The holiday season is a special time of year for all of us, albeit for wildly different reasons. Personally, I have two dates marked on my calendar that I look forward to each year; January 1st and January 7th. Do these seem like odd dates to have marked? After all, they don’t correspond to any particular holiday.
These are two very special days for me because my sisters and I have a tradition of sharing our New Year’s Resolutions with each other. I mark those two dates on my calendar because the first is when we make the resolutions and the 7th is when we confess our spectacular failures.
This year, we’ve decided to try a different tack and I decided that I’d share it with you so see if a larger sample size would help us demonstrate how successful it might be.
A normal resolution might be, “I’m going to lose 20 lbs this year,” or “I’m going to stop spending $100/month on shoes.” These resolutions are doomed to failure regardless of such minor variables as willpower, personal integrity, self control, refrigerator locks, or shoe sales. My sisters and I have discovered that the reason we’ve been doomed to failure is that the resolutions are too pass/fail, they’re too specific, they demand too much; in short, they are too hard.
The key to a good New Year’s Resolution is the sliding scale, the wiggle room, the gray area. Instead of “I will lose 20 lbs” try “I will lose weight” and say it wearing steel toed boots. Try “I will spend less on shoes” and leave vague the where, when, and how much.
The holidays are already stressful enough pretending to like your relatives, trying to choke down homemade cookies, and being forced to watch hours of football, so don’t make things harder on yourself with poorly worded resolutions.
If you need advice on how to be successful with your resolutions this year, my sisters and I are of course on hand to help with suggestions and strategies… we’re very giving that way.