New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays. It not only speaks to my inner overachiever, but it plays into my sense of self-loathing! Seriously, though, I make resolutions for myself throughout the year–there’s always something that can and ought to be improved upon, some new skill I’d like to acquire, or some magical change I’d like to make–but on New Year’s, it’s culturally sanctioned. When the calendar changes, we change. That’s the idea, anyway.
Now, you might be thinking that no one really follows through with resolutions past, say, February, but I do. One year I resolved to eat (on average) seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day. That one lasted through the summer. One year I resolved to try as many new foods as possible and to revisit foods I thought I didn’t like. I blogged about that one, to try to keep myself honest. That lasted a solid ten months (the holidays, which for me begin on my October birthday, always trip me up). One year I resolved to get involved in the theater and spent the next five years constantly in or working on the crew of a play.
Every year, I come up with literally hundreds of things I’d like to change, but I’ve found that the only way I can follow through and feel successful is to focus on one item, and it can’t be anything I have to do every day because if I miss one, I feel like I failed and am apt to give up entirely. (Note how my fruit and veg resolution included the phrase on average–there’s built-in amnesty and a chance to play catch-up). It also shouldn’t be too specific. If I say I’ll lose 15 pounds and I only lose 12, I feel like a failure. If I say I’ll run three times a week and I get a long-running cold: failure. Continue reading “Keep Moving Forward”