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I want to lose weight and other New Year’s resolutions I never make

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I’m big in making lists and such so for years - many, many years actually - I’d try to sneak an hour to myself on December 31st, to go a coffee shop or a bookstore, and write down my New Year’s resolutions. I’d print them in neatly in a journal or my organizer and feel a wave of energy come over me, a sense of renewal and excitement to tackle them in the new year.

My resolutions would vary from year to year but things like “lose some weight”, “stop being so stressed out”, and “quit (insert biting my nails, or playing with my hair, or biting my lip)” would invariably get on the list. I think they are worthy goals but the thing is, when it got to the end of that next year and I looked through my list the same thing would happen, over and over, like I was stuck in Groundhog Day: Most of my lofty, big resolutions remained unresolved and undone.

I felt like crap, like a failure of some kind. And eventually I decided that feeling like crap wasn’t a good outcome of making New Year’s resolutions. So I stopped. Not making resolutions entirely, but making resolutions that were:

-To NOT do something (e.g. biting my nails). I wanted my resolutions to be positive (e.g. keep my nails looking nice), vs. negative.

-Related to how I look. I made this rule for myself and I have to say, it’s one of the best things I’ve done and I wish I had the wisdom to do it sooner. No resolutions about my weight or how my abs should look or where the fat on my butt should shift to. I get enough pressure to look amazing and thin and in shape from every magazine or TV show I glance at as a woman - no need to pressure myself.

-Not immediately obvious in terms of how I’d achieve them. “I want to stress less” is a really general (although great, I admit) goal that doesn’t have any specific solutions in it. “I am going to go for a daily 20 minute walk” or “I am going to meet a friend for coffee when I am feeling stressed out and anxious” are specific solutions to the stress problem. So they get to go on the list.

-Trying to fix something that I am pretty sure is not fixable. This is related to #2, but I am fairly certain that I will never have a flat stomach so after 33 years of life I’ve stopped making this a goal.

I am sticking with my self-made rules this year. Really, I am. And I’ll prove it to you by sharing what resolutions I AM making in a follow-up post.

But in the meantime, tell me: Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  Do you write them down? Do you share them with others?



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3 comments so far...

  • Funny, I didn’t know what New Year’s resolution is until I was a Junior in HS and a friend of mine asked me about my New Year’s resolution. I asked her what that meant and after she explained, I wondered, why would I wait until new year’s to do something? (Ok, I didn’t know because I wasn’t born here, I am from former Soviet Union).

    So I don’t believe in new year’s resolution. I believe in making better changes in life all the time. W/o waiting for a certain date to arrive.

    There was a time in my life when I was in school, i’d say, starting monday I will start studying more and aim for 95 %, vs the 85% I have now. Then Monday came and left and I still didn’t study like I promised myself, and then I’d say, ok, next monday, I promise.

    So if there is something you need to do or want to do start now, NOW. Whether it’s monday or Thursday, or Dec 2nd or Jan 1st, doesn’t make a difference.

    Leaving it off is just an excuse.

    I like the idea of writing down. I do that all the time. I write out my goals and how I will accomplish them. I write a lot. It’s an obsession of mine.

    Vera Babayeva  |  December 31st, 2008 at 3:30 pm

  • Truth be told, I don’t make resolutions at New Year’s. I do, however, make them as the need arises :)

    Angella  |  December 31st, 2008 at 4:00 pm

  • I’ve been making New Year’s Resolutions for several years now. When I started my blog I thought making my resolutions public might give me some sort of accountability - at the very least they were written down and I knew they were there, waiting for me to make good on these promises to myself. The following year, before posting my new resolutions, I’d make a post about how I did at keeping those promises. It was a public “pass / fail” report card in which I commented candidly on how I achieved certain goals, and why I didn’t achieve others.

    Each year I go back and read these entries before I make my new resolutions - it helps me see how far I’ve come, what I’ve managed to accomplish, and what I’ve messed up on. My resolutions often change, and I may not pay close attention to them throughout the year, but having them written down year after year reminds of the things that I cared enough about to want to do better at. It reminds me that those things deserve my attention every year, not just for 12 months.

    My resolutions are sometimes simple (”try to read more books”), but even the simple ones are born of a desire to be a better version of myself. They aren’t merely goals to be accomplished, but things to work hard at for the rest of my life.

    Sarahusuk  |  January 1st, 2009 at 4:55 am

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