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Do you resolve to make no resolutions?

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:05pm
A few years ago I chose the resolution of all resolutions for New Year’s Eve; I’m not making a single one ever again. After all, a resolution is truly no goal, it’s merely a wish list that many take far too lightly, especially since that wish list many times contains the true desires in our heart. When it comes to weight, year after year many will resolve to lose X-number of pounds over the coming year, ‘maybe’ even eat better or exercise more. Did you know the maximum numbers of ‘hardly used’ gym memberships are purchased in January?

Over the years I have resolved to quit smoking, lose weight and quit drinking on many different New Year’s Eves, and not necessarily in that order. Though I haven’t smoked for years, or drank for many more years, nothing was accomplished by a resolution. When resolutions were the starting markers to each New Year they became failure markers at the next. More often than not the following New Year’s Eve became the telltale sign of all I hadn’t accomplished – the only things I truly wished for the year before.

To that resolution I decided not to use any special days as a starting point for change, because I had attempted a similar 'wish' on my birthday, and again it reinforced just how I hadn’t followed through to success. “ See, you’re no better at doing anything this year than you were last year! ” I would scold myself in frustration the following year. Now I can nonchalantly pat myself on the back. “ You succeeded, you didn’t make a single resolution all year! ” This, of course, does not mean I’m not working on losing weight, de-cluttering and just becoming a better me. I’m adopting a ‘ One Day at A Time ’ principle, not a whole year.

New Year’s Eve is about accomplishments and good I have done over the year, not about what didn't get done from some crazy wish list made last year. Instead of opting for a resolution list, opt for a series of small goals. Develop a real plan. Resolutions never involve genuine goals. They’re often statements or wishes shared among family and friends. Sorry to say this, but those same family and friends may often harbour quiet doubts about you ever accomplishing the resolutions you speak of. They expect failure next year. This may not be the case for all, but in those instances where you need to add, " I may not have made it last year, but I will this year.", those same family and friends will be just as forgiving next year.

A goal is the point when one door closes and another opens to journey through the next corridor for as long as it takes to reach the next door. Think of it as a walk to freedom from the inner enclosures of prison. To reach the outside one must walk through a series of locked doors. Only when one door is passed through, completely closed and locked will the next one open to continue on.

Tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Even if it takes me longer to get through one corridor than another, I continue to moving forward. I can't worry about what's beyond until I finish the current passageway and the door is closed behind me. It's forward only.

The past is the past, and it can’t be changed. Once the door has closed and locked behind me there is no going back, so why beat myself up over what happened 'before'? Isn’t that what we do at a new year when we realize the resolution not accomplished from the last New Years? Even though we don’t show it, many will beat themselves up for not achieving last year's resolution. Though some will smile to the faces of family and friends, like there isn't a care in the world, inside self-abuse bellows things like, “ More proof that you can’t accomplish anything! ” or “ I knew this would happen. Typical, make some stupid New Year’s resolution and you can't even do that in a whole year! ” So, are you going to put that heaping burden (resolution) on your back at the entrance of 2009? You will have to lug it around all year! Or, are you going to have a good time, no resolutions, only a plan to wake up January One and think only about what you're doing on January One to better yourself?

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can be all we can be today anyway. Live today to the best of your ability! After all, if you’re like me, you’ve just had a few not so great celebration days off course, but every minute before this one is OVER - in the past. It's too late to change what you did before, so what are you going to do now?

My current short term goal is to weigh under 330 pounds. Two weeks ago I had only thirteen pounds to go. Tomorrow I will verify where I am now (likely the same), and strive toward that short term goal one day at a time.

Be kind to yourself!

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