Here we are into the last week of the year already. (Where did the time go? I'm lookin' at you, Netflix!) The pressure's on! In addition to concerns about how to avoid personal disaster resulting from juvenile antics on New Year's Eve, we are also burdened with adulting by coming up with some meaningful New Year's Resolutions. Without careful planning, the sparkling euphoria of January 1's fresh start will disintegrate into the mildewed bath tile of mid-January and its humdrum routines. It's okay, don't be shy, go ahead and 'fess up. You are not alone. Heck, you probably forgot you will need any resolutions until you read this!
Some of us fail in our resolution goals quietly, dispiritedly slipping back into our old ways like a prisoner slinking back to the corner of his cell even when the jailer has left the door wide open. Others choose the flashier route, loudly cursing the resolutions back into the tiny mental shoebox we banish them to when we are exhausted by their stringent demands. I'm no different. I have been wasting time with this resolution game for most of my life and have rarely had a successful attempt (successful defined as declaring a behavior change and sticking to it for the entire year). Everyone I know who has ever brought it up has failed within days.
As a female, my resolutions always have something to do with appearance. Specifically, weight. After many years of trotting out Old Trusty, 'lose ten pounds', and seeing that was going nowhere fast, I tried a new tack. I adjusted Old Trusty to the more forgiving 'lose weight' - grams, ounces, whatever! - in hopes of making it easier to achieve and maintain. FAIL. Another adjustment included avoiding this or that food, increasing physical activity, no more drive-thru, etc. Fail, Fail, Fail. There came a day when I realized it was too demoralizing to face Resolution Failure. Avoiding failure was more important to me than the potential goal of achieving something positive if I did happen to succeed in my quest. So I just stopped doing them for a while, which left New Year's Day kinda flat as a holiday IMO.
I got to thinking maybe part of the problem was that my resolutions had no pep, no pizzazz. Very boring and everybody else is doing it, too. So I did a little Googling to see if there were a more attractive, compelling resolution out there for me to try.
Spend More Time With Family - Nah. My husband is retired and we are empty-nesters living far from extended family so that one is not logistically feasible. The hubs and I spend plenty of time together as it is.
Fitness - See above. Been there, done that. Yawn.
Lose Weight - See above.
Quit Smoking - Hey, this one has potential. A worthy goal. Wait - I don't smoke.
Enjoy Life More - This one has me puzzled. I don't know how I could increase my enjoyment rate without an accompanying lottery-sized financial windfall. Maybe 'Enjoy Life More' is secret code for 'Play The Lottery'.
Quit Drinking - Hard pass.
Get Out Of Debt - If I had any, I would.
Learn Something New - Okay, this one has merit. I like that it is adding something rather than subtracting/restricting an existing behavior.
Help Others - Is it me, or does this one smack of desperation that you can't think of any better resolutions??
Get Organized - Ugh. This one falls into the Lose Weight category for me. Admirable, but complete drudgery. Where's the sizzle??
This list, while perfectly legitimate, leaves much to be desired IMO. Bore. Ring. Plus, I am noticing that while these suggestions have some merit, even if you folks are doing these things, there is very little benefit to ME. So I think I will attempt to 'Help Others' and offer a few fresh ideas that might benefit all of us. Here is my personal list of five things I would like to see more of you resolving to do. Five is a nice number, not too heavy, not too light. I like to think I have a little something for everyone.
1. Stop The (Forwarding) Madness - if you see a great email and you want to share it with me, please do. But remove that idiotic and somewhat threatening demand that I forward it to EVERYONE I KNOW. This causes an automatic and uncontrollable twitch in my right index finger, and it migrates ever so slightly from the Forward button to the Delete key. If it is amusing or informative, I just might forward it. If it has that annoying phrase, not a chance in hell. UPDATE: This now also applies to Facebook posts demanding that I share with everyone to demonstrate my friendship or other positive personality traits. Any FB posts with even a hint of emotional blackmail will result in an immediate Ignore.
2. Leave The Panhandling To The Panhandlers - Stop hitting up friends and family to jack up sales of whatever side project you have going to make a little extra moolah. If you can't make it selling to strangers, just give up now. Might as well just ask me for the cash.
3. Know Your Knobs - See that skinny knob sticking out from your car's steering column? It's a cool new invention that, when used properly (or at all), keeps your car from colliding with thousands of others sharing the road with you. I believe it is called a 'Turn Signal'. Use it.
4. Cover Thyself - Gents, unless you are Dwayne Freakin' Johnson, put a shirt on for crying out loud. Believe it or not, nobody wants to see your man boobs/beer gut/back hair. I don't care if it is a rain poncho, an old table cloth, your wife's bedtime XXXXL t-shirt, a modified garbage bag with holes punched in for head and arms (don't pretend you haven't resorted to that in emergencies) - please just cover that up. And apologies to Mr. Tebow.
5. Trust The Effort - Ladies, how about a little effort before you leave the house? It depresses me to see you at the Piggly Wiggly in your sloppy gray sweats and hair to match, that hole in the heel of your sock revealed by your tatty house slippers, sagging bra-less mammaries simulating (or in some cases doubling) a spare tire. Why not wear that t-shirt your kids gave you last Christmas that says 'I Have Just Given Up'? Important note: I need one of you (and just one, please) to ignore this resolution. You serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of us.
You will be happy to know I have already espoused not one, not two, but ALL FIVE of these worthy goals and am actually having great success with all of them so far this year. Number 4 is a snap for me. I admit I sometimes struggle with #5, but so far am holding firm. I fervently hope not to be caught at The Pig in my slippers in 2018.