Frontline Mom

The Resolution for no Resolutions

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

My friend who works in a gym told me that by March 1 many of her eager customers start to fade away. I know what is it like to give up on a plan but only 8 weeks after what was likely a New Year’s resolution to “work out more” seems to be to be too much of a defeat.

This time of year comes with some painful/expected revelations about the depth of our commitments to keeping New Year’s resolutions. Some of these may have been carefully thought up (and written up) throughout the course of the year. Some may have come to mind as we clinked champagne glasses right before the clock struck midnight; others have been carefully thought out and well planned.

I find that the most important resolutions — staying healthy, spending more time with family, going on that trip you’ve been thinking about — usually stay with us, and are things we work on regardless of whether they make it to the official “resolutions” list or not. Instead of resolutions, I think its easier to list out my priorities. What are the things whose accomplishment is supremely more meaningful to me than that of any others? This puts me under less pressure than to “keep that one single bullet resolution.” In the past my resolutions have included losing five pounds by a certain (unreasonable) date, reading a book a week, hitting the gym most days before work. While these sounded great, they were “Hail Mary” type resolutions that I really couldn’t easily stick too, which set me up for disappointment.

Ticking off priorities can sometimes be more helpful than coming up with one resolution, because priorities, rather than the silver bullet one thing to accomplish, can be juggled as life requires. They also imply not a single mission but an ongoing process or behavior to bake into life. Through a more holistic prioritization, the accomplishment of that fabled resolution does become not the end of the game; the hard work you put in has to continue. The failure/achievement dichotomy of resolutions can be superficial and very disappointing. That’s why this year, and next, my resolution is not to have any more resolutions. I’ll just focus on my priorities, thank you.

Do you set a New Year’s Resolution? How are you sticking to it?

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