I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions.
They actually make me feel quite uncomfortable. Agitated even. And I’m not even talking about making my own resolutions. (Not that I’ve made any, mind you.) It’s actually hearing(reading) about other people’s resolutions that make me uncomfortable. So much so, that I haven’t even been able to write about the topic until today. It’s gotten me that hot and bothered.
I have been thinking about them an awful lot though.
I mean, how could I not? They are everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, magazines, BLOGS, the teachers’ lounge.
For most, resolutions create feelings of failure. While approximately 40% of Americans make resolutions, as few as 8% of resolutions are attained. (This, according to University of Scranton study.) The study also reveals that while 75% of those who make resolutions are able to make it through the first week, less than half make it through a half of a year. I guess that just means you can start gearing up for making the same resolution the following year. (Sarcasm alert.)
Here’s my problem. Or at least one of them. A resolution should be something that makes a lasting impact on your life. Something that changes it for the better. Something that can be maintained day in and day out…for a long, long, time. Like forever.
Part of the problem seems to be that people tend to go crazy setting unrealistic resolutions. You know, the ones that require them to lose an unnatural amount of weight. Or commit to an unrealistic exercise plan. And then they go even crazier trying to attain those goals. You don’t have to run a marathon or completely give up junk food to make a meaningful difference in your life.
Because you know what the worse part is? The aftermath. What happens after the goal is attained? Can the craziness be continued?
It feels so good when you are on the road to attaining those goals, but then, there is the finish line. The “what’s next”. The inevitable keeping it up or making the return trip. And that never feels good. Watching muscles emerge? Good. Watching them disappear? Not good. Pants getting loose? Good. Pants getting tight? Not good.
Live a life of moderation. Create goals that will impact your life, but make sure they are not only attainable but sustainable. Get rid of the all or nothing thinking. And this is a pretty big statement, coming from me…the Queen of Black and White.
Make changes in your life that will last a lifetime. Focus on what you could add to your life instead of taking something away. Crowd out the “negative” with the “positive”. Eat more real food and you will have less room for junk. Go for a walk and you will have less time for the screen. (Except for reading my blog…please read my blog.)
And then, if you want to do more, you can. But you will always have that solid base. You will feel success. And you will be creating positive change.
And finally, with 365 days in a year (okay, almost every year…not my point, so I’m choosing to ignore that rather picky point) it seems a tad bit ridiculous that so much emphasis is placed upon one day. Don’t give January 1st so much power. What’s wrong with January 20th? Or June 3rd? Or right now?
You can make a difference in your life each and every day. Starting now.