months, I was over it in 3 days.

And that’s why I don’t like New Years resolutions and will never make one again.

Looking back, I realized that I made 4 mistakes on my quest to learn Spanish.

1) I shouldn’t have waited until the New Year to start. If I wanted to do something, I should’ve just done it. Waiting for a significant date to start is just fancy procrastination.

2) I shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. If I had taken a week to consume each segment, instead of just 1 day, the information would’ve soaked in better.

3) I didn’t tell anyone about it. I wanted to keep it a secret until I was totally fluent and then, at the right moment- perhaps at a family gathering- I would shock and impress everyone with my mad Spanish skills. That was dumb, though. If I had told others about my goals, they could’ve helped to hold me accountable.

4) I didn’t allow for failure. Of course I never plan to fail, but I hadn’t even considered that I might have some trouble learning Spanish so when I failed at first, there was no plan B. If I had been logical and anticipated it being difficult, I wouldn’t have been so discouraged when I didn’t remember all the information on the third day.

The reason why New Years resolutions don’t work is that they’re usually not attainable.

Change takes time. It takes about 21 days to change a habit. And you have to change it little by little so that you get used to it.

So, if your goal is to lose weight and you’ve been pretty unhealthy in the past, you shouldn’t make your New Years Resolution to eat healthy and go to the gym every single day. Instead, you should change 1 thing at a time. For instance, you could say for the 1st week, you are going to change what you eat for breakfast. Then spend that week trying different healthy breakfast options until you have enough that you are used to making and that you like. Then another week, you change your lunch, and so on..

If your goal is to get your whole house organized, you don’t want to just jump in and spend 5 days straight cleaning out your garage and organizing your closets and junk drawers because you will get burnt out, put off other responsibilities, not be able to keep up with the regular housework and then you’ll get discouraged. Instead, you should write a list of every area in your home that needs to be organized, then put 1 area from your list into each week of your yearly calendar. And stick to it!

The only way to accomplish a goal is to break it down into the smallest possible tasks and do them 1 by 1 at a steady pace. <—Click to tweet this quote!

I’ve personally given up on New Years resolutions. I always create 30, 60 or 90 day goals for myself. I focus on things I want to change or get better at and at the end of the year, I didn’t accomplish just one thing, I accomplished many and it doesn’t feel like it was very hard because I allowed myself to take it all step by step and not be too hard on myself if I sucked at something.

So tell me in the comments below.. What is your New Years resolution? How are you doing with it so far?

If you’d like help breaking it into segments and specific tasks, leave a little more detail and I’ll help you make a plan.

4 reasons why New Years Resolutions don’t work

The Spotlight is on: Alexandra Marie Street

Take a minute to meet the Inspiring

Alexandra Marie Street from Allendale, MI, USA!!!

Tell us about yourself and your family:

Hello =)
I am a 23 year old wife, sister, daughter and mama! My husband and I met in 6th grade and have been together since! We had our son at 17. His name is Zane and he is now six years old! He is our little ray of sunshine with the biggest heart of gold!
My husband is in the Marine Corps and is a professional painter/carpenter.

I just recently graduated with my undergrads in Behavioral Science with a Sociology emphasis. I work as lifestyle/fitness coach with Beachbody and also work part time at a local salon and spa =). Life has been crazy, but we’ve always supported each other’s goals and dreams and have had a lot of fun along the way!cute pic of young couple

What were your biggest concerns when you first found out you were pregnant? How did you handle it?

