We’re midway through the year and I’ve either broken or forgotten my New Year’s resolutions. This is not surprising given my consistently lousy track record for following through on New Year’s resolutions. And last year in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I was slightly preoccupied with the ordeal of a 220 mile move. And then there was the whole Mayan Apocalypse thing looming over our heads. Obviously, I survived both (whew!) but sadly my resolutions didn’t.
Upon further reflection, though, I’ve decided to ditch the New Year’s resolutions. The whole concept seems a little tired, a little too twentieth century! I think a “Resolution Makeover” is long overdue, so I’m taking the metaphorical chainsaw to this tradition.
Here’s what I’m doing for a “resolution makeover”:
1. Choose a start time that feels right
I’m rocking the boat…asking myself why I’m entitled to a fresh start only on January 1st. Why not the first day of summer or a holiday like Easter? Why not pick a start time that has personal significance? For me, birthdays are always an introspective time when I’m motivated to make changes. If you’re in school or have kids in school, then maybe the start of the school year is a natural time for resolution-making.
2. Pick a customized timeframe
A year is a long, long time. Instead, what about a “resolution” timeframe that’s short and tailored to my personal circumstances? Maybe it’s a season like summer or fall. Maybe it’s a financial quarter or a countdown to our anniversary or a long-awaited trip. I prefer short and sweet so 40 day or 100 day timeframes resonate more with me than years.
3. Choose “resolutions” that are fun & exciting
My New Year’s resolutions usually focus on things that need fixing – the things I think I should do. Most of them start with the premise that I’m inadequate or deficient in some way. What if, instead, I focused on things I want to do – things that make me happy, things that I love, things that I want to explore? Maybe resolutions work better if they’re based on wants, not needs. Think joy and pleasure – not willpower and discipline. I’m blowing my own mind here and starting to think of resolutions as gifts I can give myself.
4. Rename my “resolutions”
After so many years of making and breaking resolutions, the word itself has accumulated some Samsonite-grade baggage. It carries a faint whiff of futility and failure. So since I’m going to make fun “resolutions” that start when I want and end whenever I please, a name revamp is needed. Right now, I’m working on my “Summer Bucket List”. And if that’s successful, who knows, maybe I’ll come up with an Autumn Assignment or a Holiday Mission. The possibilities are limited only by my feeble imagination and limited vocabulary!
Now for the disclaimer: My abandonment of New Year’s Resolutions is purely experimental and the results of the above “resolution makeover” are not guaranteed! I’ll keep you posted on my “summer bucket list” progress….
What about you? Do you have any “resolution makeover” suggestions?