Once upon a time, a wise man by the name of Mark Twain said:
“Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.”
Like husband like wife, we both share the same sentiments as Mr. Twain in this snapshot.
She Says: I Vote For Daily Resolutions
I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions. This stems from the fact that I rarely keep a resolution for the mere fact that I tend to dream up some general self-improvement initiative that just isn’t feasible. After a while, the “I will work out every day” vow just didn’t seem to fit.
Then we got married and he suggested we sit down before every New Year with a glass of wine and write out goals we had for ourselves for the following year. Then we’d read them the next December and see how we did. I enjoyed this one, particularly because I’d always read my goals at the end of that year and giggle at the idea that I’d once thought about “drinking less” or “buying fewer shoes” when it’s completely against the grain of my personality to do either.
So this year, I’m resolving to not resolve. I’m going to embrace the person I am now and not deprive myself of things I enjoy doing. I’m also not going to force myself to do things I do not want to do – within reason obviously.
As I approach my 30’s, I’d much rather be conscious of who I am as well understand the importance of what I do and the importance of doing those things well. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I won’t still set goals for myself. Or try new things. Or work on improving my person. It just means I’m not going to use January 1 as a catalyst to do so. Every day is going to be my day for conscious living
I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I think we should all constantly look to improve and make goals for ourselves. I just have never been a big proponent of doing it every new year. I guess I should say only at the new year. Maybe it’s because the resolutions that are usually made are rarely kept. That’s probably part of it. They often tend to be such lofty and unrealistic aspirations that it’s no surprise they aren’t kept. What’s that? You plan to work out 2 times a day, lose 80 pounds and not drink a single drop of alcohol in the first three months of 2011? Good luck with that. Let me know how it goes. However, even beyond the fact that most resolutions are made flippantly and the dedication to them seems less than inspiring, it seems silly to wait until a new year to make new goals for yourself. I get needing an impetus to jumpstart the new ambitions you have, and I understand that a birthday or the beginning of a new year may be the perfect time to make those ambitions known, I just don’t necessarily like it. I hate that it causes us to push off changes and goals in the present until the new year is here. That’s probably the reason I least like New Year’s resolutions.
As we’ve discussed previously, my wife and I currently live in Salt Lake City. We are looking to sell our house and move in the spring, though. Having this knowledge that we likely will be moving soon has sometimes had ill effects on simple changes we would like to make, more so on me than my wife. For example, I have tools inside the house and in the garage. I’ve vowed to organize my tools. I’ve told my lovely better half that once I do so, each tool will have a place and should be returned to that place after using it. Have I organized my tools yet? Of course not. I have them on shelves and in random cardboard boxes in something like 14 different places. In fact, when my father was out to visit me last spring, he looked at me like I was the “special” child of his six children. I’m sure he wondered what I was doing during the Sesame Street episode where they taught organization. Don’t worry, dad, I think I was licking the lead paint leftover from the ‘70s on the walls of the house. And so I keep telling myself I will finally organize my tools once we move. As a result, I can never find a screwdriver when I really need one.
This is just one small example of many. I have recently been pushing small things off here and there because I see a perfect time to make those changes; once we move. All the while, these changes remain unattended. I have fallen victim to exactly the same problem I have with New Year’s resolutions. Too often, the coming new year is simply an excuse to push of things that shouldn’t be ignored today. I am doing it myself in a different way. Since we’re at the new year, though, I would like to challenge readers make resolutions you can attain. Don’t go easy on yourself, but be realistic with the changes you can make. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed by struggling to reach your goals and you’ll give up on them completely in the end, when they were impossible to achieve anyway. Instead, be realistic with the changes you can make in the short term and reach those goals. Then, when you exceed your own expectations and find that you have lost 10 pounds or that you haven’t hugged your porcelain friend once in the first four months of 2011, set new resolutions. Don’t wait until 2012 rolls around. Keep setting new goals for yourself to improve, because as Pat Riley quipped, “Anytime to stop striving to get better, you’re bound to get worse.” If you all can do that, I’ll get out and organize those damn tools…er, maybe after it’s not so cold outside.