My biggest concern was honestly that I didn’t like kids! Haha! No one had ever asked me to babysit, and kids just irritated me. I had no idea how I was going to be able to have my own!
On top of that, I was the child that you could say was on the fast track to success. I maintained honor roll/principle’s list status, was involved with many extra curricular activities and within the school and community. I had plans to go to college and was planning on pursuing a “normal” young adulthood. I was really scared that I wouldn’t be able to do that anymore, and was scared what my life would turn into without those things.
We at first considered abortion. Now I cringe when I say it, but I’d be lying if I said that I never considered it. I was never for it, but it’s funny how fast your views change once you’re faced with a teenage pregnancy. I didn’t necessarily want to terminate a pregnancy, but at sixteen I just wanted to be like my peers. I didn’t want to worry about morning sickness, I wanted to make all conference or state for the varsity cheer team and I wanted to go prom dress shopping. I didn’t want the responsibility and I wanted to pretend like it never happened. Most of all, I was terrified of my parents finding out.
Months passed, and if we didn’t talk about it, it wasn’t real. I really felt great, had no problems. So other than a little bump, it was easy to ignore. We kept looking and looking for abortion clinics that we could a) afford, and b) go through without parent’s consent. Eventually the months passed and options ran slim. We continued to hide it from everyone. We knew we had to do something – make a decision. The only options were out of state and at 6-7months pregnant, the only way was really surgery. This was soo out of our budget and we knew we couldn’t hide it. That’s when we decided to tell our parents and consider adoption.
Our parents were supportive but scared. Supportive doesn’t mean happy! There were many tears and worries, lots of phone calls. The main concern of everyone was as to how we were going to finish high school and still be able to go to school and pursue other dreams. After talking, we decided there was absolutely NO way that we could go through with adoption. If we had gotten this far, we could do it. We figured that just because it wasn’t “convenient” didn’t mean that we couldn’t do it. We would just make all the adjustments needed, whatever it takes. To make a long story short, everyone was very flexible and supportive in any way they could be. My parents and his parents babysat, we lived at home for a few years while we saved our money. We both worked full time and I went to school full time. Eventually we moved out on our own and continued to work, go to school and communicate to make things work.
The biggest help was support. Surround yourself with only those who are there to help lift you higher, ignore your old friends if they don’t respect your new lifestyle. You’ll make new ones. Don’t be afraid of change but embrace it.

 

“Surround yourself with only those who are there to help lift you higher” -Alexanda Marie Street –Click to Tweet this out!

What kinds of things do you do to treat yourself, for fun and to stay relaxed?

I firmly believe in taking care of yourself before you can take care of anyone! Definitely don’t take this as negligence, but when appropriate, it’s MORE than okay to reward yourself!! I like to go shopping, out to lunch/dinner or have a glass of wine with mom and sister to treat myself! We also love to travel, so we try to do as much of that as we can!
For fun, I love to work out and cook! I love to read, play piano, check out local bands and new restaurants. My husband and I enjoy watching movies together, being outside (skiing and camping) and entertaining. I LOVE to meet new people, my mom and I host a free fit club two mornings a week for other moms.
For me to stay relaxed, I have to stay organized in a few different areas. First, I can’t miss my work outs lol! They are my stress relievers and where I sort out my life and finalize my goals and dreams! I also love to read for personal development. Some of my favorites are The Magic of Thinking Big (can’t remember the author!) and How To Win Friends and Influence People. These will burst any stereotypes and stigmatisms that we as young mothers face and it’s a great confidence boost! It helps so much in relationships and helps me feel like I have control over my life. This helps me stay relaxed!!
little boy in tuxSecondly, I like to stay organized with my husband. We both have crazy schedules and sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re a couple first and foremost. We like to take minimum five minutes to ourselves, no cell phones, kids, tv, internet – just us to reconnect.
Third – I like an ORGANIZED house. Not necessarily super clean, just uncluttered. We currently struggle with procrastination – especially on school mornings so having little things in line; like the lunches ready or the dishes loaded in the sink keep me in a good mood! Haha, dirty dishes in the sink put me in a bad mood!

Fourth – COFFEE. Need I say more?

What are your favorite things about being a mom?

I love the innocence of it and the unconditional love. Kids have such a fantastic view of the world. They don’t hate, they don’t judge. Everyone is their friend immediately and they take you for who you are. They don’t care about your past or where you’re going, as long as you love them and treat them with kindness and respect. I can’t push this viewpoint enough, I feel like the world is missing this.
I love the little things, like a surprise trip to the park and how it makes their entire day. They tell EVERYONE about it and it makes you feel like the best mom ever. I love the giggles and finding out their little personalities. The sense of humor is adorable, and so genuine. The belly laughs are the best!!
I also love how we get to be big kids again!! The holidays are awesome. It’s totally acceptable to carve the BIGGEST pumpkin you can find, go trick or treating, build snowmen and put a million lights on the Christmas tree. It’s fun to believe in Santa again, and to “Ooh” and “Ahh” at all the fireworks on the 4th. Birthday parties are so exciting!
It really is all of the little things! Kids take us back to what really matters, and that’s the best part about being a mama!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? If you didn’t have any obstacles, what dream would you pursue?

In five years, I see my husband and I building our home, maybe with another baby. We will probably still have our two cats and dog. I’d like to be home with our kids, and able to travel. I’m not sure if my husband will still be in the Corps, if he is I don’t think we’ll be moving. I’d like to travel as much as we can!
I really don’t like to think that I have any obstacles. I realize this sounds arrogant, and I TOTALLY do NOT mean for it to be! However, I just really believe that everything happens for a reason and children, money – WHATEVER, there’s nothing hold you back. As long as you aren’t afraid to dream big and go for it, you can achieve anything. I plan to pursue my dream of helping as many people as I can. I want to be a go-to girl for young mom and men and women everywhere for whatever they need. My experiences have made me a better person and if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. I’d love to help people realize and achieve their highest potential and beyond =)getting married at a young age

What advice would you give to other young girls who just found out they’re pregnant or recently became a mom?

