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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year?

Why do I make New Year's resolutions?  I always do, and I never keep them.  Never.  Then I feel bad about not accomplishing my goals.  Even simple ones.  Mine are the same as everyone else's, I suspect.  Eat better, exercise more, be more patient with my kids, finish that project, book, ...fill in the blank.  But I never do.  Not for more than a couple of weeks.  So why do I keep making them?  Some small , optimistic part of me buried under all the cynicism?  And if I don't make any resolutions this year does that mean I have lost all hope?  That this is the best I can do?
Is the real reason I don't keep them because I don't believe I will?  A self fulfilling downward spiral?  Is that just a personality flaw or human nature?

I wish I had some nice happy wrap up to this post, but I don't.  What I would like to know is if any of you actually kept your resolutions last year?  And if so, how?

That being said, if I were going to make resolutions, I would actually only make one:

Be More Disciplined.  It would solve all my 'issues' - eating, exercising, writing, keeping up the house, keeping up with email, interviews, review requests...


  1. Happy New Year! I enjoyed this post. I didn't keep my resolution last year- and I think most years I only keep my resolution for a couple of weeks. I hadn't made a resolution yet because I couldn't figure out something that I might keep. I love your idea- of discipline. I am going to use it! Then I can apply it to different areas- and as long as I am being disciplined I will meet my goal.

    Best of luck to you in 2012.

  2. When setting goals, it's important to remember not to set your goals too high. Setting goals (New Year's Resolutions) January 1 that you're supposed to maintain for a whole year is setting yourself up for failure. It's hard to maintain a goal for a week - 7 days in a row. How are you supposed to do it for 365 days?
    Better, is taking smaller steps. Want to exercise more and eat better? Try a small substitution to your morning diet. Used to having 2 cups of coffee in the a.m. have 1. Use sugar on your fruit? Use a low calorie sweetener instead. Taking baby steps allows the body and mind to deal with the drastic step of making a change. When you've accomplished the first small step, then take another. You'll see, it works. Go for it!
    Now for a commercial: if you want discipline here's where you can get it for under $4:

  3. The trick for me is a kind of variation on Gerard's -- I commit to sticking to resolutions for a relatively short period of time -- long enough for them to internalize as habits. Then the habits just sort of take over. In theory anyway :-)

    Another trick is to make a commitment that involves a 3rd party. I just signed up for my first Qi Gong lesson. Now there's no wriggling out of that dusty old "learn some sort of martial arts" resolution that I've toyed with for -- gosh -- at least 20 years now!

  4. Or, set your goals AFTER the fact. Whatever you accomplish, say that's your resolution. Did you gain 5 pounds over the holidays? That was your resolution. Did you yell at your kids? You resolved to do that.

    Focus on the positive. You'll feel better about yourself.

  5. Being more disciplined could work, but not allowing the outside world to get to me is a better strategy (at least for me).

    Perhaps being an author IS being more sensitive to the needs, desires and emotions of others. In 2011 that worked against me. I did not meet my deadlines. I did not release (or complete) a new book.

    My goal for 2012 is to filter those negative influences and be more productive.

    Happy writing!

  6. Well thanks for all the comments!! Jess, I wish you as much luck as I wish myself! Gerard and Kirstin - that is excellent advice. I'll definitely be trying that for my smaller goals and I hope your lessons are everything you wanted. Scott, I have met all those goals. Thanks for the positive spin - LOL. And Anne, I have actually been thinking of that approach myself. Just too many years of 'this time the same thing that never works will work'. Going a different direction this year.

  7. I think New Year resolutions only work if you resolve to do something you actually want to do and will enjoy. I always avoid the diet and fitness ones for that reason - the only sport I can stick to is yoga. This year I want to read more. Looking forward to achieving this one!

  8. need a good dose of my last blog post about resolutions...I call them Ugly Truths and Tips to Live By...LOL

  9. If you stop back by Christina, post the link!! Thanks for commenting.