I have completed my first resolution of the new year successfully! That is, by my definition of success. My first two-week resolution was to be sure I played with my dog, Bryan, for 15 minutes before work and after I got home from work everyday. I included weekends in this as we all know it is easy to think we have plenty of time to do something, but then the day goes by and we realize somehow we never got around to it. The reason I specified by stating “my definition of success” is because I did not complete this perfectly. I know for sure there were two instances that I did not set aside 15 minutes at the beginning and at the end of my day to play with Bryan. One time was when I had to be at work no later than 7:00 a.m. (my first patient was at 7:00 a.m., so typically I try to get there 15-20 minutes before my first patient to get settled in and make a plan for my day). I did not get up early enough to allow time to play with Bryan, but I did make up for it by playing with him for 30 minutes that night after work. That’s totally fair right? In all honesty, I can’t remember what the deal was the second time I did not follow through with this, but I think it was on another day that I had to be at work by 7:00 a.m.
So, for the first two weeks I was faithful in this. I made sure I followed through with this resolution (the best I could) no matter what, telling myself that if I can make this first resolution work this will give me momentum and I will be more likely to complete the others to follow. At the end of the two weeks I could tell that it was becoming more of a habit. I found myself simply initiating play with Bryan without consciously thinking about the resolution. I think he got used to it also, because he would grab a toy after I let him out in the morning and right when I got home from work. The result: I found Bryan would settle down more easily for the rest of the morning/evening if I played with him. Rather than me blowing him off all evening and him bringing me toy after toy, looking at me with literally sad puppy-dog eyes as his rope hung from his mouth (see below), and me feeling guilty for not providing him with the attention he needs, he would settle down and either play with toys on his own or simply lay around. He seemed more content, less restless. I can’t say I noticed him being happier, as he is ALWAYS happy, but I hope he is a happy pup for it! I feel better as his owner too, like I’m really taking care of him in all aspects. All-in-all, my first resolution was a success!
Since I felt my first resolution was going really well, I felt I could handle another very simple resolution to add in for the first 2 weeks. When I say simple, I mean SIMPLE. Many of you may think it is gross that I did not always do this before, but what can I say (no, it’s not changing my underwear everyday. I do that J). My next resolution was to brush my teeth every night before I went to bed. Again, something very simple that does not take hardly any time out of my day. This is not something I have always done because usually by the time I head to bed I am ready to crash and don’t even worry about it. Anyone who knows me knows I like my sleep! Plus, every morning I brush, floss, and use mouthwash with fluoride in it. So I haven’t felt that my oral hygiene routine was particularly lacking. Anyway, I have been completely faithful with this resolution since I started it with the exception of one night. That night I went to a show after work, ended up with a splitting headache, and I couldn’t bring myself to do anything when I got home except crash into bed. Hardly a hi-hello to my husband, I just felt too awful. Again, I don’t feel too bad about skipping out that night on my new tooth-brushing routine. I am hoping this habit will lead to fewer cavities as I am prone to them. Also I can tell a difference when I wake up in the morning compared to when I don’t brush them. They still need brushed again in the morning, of course, but my mouth does feel a bit fresher when I do brush at night.
You may be wondering if I intend to continue these habits after the two-weeks is over. Yes, I do! I am hoping by two weeks these actions are habits, and they are easy to incorporate into my day. I may be a bit more lenient on how much I play with Bryan depending on the situation. My husband usually doesn’t work Fridays, so I may not play with Bryan as much since my husband is usually home with him on those days giving him lots of attention. Also, some days our parents like to take him and play with him, so he gets plenty of attention on those days! Otherwise, if I know we won’t be home much I will be sure to set aside the one-on-one time with him.
For the second two-week resolution, I am going to wash my face every night before bed. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with this. I had really bad acne as a teen, and still struggle some with it as an adult. I do wear make-up almost every day, so I feel this is important. Like with brushing my teeth, I often find that I am so pooped at the end of my day that I skip this. As a result, I wake up with my face feeling super gross and my eye make-up smeared all over. I then have to take extra time in the morning to remove my make-up before re-applying it for the day. This also makes my eyes more sore from all the poking and rubbing this entails (oh the woes of being a female). With this resolution, I am hoping to improve my acne (I am closer to 30 than 20 after all, yikes!) and reduce the time it takes to get ready in the mornings.
I know, this resolution may not be very interesting, but as I said in my first post my intention with this strategy is to make many small improvements in my everyday life that will result in larger changes overall. Don’t forget to share you resolutions with me, tips for achieving mine, or just drop me a line to say hi and let me know you’re reading! Wish me luck, thanks all!