How to Make Successful Resolutions

It was pretty likely that crazy was out in full force last night.  Full moon, and a blue moon to boot, partial lunar eclipse, end of the year, end of the decade and one more successful step in the morphing of Ryan Seacrest into Dick Clark.  Wow.

I, like everyone else, contemplated resolutions for the new year, personal failings to address, goal to achieve.  But I’m stumped.

This in no way means I’m 100% happy with myself, or that I don’t have goals I wish to accomplish.  Here’s a brief list, lest you think me arrogant or self-important.

  • Lose the rest of the baby weight, and the extra 10 I packed before I got pregnant
  • Organize the hurricane aftermath I call home.
  • Find a new job
  • Quit smoking.  Again.
  • Make more time to write
  • Find a publisher for my children’s book, “One Good Wish.”
  • Finish editing the paranormal novel

And this is just a few.  There are countless thing I need or want to do.  They are just too precious, so I’m afraid to call them “resolutions.”

It’s the failure rate.

With press estimates for resolution failures in the ball park of 90%, it seems that tacking the term “resolution” to a goal is tantamount to sticking a genius child in a special needs class.  Sure, he may be a genius, but how successful will he be if he spends his days making macaroni pictures and taking bean bag time outs?

It’s like a national Check Yourself holiday.  Don’t get too big for your britches, as my grandmother would say.

Think you can go from a chaotic, chronically late mess to an uber organized Blackberry driven success?  Better check yourself.  Especially since I’m pretty sure organization is genetic.

Got the will to completely change your eating habits and break a sweat at least 3 times a week?  Better be sure, because the gym membership is a contract.

Going to reel in your spending, create financial security for the future — or at least get the bills paid on time?  Probably should have thought of that before you maxed out the credit cards on Christmas, or held off on the mortgage payment in exchange for that Wii.

A few years ago my husband and I were talking about this, and Dan decided that he would only make resolutions he knew he could keep, thus eliminating the feeling of failure that settled in in February.

That year he resolved not to lead a herd of lemmings over a cliff, not to start a Blank Panther rally (we’re white) and not to invest our money  in ponzi schemes (we don’t have any).

And when his coworkers started bemoaning the auto debit at the gyms they no longer went to, and the wasted money spent on salad fixins, he got to smile and say, “I’ve kept my resolutions.”

So instead of feeling like a failure, my husband was just amused by his own private joke that February.

Not bad.

But I would like some sense of motivation to ring in the New Year.  New beginnings and all that.  But making resolutions seems akin to relegating my dreams to the garbage pile, so what to do?

So I got it.  My one, lone resolution.  I’m going to keep trying.

That’s it.  I know I can keep it, because it’s not in my nature to give anything up completely.  And it’s something I do every day.

Every day I try to write.  I’m not always successful, but I try.

I try to watch what I eat.  This doesn’t mean I don’t periodically dive head first into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, but it does mean that once I come up for air, I’ll try again instead of buying a second pint.

I try to get to the gym 5 days a week.  Sometimes I fail, but I’ve been trying hard enough since October that the membership is worth it.  And when the lunchtime population there dwindles come February, I’ll get to say I’m five months in and still trying.

So this year, I resolve to try.

Which always brings me to Yoda and the Force.  Damn it.  “Do or do not, there is no try.”

That always pisses me off.  Of course there’s try.  If you don’t try there is no do.

Try is will plus effort.

Without either of these things, nothing gets done.  Of course, even if you apply both of these to any given situation, you can still fail, but it’s also the only way to succeed

By trying, you open a path for success.

So this year I’m going to keep trying.  I will fail, but I will also succeed.  If  I succeed in anything that I try, I will be happy, and if I fail, I will merely try again.

So there it is — how to be successful in your resolutions.  Don’t resolve to do, resolve to try. Your bound to succeed at something, and as long as you try, you will be upholding your resolution, which is a success in and of itself.  You can’t fail.

Good luck and Happy New Year!


3 thoughts on “How to Make Successful Resolutions

  1. …out reading/learning from other blogs…good New Years blog (also liked the “About” post). If there is a ‘school’ of blogging it is just this, tag surfing and finding out how other writers are managing to convey a view of ‘the world’.

    Will take the liberty to slightly disagree with your Post. While I agree with the central point of ‘trying’, (my personal favorite expression of this is the old ‘knocked down 10 times, get up 11’), but I would suggest that the things we think we know we need to change are part of the fabric that supports everything else in our lives.
    As you said, it is not that it is so difficult to lose weight, but what is it that will replace it?
    There is a ‘law of conservation’ to our lives that keeps us coming back to the old and the familiar.
    ‘As it was so shall it be’.
    It is not just that it takes a lot of energy/motivation/whatever to change, it takes a lot to stay changed.
    Altering the trajectory of our lives, if you will.

    (Totally agree with the thing about keeping certain thoughts to ourselves. Our expression at the Doctrine is ‘being a blue monkey’, ie.e sometimes people not only ‘don’t get us’ but will use that difference to our disadvantage.)

    Good blog.



  2. Pingback: You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means « Rant Rave Write

  3. I absolutely *LOVE* this, because it goes exactly with what I intend to do this year. some days I will feel more like sticking to a plan than others. Some days I will push through the “don’t want to”, & other days I won’t. Instead of beating myself up, thereby building in a natural “why even bother” excuse which I would fall on the next day, I will continue to wake up the every morning with a clean slate & Try Again. Perfect, & just the validation I needed! Thanks, Lynnette! 🙂


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