Opinion: Reasonable resolutions


It’s that time again, folks, to set ourselves up for failure and criticism and perhaps even an infinity scarf of guilt should we fail in our lofty endeavors. I’m speaking of course of making New Year’s Resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the idea of taking a moment for reflection to see where changes and/or improvements can be made in our lives is wonderful. You can start over, recreate yourself and set goals to encourage a better you. The problem I have with NYR’s is that they are just too darn impractical.

For starters, most of us are coming off a four-week marathon of family, shopping, traffic, flu-like symptoms, meat and booze, and in the post-race tent, we are in absolutely no condition to be analyzing our behavior. We need to hydrate and rest, and simply recover from our ordeal before making promises about weight loss and financial security. February 1st is a far better date to be thinking critically about the forthcoming year. We could call them the Super Bowl Resolutions instead!

Another complaint I have is the time span of NYR’s. 365 days is way too long. To wit, if I don’t go back and reread this annual column in July, I will have already forgotten ninety percent of what I’m supposed to be gunning for. Like many of you, I’m simply trying to keep my children alive and show up to work with matching shoes each day; I have absolutely no extra hours to even ponder renovating the carpeted master bath (carpeted!) or training for The Mini, let alone actually doing them. Perhaps whittling it down to New Week’s Rez’s would be more manageable.

And let’s be honest. I’m never going to successfully meet all of my NYR’s anyway, which for me, leads to guilt and self-criticism. I’m a List Girl, and if I put a commitment to paper, I feel compelled to check it off. Until I do, that “thing” will not only haunt me, but judge me in its haughty two-dimensional space, wreaking frustration and anxiety in my already chaotic world.

So this year, I’m trying something new. I’m not planning to make any New Year’s promises right away, but rather let a few potential ones simmer while I get my exhausted family back on track. Then I’ll select three that I can reasonably make headway on by April. At spring break, I’ll reassess, adjust where necessary, and continue on for the second quarter. Furthermore, there will be no evidence, written or otherwise, of my chosen goals. True, this will mean less accountability, but hopefully and more importantly, also less stress.

Let’s resolve to fill 2015 with achievable, short-term objectives. Go team! Peace out.

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