I did a little research and discovered that it is said that the Babylonians were the first to make New Year’s resolutions, and people all over the world have been making and breaking them ever since. The early Christians believed the first day of the new year should be spent reflecting on past mistakes and resolving to improve oneself in the new year.
Are you one of those people, like the Babylonians, who sets New Year’s resolutions? I know a lot of people who tell me, “I don’t do that. Why set myself up to fail?” I know, I know. We make them every January 1st and most years we let them fall by the wayside. Then, we sort of blame the whole resolution custom because it just doesn’t work out. I know this because I’ve been there. Done that. Worn the T-shirt. Worn that T-shirt out.
But here’s my question. Is it the custom’s fault? Or is it us?
Doesn’t that question make you feel all itchy inside? I mean, who wants to take blame when we can just shift it away. We blame it on the whacky tradition of setting those resolutions. It’s not our fault. It’s a stupid custom and so we should just stop believing in it like we stopped believing in Santa and the red-nosed reindeer. (Although, I do still believe in Santa just a little bit.)
Anyway, this line of thought got me thinking about the whole goal setting process. And yes, I do see New Year’s resolutions as goals. And I’m a big goal-setting fanatic. Seriously, I didn’t finish a book, sell a book, and hit some major publishing list without setting and achieving goals. And the process of goal setting isn’t algebra. It’s rather simple. We want something so we map out a plan of requirements/steps/tasks that we must do to accomplish said goal. Simple, right? So why the heck are my resolutions this year almost identical to the ones I made last year? Can you guess which ones they are?
Oh, heck, I’ll just say it. For some reason any goals that involve controlling what yummy stuff goes into my mouth or what yucky stuff I do called exercise are harder to achieve. Not that I’ve been totally bad about the exercise. I’ve managed to keep a good walking routine. At least four days a week I walk for about an hour. But guess what I learned. I have other muscles in this body other than those I use to walk. So here I am again this New Year, thinking about what I need to do to get in better shape. And I’m setting a new list of resolutions.
And why am I doing this again when, realistically, I’ve already proven I might fail? Well, I gave it some thought and concluded, I’m not a realist. I’m an optimist. Besides, for me to say I don’t believe in resolutions is like saying that I don’t believe that I can accomplish something. That I’m going to stop pushing myself to be better.
And I’m a pusher by nature.
I ended up joining the YMCA. But this got me thinking about how I was able to accomplish part of my walking goals last year. The main reason I’d not failed was because I’d had a partner. Susan, my neighbor, friend, and writing buddy joins me on those treks through our neighborhood. And my other neighbor is a member of the YMCA, and we’re going together two times a week. So, hopefully, I’ll stick to this resolution and work out those muscles I forgot I had.
Now for my other goals.
1. Controlling yummy stuff—I’m thinking of trying to talk a friend into going to weight watchers with me.
2. Try to stay on top of book deadlines—focus on getting more pages done daily.
3. Balance work with play—make more plans to do short vacation trips. Use the trips as a dangling carrot, i.e. if you get two chapters done this week, you can go New Orleans for the weekend.
4. Read more and watch less television.
We’ll see how I do this year. Okay…so there you have it—my resolutions. Anyone want to share their resolutions and how you plan to meet them? May I suggest getting a partner to help you accomplish those goals? It really does help.
Happy New Year!
Wow, it sounds like y’all had a great Christmas. So many of you posted on my last blog, it made it hard to pick the winners. But the winners of Shadow Falls posters are Hillary Reyne, Katy Austin, Aspen and Hannah Rose. Please email your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP! Congratulations!