I think New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap. Sure most people don’t follow through with their plans, and sure I’m one of those people, but there is something wonderful about using the resetting of the calendar to attempt to reset our lives. About us collectively deciding as a society that January 1st is when we will all do that.
I’m guessing the reason so many people abandon their goals early on is because those people weren’t ready to make changes in the first place. Like that time when I agreed to see a Batman movie with my husband, my sister-in-law, and her husband at 10:30 pm. I wasn’t that interested in seeing the caped crusader on the big screen, and since I have a hard enough time staying awake through any movie, there was no chance of my eyeballs staying on task that late at night.
I went, though, because I like the company of those folks, and because I am a mother who rarely gets to see a movie on the big screen that isn’t animated. I was hopeful that I could set aside my AARP ways for two hours and act like my peers.
I fell asleep within 20 minutes of the film starting, and that’s being generous. When I was wiping my drool as the credits rolled, I shrugged my shoulders. I had gone along with the crowd, wanting to display a desired behavior, but not having the gumption to pull it off.
That’s how it is with resolutions. It’s going to take more than a January tradition to make someone quit smoking, get a better job, lose 30 pounds, or stay awake for feature films. It takes fire in the belly. It takes wanting to do it yourself. It takes baby steps.
Baby steps aren’t fun, unless of course, you’re literally watching a baby take steps, which is super fun because they are cute and because they always fall down. Oh, babies! You kill me.
Baby steps are telling yourself that reaching your goals is going to suck sometimes. It’s making realistic plans that take into account your actual life and personality, which means you need to know yourself. If I would have challenged myself to stay awake for 30 minutes of The Dark Knight Rises, the goal would have felt attainable, and I would have make it further than I did.
That’s the other thing about resolutions: defining failure. How many of us quit in the middle of January because we aren’t making our goals our bitches? Power through! Shake off the fact that you dropped the ball, because don’t you know you’re still in the game? (Imagine me saying that from the sidelines wearing a ballcap and a whistle, not rocking in a recliner in my Christmas pajamas while sipping coffee from a Santa mug.)
My resolutions may not stick, but I’m making them anyway. My goals are small, like tiny little, and I’m not sharing them with anyone. Unlike most people who are motivated to achieve when they declare their intentions, nothing makes me lose interest in a self-imposed deadline like other people knowing about it.
See how my plan takes into account my own whacked personality?
Here are a few resources to help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions, and if you are up for sharing, I’d love to hear what your goals are for 2015!