One Thing at a time

Published Categorized as Life

So I’m technically a little bit late for New Year’s Resolutions, but I don’t usually let that stop me.

I’ve tried a few different variations on the whole resolutions thing – from general themes with monthly goals, to last year’s complete break from resolutions altogether. Usually I make an ambitious list and then proceed to immediately break and/or forget about it. This year I’m going for a slightly mixed approach.

My number one goal and priority for this year is simple to say, more difficult to do – properly address my back problems and get it to a point where it’s at least manageable, if not pretty much healed. There’s a lot more to it than simply strengthening core muscles, although that is something I’m working on. I’m planning to go for a more holistic approach, improving my health and habits all round to hopefully get to a point where I’m not mostly immobile for a few days every month. I’m really good at addressing the problem when things are bad, but get complacent again as soon as I feel better – how quickly we forget pain! Anyway, I’m doing things like continuing Alexander Technique classes, changing running for long walks, starting Reformer Pilates, tweaking my diet and switching my day tote bag for a backpack (less attractive but far more ergonomic for walking home with). So far so good?

Apart from that, I’m going to try choosing One Thing to focus on each month – easy to remember and keep in mind. 30-odd days is a much more manageable timeframe, good for smaller goals and trying out new habits. I’m going to pick them as I go so that they’re relevant to my headspace at the time, but here’s a bunch of ideas.

Trying out a habit

Try doing one of these things every day/week for a month. Some are more ambitious than others.

  • A daily evening/morning habit (I feel the two need to go together, as 2am bedtimes don’t go well with 6am wakeups. Here’s mine, and yes I’m mostly managing to stick with it!)
  • Write/draw/paint/something creative every day
  • Take a photo a week (daily is too much for me!)
  • Read a book, a little each day
  • Daily walk or wander
  • Bring lunch to work every day
  • Eat the recommended number of vegetables daily
  • Weekly blog posts
  • Make your bed each morning

Giving something up

Going 30ish days without something feels doable! For me it’s not so much about trying to do it long-term, but to break habits and gain some perspective.

  • Meat
  • Facebook
  • Alcohol (I usually do this for February, being a short month, though not this year)
  • Refined sugar (I think this might be too hard for me!)
  • Buying things (other than necessities)

Starting a project

There’s heaps of projects that can be finished within a month.

  • Sew a garment
  • Make something useful and beautiful from wood
  • Redecorate a room
  • Declutter the house
  • Do an online short course
  • Make or rework a website
  • Create a sellable product

Obviously I won’t be doing all of these, but I thought it would be a good idea to get some options down in case I’m lacking inspiration in the moment. It’s too late for January, but I’ll write a post about February’s One Thing next week. Feel free to have a go as well, don’t worry about when you start!

Pictured above: our new bedding, which has gone from everything white to colourful pattern explosion. I’m all about the crazy patterns this year!


  1. Good luck, Chi! Stick with it. 12 things in a year is very achievable, and at the end of it, you’ll have a great track record of your commitment. It’s a nice feeling. :)

    1. Thanks Sandy! I don’t think I’ll be going too crazy with the 12 things in the year, so I can focus on the big health one. But I think it will still be a nice sense of achievement :)

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