If you recently became pregnant, the advice that I would give would be:
1. It’s okay to be scared, mad, happy, cry, worried… all of it. No one can tell you how to feel and you’re entitled to experience it in your own way. Don’t feel bad for any of it.
2. Rid negativity in your life – even if it’s people. If you wouldn’t want to be like them, don’t hang around them. Sometimes this means the dad, don’t be afraid of that. Put yourself first and take care of yourself and your baby will always be taken care of.
3. Don’t be afraid of the stereotypes – just break them. Don’t let other people’s comments get to you. Again, read number 2.
4. Smile! Pregnancy is freaking crazy and some people love or hate it. Either way, you’ll be sharing stories your whole life so have fun!

If you recently became a mom:
1. It’s okay to feel ANY emotion too. I wasn’t immediately attached to my son. I felt like a bad mom, but this is completely normal. The bond shows up really soon! I promise!
2. It’s okay to miss your old life. It’s a huge change and you can’t expect to bury that part of you over night.
3. Don’t get mad at the little things because there will be a lot. Have a great support system and think logically, plan ahead.
4. Don’t think that you’re being held back in any way. Children are a blessing no matter how old YOU are when they show up! I believe that young moms have a baby so soon because that child is just too special to come any later. These children do amazing things and are very influential and such a gift. Embrace them and build them up, you’ll be happy you did.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Have fun! You’re going to have dark circles under your eyes, you might not shower for days at a time. Your sleep will be messed up and your friends may not call as much. But embrace this time! You are your baby’s WORLD and they think you look so pretty and are so funny even in your frumpy jammies =)
6. Take a million pictures!

 

The Spotlight is on: Alexandra Marie Street

young moms club

The Main Reason I Created Young Moms Club that Most People Don’t Know About

I’ve always known, since I was a little girl, that I was meant to do big things in the world. Even through the lowest points in my life, that feeling never went away.big dreams danielle ford young moms

I’ve finally found that big thing: Young Moms Club.

I remember laying on the floor in my new apartment right after I left my husband (I was too broke to buy a bed) and thinking “Hmmm.. Well I’m 21, am raising 2 kids alone, don’t know how I’ll pay rent next month, I’m sleeping on the floor every night.. How is it possible that I could be meant for things much bigger than this?” It didn’t make sense at the time and I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel but there was still that whisper coming from inside me saying “Keep going. You’ll figure it out.”

I’d start to lose hope, want to just stay in bed, get angry when I saw people having it easier than me.. and then I would think to myself “I can’t wait till the day when I can look back and say ‘Wow, that sucked! I’m so glad to be out of that!”

Fast forward a few years: I can proudly say now, “Wow, that sucked! I’m so glad to finally be out of that!”

And then the realization hit. Yeah, I did get out of that. But there are now other girls out there that are in it. There are girls who are going to be in it. They just don’t know it yet.

So I started thinking, “What would’ve helped me IMMENSELY when I was going through that shit storm? Instead of taking years to get out of, could it have taken less time, maybe 1 year? It might’ve if I’d had the right kind of support and encouragement. What if instead of feeling bad about myself and the mistakes I’d made, I had connected with a group of girls going through the exact same thing who I could go to with any problem and not feel alone or ashamed.”

young moms club

Me and my Baby Girl <3

Then my Entrepreneur Spirit surfaced and I started thinking, “What if there was a website specifically for Young Moms that taught all the Life and Business skills that older moms usually figure out before they have kids? Belonging to a website like that would’ve been a life saver for me.”

So I decided to create it.

Now a year after the vision was born, I’m thrilled to announce that Young Moms Club is ready to Rock!

I have overwhelming gratitude for all the girls who joined the club early and have sent me messages sharing their life with me. I know it takes a lot of guts to open up and share your story and I have HUGE respect for each of you. Thank you 🙂

I am so excited to connect with all of you mommas. I have blog posts, videos, group chats, contests and lots of other cool things planned for the club. Your opinions and ideas are always encouraged so if you have any, post in a comment below or send me an email!

If you haven’t yet, download the “7 Steps to Being a Kick Ass Young Mom”.. its a quick read and it’s Free. Talk to you on the inside!


The Main Reason I Created Young Moms Club that Most People Don’t Know About