You Say You Want a Resolution

This is my third “New Year” as a blogger.  So, this is the third time I’ll share with you my philosophy about New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t like them.  I don’t like making them and so I rarely do.  I don’t like the societal pressure that comes with this time-honored tradition.  I don’t like that when I have given in and participated in the past, I have never, ever stuck with my resolutions for very long.

It seems that in my many years as a yo-yo dieter, when January 1 rolls along, I’ve usually got some extra rolls of my own.  That I again commit to getting rid of, once and for all.  Same old, same old.  There I sit, having turned the page on my started a new calendar, on the back side of a long season of holiday (over)eating, filled with a sense of renewal at a new start for a new year.  Yada, yada, yada.  So, as you might have guessed, like much of the general populace, I have time and time again resolved to lose weight.  To diet to end all diets.  Or, as in recent years, as I have evolved more than I resolved, to “adopt a healthy lifestyle.”  Permanently.

Cue maniacal laughing.

The truth is, much as I sit here and rebel and resolve not to resolve anything, in the back of my mind, buried somewhere with the little voice that cries out for bagels and bread, is the thought that a resolution can be a good thing.  And that I should give in to that, not the cravings that are all too often sharing brain space.

But, oh, I don’t ever keep those darn resolutions when I make them!  So maybe my resolution this year is that simple:  keep a resolution!  But of course I’d have to make one first.

I see the attraction.  New year, new start.  And I very much admire those who do make resolutions.  (And I’ve seen some great ones in the blogworld recently.  Quite impressive actually.)  Hey, I’m all for us each finding what works.  And finding motivation wherever we can.  Setting goals – great.  Making changes – woo hoo.  But not so much for me.  The change and motivation part I’m fine with.  But the whole “it’s the first of the year so I will resolve…” part.  Eh – not so much.  Maybe it’s my inner rebel.  Maybe it’s laziness.  Maybe it’s my pragmatic nature.

Honestly, I do have some things I want to do.  Changes I want to make.  If shouting them from the rooftops my blog on January 1 2 would make them a self-fulfilling prophecy, I’d be screaming them to you right now.  But I know that commitment for me comes from somewhere else.  Not sure exactly where that is, ’cause I’m still looking.  I would love to say that my blog has provided me with the accountability and motivation to do all I set my mind to do (be it January 1 or any other time of the year).  But as fun as it is, I just can’t attribute magical powers to blogging.  Or… to resolutions either.

So, in conclusion, just in case you were wondering where I was going with all this blather, I do not “resolve.”  But, I am resolute!  Which, according to more than one online dictionary, makes me determined and unwavering.  And we all know we should believe everything we read online!

Happy New Year to you all!

Photo credit [Marty Coleman]

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74 Comments

Filed under goals, history (my past), holidays/seasons/weather

74 responses to “You Say You Want a Resolution

  1. I feel the exact same way! Making absolute resolutions makes me feel like if I skip one day I am a failure. I, like you, just resolve to do a whole bunch of things better and continue on the path I am on. I feel I am going in the right direction so I am just gonna keep on moving forward.

    There are 2 things I am going to try and do daily though. Upon waking I want to say a morning prayer and drink a big glass of water first thing. I think these are attainable.

    • I’m drinking my morning water right now! I have a glass when I get on the computer, soon after I get up. Then I switch to decaf green tea… another healthy change I made (last year).

  2. I’m not big on the resolutions either Karen but went with some goals – more so I’d check in against them one month and three months down the track….

    However, for me, it’s a bit like your bagels and bread comment – the moment I mentally decide (or publicly announce) I’m on a diet the deprived child in me goes into overdrive. Even now because I’m not supposed to be having wine / alcohol, it’s all I want! Argh! Bugger, bugger, bugger!

  3. dang I always adore your wordplay.

    YOU ARE RESOLUTE.

    I NOW BE RESOLUTE, TOO.

  4. Resolutions, like the holidays that precede them, have become trivialized and commercialized. It’s hard to take them seriously or make them personally meaningful when they are literally the punchline to jokes and the guilt sales pitch used by gyms and diet programs.

    My goals for the new year are the same ones I had a few weeks ago. I wish I had a crystal ball to see where I’ll be this time next year … for now, I’ll just keep pushing regardless of the date.

    • I think you have a very good point. And this is much how I feel about Valentine’s Day too – very much commercialized. I notice that the coupons and ads in the past weeks were a lot of “diet” foods:)

  5. How thought provoking this is today….I have felt like this for many, many years. I stopped making resolutions, tried to just treat things as just another day. Then I started a few rituals for myself and dang it if I don’t land smack dab in the center with my goals and my one word Mantra.
    I was just writing about it this morning in my journal as a matter of fact. Is my excited, my motivation, etc because of the new year…Yes..it is…
    For me, that is my habit..you see my birthday is in less than 3 weeks and I seem to have this natural biological clock that puts me smack dab in the midst of reflection, introspect, and planning for my future because of a few things that seem to come around effortlessly.
    The week after Christmas I have time for that. The world seems to shut down a little more that week..wrapping up the holiday, cleaning, packing memories away and with the next birthday around the corner, my thoughts drift toward my own mortality and personal life goals.
    My reflections, major life events, and checking in with myself always come in January and July…have all my life, so I just have stopped fighting that and roll with it.

