Make Resolutions You Can Keep

Commitments that have potential for success

When I was in my twenties, I worried obsessively about my weight. It didn't stop regular visits to the bakery, however, and I often joked wryly that I was "a fat anorexic." Just to give you a sense of my craziness, the "fat" was about 10 pounds, but on a 5'4" frame, that felt like a lot.

Flash forward to now and weight has become almost a non-issue for me. Once in a while someone eager to learn my "secret" has asked me how that happened, and I honestly believed my body had somehow readjusted somewhere along the line. I could pretty much eat whatever I wanted as long as it wasn't constant and I continued to exercise even moderately. So I was surprised this holiday season when after a few days that included delicious dishes like eggplant parmesan, pie with whipped cream, pasta, eggnog, chestnuts and a few more fabulous goodies, my weight had suddenly leapfrogged up the scale to a number I hadn't seen in years. It was a very tangible reminder that it is my choices that determine not just my body weight, but so much about my life. The magical balance scale that keeps my weight (and my life) where I want it to be is between my ears.

I'm freely extrapolating this timely reminder and applying it to all my New Year's resolutions. I'm adding to that a determination to be specific. Saying "I want to get into shape" is a message that the subconscious has no idea how to support. But if I say, "I resolve to go to the gym at least three times a week for at least an hour, and to get my heart rate up for at least half of that time," my subconscious knows just how to help me achieve my goal (and remind me when I'm slacking off!).

As I write this, I can already sense myself backing off some of my goals. Do you ever do that? Kind of back away from them so you don't feel so committed? Yikes. Anyway, here goes. Maybe putting them into writing will make them easier.

  •  I'm going to get stronger and healthier by going to the gym a total of three hours every week. (I know, sounds puny, huh? That little bit is what three one-hour or four 45-minute sessions add up to)
  • I'm going to write at least one major story a month. (Again, negligible. Someone in my writing group is doing eight a month!)
  • I'm going to buy Quicken or QuickBooks by January 15 and finally get my budget onto the computer.
  • I'm going to take at least one trip outside the United States.

If the last resolution seems a wee bit like self-indulgence in resolution's clothing, let me add my conviction that travel is the best way to help create peace on our planet, and to get a fresh perspective on just about anything you can think of. This is the first year I've ever included something so totally enjoyable among my resolutions, and I like it! It actually seems more balanced than just committing to things that take work.

I encourage you to write your resolutions down somewhere. Put them in the comments section below if you really want to give them some power. I just read mine over and they actually seem more doable already!

May your New Year be filled with peace, health, prosperity and whatever you resolve.

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