I have avoided making resolutions for a few years now, largely because it’s been proven we normally abandon our list by February. I don’t need another reminder of my failures, thank you very much.
My list would not be that much different from one year to the next anyway.
• Lose 20 pounds
• Quit eating sugar
• Read more
• Walk/do yoga more.
All I would have to do is find the piece of paper from the last time I wrote up resolutions and mark out whatever year that was and replace it with 2019.
Not a lot has changed in terms of what I should be doing in terms of changing myself, at least not by normal standards.
My previous lists have been what I thought I should work on – losing the weight I have gained from emotional eating, omitting the junk food, which would help me lose the weight, and having a cleaner house.
Did I want to do those things?
Yeah, I did.
But my resolutions felt more like a punch-list for all the things I had already failed at and needed to correct.
Creating a whole to-do list centralized on things I had not done the previous year did not seem like a positive way to usher in a new year.
And normally, I love a to-do list. If anything, I love making lists and have several of them jotted down on various notepads and sticky notes all over my calendar, desk and computer screen.
This, this resolution nonsense was different though.
It felt more like some weird Faustian deal was being made, because I knew I was going to not do what I said.
Kind of like when you ask your child if they cleaned their room and they tell you they did, and you find 94 pairs of socks underneath their bed.
They didn’t do what they said, but they went through the perfunctory motions.
That’s how making New Year’s resolutions had become to feel.
I was going through the motions of making a list of things I needed to do but knew I wouldn’t stick to them.
Why wouldn’t I stick to them?
Well, probably because I am kind of stubborn and any time I feel like I have to or am being forced to do something, I don’t do it.
The irony is, I normally like have rules and boundaries.
I have always felt like they help give us some semblance of order and guidelines to follow.
They are far more imposing and stricter than a resolution but feel a bit freer, at least to me.
Maybe it is because the resolutions are reflections on my shortcomings and rules and boundaries are free from judgement. Do this; not that.
Don’t eat the cake.
Walk for 30 minutes.
Although I am sure I would find a way to fight those orders, too.
“What’s your New Year’s Resolutions?” I would ask Granny.
She would grunt and tell me she wasn’t making any. “I’m good the way I am now, thank you.”
“There’s nothing you’d like to change about yourself? Maybe be a little kinder? A little less judgmental?” Mama would ask gently, peering over her crossword puzzle.
“No,” Granny would state. “I am a special edition. Why tinker with that?”
I have Granny’s salt and sass but none of her confidence.
I wish I could feel the same. Whereas she never felt like she was flawed in any way, I know daily I could benefit from self-improvement.
Maybe instead of calling them resolutions, I can reframe it as setting some personal boundaries.
Instead of saying I am going to lose weight and exercise more, I can set a personal boundary to be more focused on health and wellness, along with the steps I can take to do it.
For the decluttering one, maybe the personal boundary will be to not keep anything over three years old unless it has some sentimental value or meaning.
Maybe it will help; I am not quite sure if it will or not.
But I have a whole year to give it a try.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, “The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery.”