Let me start off by saying that I do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions. In my experience, they are never kept and do nothing but cause stress for the one making the resolution. I am not sure where and when this tradition was started but in my opinion it is archaic and just plain mean. Every year as the clock strikes midnight we kiss those closest to us, share a toast and then vow to change something in our lives. Whether it be losing weight, getting healthier or changing some well-ingrained habit, we start off the new year with good intentions.
By the end of the first week it is getting harder and harder to keep that resolution. We obsess over it, worry about and make ourselves crazy with it. If the goal is weight loss then each day is spent counting calories and fat grams or berating ourselves because we didn’t find the time we wanted for the gym. Don’t we already have enough stress in our lives without doing this to ourselves? The end of January comes very quickly and how many of us are still actively involved in our “resolutions”? My guess would be not many!
Inevitably when those resolutions fail and get left by the wayside we feel defeated and so badly about not keeping those resolutions that the habits we vowed to change even become worse. Years when I resolved to lose weight I may have lost a pound or two but by February those 2 pounds were back and I felt so lousy about it that maybe a few more pounds crept up too. Or if I decided to quit smoking I ended up smoking more from the stress I induced on myself. Life gives us enough to worry about without us putting unrealistic goals on ourselves that are bound to fail.
Most of the things that we vow to change in the new year are habits that we have had for years maybe even decades, what makes us think that they will be so easy to change just because it’s a new year and now we think we are motivated? My only resolution this year is to NOT make a resolution!! Instead I have decided to focus on my ambitions and goals. In 2014 I started on my weight loss journey not from a useless resolution but from the need to be healthy. I want to be a better version of my former self, I want to have more energy and live longer. That takes dedication, research and determination. I put all of this weight on over many, many years and I realistically know that it is going to take years for it to become a lifestyle change. So my ambition for 2015 is to continue my journey, to motivate myself daily and to allow myself to fail once in a while without completely stressing myself out. I know I am going to falter but whether I pick myself up and go on with my plans is a conscious decision that I will make daily.
My ambitions for 2015 do not stop at getting healthier. I have made a deal with myself that I will also get more organized, slowly. I do not kid myself by thinking that overnight I am going to get so motivated that my home is Better Homes and Garden ready. My vow is not just to get organized, it is to stay organized. This means there are no quick fixes. I have to start small and get a plan in place that allows me to stay organized not just through the month or year but for a life time. Why work on changing something that is not going to be a permanent fix? After much research I decided on a simple way to start. I found an empty box in my basement that I am going to use for what I am calling my “week box”. I will start with one room and not move on until it is completely organized. Who knows how long this process will last but it is my hope that even if it takes 6 months to organize just one room, I will finally change the habit that caused all of that clutter to begin with. My “week box” works likes this: The first week I take everything that is cluttering my bedroom dresser top and place it in the box and close up the box. If after one week I did not use whatever is in the box it then either goes in the trash or is donated. Only then will I move on to the next step which may be the closet or the junk under my bed. Eventually I will de-clutter not only my rooms or my home but my life.
By eliminating resolutions from my life I can focus on real change that will last a lifetime. I have heard that it takes 2 weeks to make a new habit and 6 months for that habit to become part of your personality. My goal is for it to become a way of life for the rest of my life. If you have chosen to make resolutions then I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I truly hope they work for you. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember!