Ah yes, another new year. Time to start anew, time to start over with positive thoughts, big plans and big ideas...and of course, the dreaded resolutions. “This is the year!” we claim. "This time we are going to make it happen." We are going to lose weight, hit the gym 5 days a week, were going to be more punctual, stop procrastinating, save time, and of course...save money. We’re going to clean out the closet, garage AND the attic this year. We’re going to learn another language, donate time to our favorite charity, and with our left over day on Sunday, we’re going to start going to church (unless there’s a game on t.v.)! Yup, like most people, we’ve said one or all of these things to ourselves at least one New Year’s Eve in our lifetime. Personally, I think most resolutions are made while people are drinking on December 31st for a reason. Seems to me, we quickly break these resolutions because we know that “legally” we can’t make deals or sign any “contractually binding” documents while under the influence of alcohol...hmmm.
Anyway, kidding aside, I think the real problem with resolutions are simply the resolutions themselves. We like to make these grand proclamations of the things we plan to change or do differently in our lives this year that are just not realistic for us to successfully tackle. So with that in mind, I believe that everyone this year should all have the same resolution. I think that 2014 should be the year of the “realistic resolution”. That’s right, don’t set yourself up for failure, keep it real and keep it simple. Make the goal attainable. There is a reason that the expression; “never bite off more than you can chew” is still in use today. Heck, if all the kids now get trophies just for participating in sports, maybe all we grownups should get an “attaboy” and a “pat on the back” for just trying to make a resolution that we can keep. Think about it; instead of saying you’re going to lose 40 lbs this year, let’s make it 20 instead. That’s only 5 lbs every quarter or every 3 months, that’s doable. Let’s not sign up for an annual pass to the gym or a whole year of yoga classes just yet. See if you can make it twice a week, instead of saying you’re going 5 times. In the end, making it 2 times a week will add up to way more workouts by year’s end, than the 5 time resolution when you quit going in March.
The old promise of cleaning out the closets and reorganizing the garage and the attic..how about just trying to keep your desktop organized and the car free from Starbucks coffee cups and empty water bottles. That’s a good start. And the whole “I’m going to learn another language this year” thing, instead of trying to be fluent in Mandarin by next Christmas, how about learning a joke or two in Mandarin and dropping them in during conversations at those backyard bbq’s this Summer. Sure, you’ll probably be the only one laughing, but you’ll sound pretty darn clever doing it.
By now, I think you get the point. By keeping your resolutions “realistic” they become more achievable, and you become more successful. Then, next year after you realize what you achieved this year, then you can “raise the ante” (if you will) next year. Who knows, if enough of us make our resolutions more realistic, maybe it would eventually catch on with the celebrity crowd. Imagine...Miley Cyrus being able to keep her clothes on public, or Lindsay Lohan staying out of jail. Oh wait, what was that whole keeping resolutions more realistic thing again? Oh well, there’s always next year.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the groves.