  6. Ewa

    Maybe what we really need is daily resolutions with added mid-day reminders. A morning reflection every day on what we want our day to look like.
    Seems to be working for me (most of the time).
    BTW, I am NOT looking forward to my gym session today. I will be fighting the ‘resolution’ crowd for the machines. It might turn bloody. Maybe I should wait a week or two.

    • Sigh. I am going to the gym today for the first time in ages. It is not part of a resolution or New Year restart, just unfortunate timing after my calf injury last month and needing to find an alternative to what I was doing at home. I hate the crowds this time of year. And I suspect the “regulars” will look at me and think “New Year resolver!”

  7. Right there with you on the resolutions parts….for me, a lot of it is the rebel in me that yells out, “everyone else does it, I’m having no part of it!” Probably just another excuse. But the rebel in me is also who BEGAN a whole new eating “plan” on the day after Thanksgiving amidst ridicule and taunting from friends (???) IRL and doggone it, I have succeeded.

    So DON’T make resolutions if it doesn’t feel right. The only way this will EVER work is if it is done YOUR way!! And I know YOU! I know you’ll find that way.

    • First – I love that you started that plan during a time of year when most have given up and given in to the whole holiday eating thing!!

      Second – Yes – rebellion. For me it is less that everyone is doing it but more that we are “supposed” to do it. I hate being told what to do:) Hmmm… control freak coming out maybe?

  8. I no longer make resolutions either but as I read your post I could relate everything you said to my obsession with reading diet books. I know that a prescribed “diet” is not the way to go and yet I get that little bit of adrenalin (and the little voice) when I think about obtaining the latest and greatest diet book that has been released. Sad? Maybe. True? Absolutely. 🙂

    • I think I am the same way. There is that hope about that approach/plan/diet being “the one.” I did it recently with a book I read and with a plan that another blogger is successfully following. Considered both ideas as maybe the answer to all my eating issues. Don’t think so.

  9. As you know, I don’t necessarily have a problem with resolutions so long as they’re the kind that come out of self-reflection. BUT I also agree with you it’s not necessary to shout our goals, resolutions, or even just one little thing we might like to work on (in general, not because it’s the new year) from the rooftops. Though I made a list on my blog, there are definitely a few that didn’t make it to the public list. So here’s my wish for you this year — that it’s satisfying, healthy, and that you’ll find some new things that are fulfilling… and maybe a little of that Oprah passion too.

    • Thanks, Michele, that makes me smile. I do wonder if there is something, at least for some of us, in public declaration. In that it might bring a sense of accountability. I’ve wondered what would happen if I started journaling what I eat on my blog, for example. I suspect I would eat a lot better! Or maybe I’d go with the inner rebel thing as a response instead:)

  10. I’ve heard plenty of people shouting from the rooftop about the changes they are going to make, but never do. Give me that determined person who walks quietly by the side of the road any day, they make changes.

  11. For me it is about goals and themes. More of the whole lifestyle thing. Worked in 2011, so plan on them for 2012. I just have not decided exactly what themes and goals quite yet. Thus more ruminations! Happy New Year!

    • I thought of you yesterday. And how you asked me once about my goals. And how that got me to come here and type some out. It was a good exercise for me:)

  12. My resolution is just to reengage in what I know I ought to do to be healthy. Nothing more specific than what I started in April 2010, did well for a year, then relapsed for much of 2011. I resolve to be resolute in doing what I responsibly know I should.

    Oh and I resolve to stop wishing Eeyore would rise up and take over the 100-acre woods.

  13. Hi Karen! I think that the older (and wiser) we get, the more we realize that a resolution for better behavior can start anytime we want, not just at the beginning of the new year. So, like you, I tend to not make New Year’s resolutions, although I made just one this year, and that is to try to be more authentic in my blogging and commenting. As for the rest of my bad behavior….well, let’s just hope improvement trickles in throughout the year.

    • You actually raise a very good point, Marsial. Why wait until January 1 at all?! To start a diet or exercise or become financially responsible. (Top resolutions of many, just for example.) It’s a bit like I once wrote here about “tomorrow” – it makes it too easy to give up today if we have a plan to start later. Hmmm.

  14. My only resolution this year is to not gain a thousand pounds during this pregnancy. I’m not allowed to have any other resolutions :p

    • You have a great focus in your life right now. Enjoy the enjoyable parts, the rest will pass eventually. And let your proud husband pamper you:) Pretty soon it’s going to be all about the baby.

  15. LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Karen, I am resolute & determined & will continue to fight this aging battle which is so much harder than people realize unless they are there. The 50’s took much more out of me than the 40’s.. and actually till about 47/48. it was great.. after 50, it became craziness but I fight on! 😉

    No resolutions, just to be the best I can.. and some goals but life changes so I can’t worry if they don’t get to the point I want them to be…

    Happy to you!!!!

