Instead of the traditional year-long resolutions, I decided in 2010 I’d do 12 1-month “micro-resolutions”. This allowed me to try some things that I either had no ability (or interest) in doing for 12 Months straight. Each month I’d give up, or focus on one specific thing. 

January – No Alcohol
With the holidays being filled with a bit too much booze, and the associated food, this was a perfect fit for January. It wasn’t as hard as I’d imagined it would be, especially on the weekends. The weekdays however, I found it a much tougher to keep from having a glass of wine with dinner or a beer after a long day. Difficulty: 5/10

February – Paleo Diet
I’ve been doing Crossfit for a couple years now consistently, but I’ve never tried their recommended diet – the Paleo Diet (otherwise known as the caveman diet). Basically, you can eat anything a Caveman would have. Think meat, veg, fruits, nuts and grains; no processed food whatsoever. The Toughest part here was breakfast. I’m a bowl of cereal guy, so this was tough. Overall this was one of the most successful. I lost almost 10 pounds without changing anything else. Difficultly: 6/10
March – No Tobacco
I’m not a chain smoker by any means (less than a pack a month), but I have been known to sneak a smoke or two at the bar. Its a habit that has been with me since college, and was good quit for a bit.  Difficulty: 4/10

April – No Cursing
This one was one of the hardest, and probably the one I was least successful with. Curse words seem to fly out of my vocabulary without much thought, which made it a tough habit to curb. Difficulty: 9/10

May – Operation Reconnect
As the years go by, we all lose contact with a few folks we wish we hadn’t. For the month of May, I tried to call (or visit) a friend or colleague that I’d lost touch with. This was possibly the most rewarding month, and one I’d encourage everyone to try. Difficulty 2/10

June – Meat Free
Going vegetarian for a month wasn’t as hard as you’d think. I struggled to get the level of protein I’d like on a daily basis, but the process wasn’t as hard as I’d expected.  That said, I didn’t feel much healthier at the end of the month as I typically eat a ton of non-red meat anyway. 

July – No TV
I try not to watch too much tv as a general rule. But it does have a habit of becoming the post-dinner activity of choice. I’d encourage every one to try this for one month in 2011. You’ll be amazed by the increase in your productivity and sleep cycles. Difficulty 4/10

August – No Caffeine
Hello, my name is Neil and I’m an addict. Seriously, this month was by far the worst. I only drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day and almost never drink soda, but this was tough. During the first week I had some pretty serious headaches, and month long I felt a bit slower than usual. That said, the come September I did find I was much less reliant on the extra kick. Difficulty 10/10

September – Two-A-Days
I try to workout 5-6 days a week, but for the month of september, I tried to up the ante a bit and add at least 3 two-workout days a week. Typically I’d hit crossfit at 6am and run, bike or swim in the evening. I really dug this, and would love to have kept it up all year, but alas…. Difficulty 6/10

October – Once-a-week fast
Another part of the recommended crossfit diet is interval fasting. Essentially, once a week going without food for 24hrs. The idea is that you get to complete a workout at extreme nutrition deficiency which helps to push your limits a bit. I actually didn’t mind doing this weekly mid-week. Not quite as hard as you’d think… Difficulty: 3/10

November – Movember 
For those that haven’t heard of it, Movember is a worldwide awareness campaign for prostate cancer during which men grow mustaches to call attention to the disease. I found this month to be the most fun. Even if I looked creepy for nearly all of it. Difficulty 1/10

December – Flexibility
I eat fairly well, exercise plenty and try to get plenty of sleep but that doesn’t prevent me from being the least flexible person I know. I hate stretching. I mean hate. So during december I’ve been dedicating 15 minutes after each workout to increasing my flexibility. I haven’t seen the progress I’d like, but I hope to keep after it into 2011. Difficulty 8/10

Each month presented its own challenges, and some were tough to manage with all the travel I did in 2010, but in general I found this approach to be much more impactful than yearly resolutions that tend to fall by the wayside by Mid spring…
NeilCallanan Uncategorized

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