The end of the current year and beginning of a brand-new one hold special significance to many of us. “Out with the old, in with the new” is a common sentiment. One thing people do at the end of the year is make resolutions for the new one coming up, usually along the lines of self-improvement: I’m going to (fill in the blank); lose weight, exercise daily, eat right, you know all the usual suspects. I was surprised to find “Make time for family and friends” as the number one most popular resolution on more than one list. I would have suspected either lose weight or exercise. They usually appear as numbers two and three, so I guess I wasn’t far off. I make resolutions every year, but more because I’m enamored of lists than anything else. Oh, I’m a great list-maker. Traveling? I make a list. Having a cookout? I make a list. Things need to be done around the house? I make a list. Of course, then I usually lose the list, but that’s not the point. What was the point? Oh, yeah. People like to start a new year with a renewed sense of…something.
Every year, I resolve to do something about my weight. This year, I actually did it. Between January 1 and now, I gained four pounds. Not exactly what I intended, but I did do something. Right? Maybe not. The problem I see with resolutions is that, in many cases, the person making them has unrealistic expectations. If you need to lose a bunch of weight, how about making a resolution to lose a manageable amount each month? If you want to walk for exercise every day and your goal is twelve hours every week, start out with six, or four, and work your way up. My own experience has been, when my goals are too lofty, I fail. Usually quickly.
So, if resolutions are your thing, go for it. But I would recommend making them doable. Think of things in steps, not as an all-or-nothing process. I’m going to try that strategy this year. How about you?