    • Some days you scare me about the future, but most days you inspire me about what I can do in my 50s (and now too, of course). Oprah seemed to redefine fabulous at 50:)

  16. I’m with you on not being a huge fan of resolutions – but am more about finding solutions,as I recently posted. I’m still working on that and hope this year gets me closer to finding what works (at least for me).
    Happy New Year to you, Karen! Here’s to being resolute!!!

  17. I don’t confine myself to January 1st … I like the spring and the fall also to renew my determination and reassess my goals (the summer not so much).

  18. I do so know what you mean. I used to make a long list of resolutions (at the top was always “lose weight”) and by mid-January, I would forget what half of them were. But the idea of making goals and challenging myself has always appealed to me, so each year I find myself doing it all over again… only now, it’s more like “things I would like to accomplish” rather than hard resolutions.

  19. Making resolutions doesn’t work so well for me. Being open to chasing new goals and opportunities does work for me.

    Still, I do make resolutions and set goals, but always with the caveat that they’ll be in effect only until the next butterfly flits by and catches my fancy. 🙂

    Happy New Year, Karen!

  20. I’m not much of a believer in waiting until the new year to make changes, but the upside of everyone else making resolutions is that it’s easier to stay on track when others around you are trying to do the same.

    Let’s hope 2012 is a great year whether it’s resolution free for you or not.

  21. I think the best non-resolution blog post I read so far this year was MizFit’s “No Resolution, No Cry.” 🙂

    • She does have a great approach. I got a kick out of her link back to our “resolutions” from the previous year and reading what I had written. I think I might write a whole post about that… and how I didn’t achieve it. Sigh.

  22. Sue

    Totally agree Karen – wrote about the same thing today.

    Happy New Year!

  23. I need goals to keep myself going.. but I’m not sure they are resolutions. It’s more like.. if I don’t do it I’ll die of obesity before I hit 35. 😉

    • I read some great posts about goals this week, as an alternative or complimentary approach to resolutions. I love the specificity that I saw in many. The action steps. So much more likely to work, IMO, than simply something like “lose weight.”

  24. I don’t care for the term resolution, but I do like to do monthly goals for myself. I am not doing any year-long ones this year.

  25. I agree. I think anything short of a lifestyle change is doomed to fail over time. I too have a bit of inner rebel mixed with a tad bit of laziness LOL.

  26. Jan

    I’m with you on this, Karen. Nothing magical happens on January 1, except some us awaken from eating or drinking stupors…

    I am resolved to be more consistent in my physical activity, but goal setting (for health) as become a way of life. Come to think of it, I have always “needed” goals. Hmmm….

  27. KLA

    Yep, I agree. I don’t have new years resolutions. I set goals now, but I don’t want to link it with societal pressure associated with a new year.

  28. Karen, I think resolve is going to last a heck of a lot longer than resolutions any day. I’ve got on-going goals that I check back in with myself on and constantly evolve, but none of them focus on starting exclusively on January 1. Perhaps that’s why they tend to last longer than a week. P.S. I have certainly enjoyed reading your blog since meeting you two years ago – congrats on the anniversary and keep up the great posts! 🙂

  29. Pam

    This year I’m calling my resolutions goals, and since I’m going to blog them, I figure they’ll be in my face, and therefore I’ll remember them better! Happy New Year to you. Love your blog.

  30. Roz

    Hi Karen. BIG HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family. I’m exactly like you, I have no desire to make NY resolutions, but prefer to enjoy the process of reaching the goal along the way.

  31. Happy New Year! As you know, I’m about not making resolutions. They just make me feel like a big failure the minute I miss one.

  32. I am not a resolution kind of gal myself, but do admire people who always seem to have that kind of gusto. I personally think that I should be looking at every day as a goal. Just to inch my way a bit better than the day before. Each day is a new opportunity, after all. Why limit myself?
    Love your titles, Karen. You’re so creative.

  33. My “resolutions” seem to come seasonally. So they are like quarterly goals. The weightloss/fitness thing is not so much a resolution ans an ongoing search for the life I want to live.

  34. Sunnydaze

    Hi Karen! I’m back blogging and look forward to catching up with you soon. 🙂

    I’m at: http://www.3fatchicks.com/diet-blogs/sunnydayz/

  35. I try to stick to my resolutions as best as I can but I find every year I’m making the same ones 😛

    I love your approach! Happy New Year! xoxo

  36. Happy New Year Karen! Great post! While I will agree that most resolutions go unmet, I still like em and I still make em. Resolutions are tradition. A New Year without Resolutions would be like Halloween without costumes. Where’s the fun in that? I respect the choice that you made. As for me, I made three resolutions this year. Will I keep them or will they be long forgotten come February 1st? That remains to be seen, but darn I hope to keep them this year.

  37. Happy New Year!! I don’t make official resolutions, especially when they’re weight/diet related. This year I did make a list of things to try/changes to make (ie try horseback riding, read more books, spend more time outdoors, try one new recipe a month, etc). I admire people who can stick to them but I’d be setting myself up for failure. Why do that to myself, you know?

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