Last year I finally got smart when it came to making New Years resolutions. I scaled down the list, and made the measure of reckoning more ambiguous. I'm going to have exactly the same list this year. Why mess with success?
This ran counter to pretty much every precept I've been following, and advocating, for quite a few years! The gung-ho, shoot for the stars, live full throttle, test your limits, try the new stuff philosophy that's been SO MUCH FUN!
But let's face it, the traditional New Years resolution list is a recipe for failure. We set too many finite goals, many of them unreachable by any stretch of logic, an annual "to do" list of heroic proportions, and then beat ourselves up at the end of the year for not following through. Who needs negative reinforcement like that? Don't we get enough from the world around us? At the end of the day, at the end of the year, do we really need to catalogue and cement our shortcomings? Don't we deserve the emotional equivalent of a mug of hot chocolate and a cookie instead?
So I decided to finally treat myself with more gentleness and more consideration. I put those goals into "soft focus."
Diet? I resolved to eat a bit healthier than I had in the past.
Weight? I resolved to weigh a little less than I had the previous year.
Exercise? I swore I'd get a little more exercise than I had the year before.
Writing? My goal was to write a little more than I had as well.
At the end of the year, I can look back and say "yes" to all those things. A bit more granola, a few less pounds, a bit more stamina, a lot more words--some of them polished, and some off the cuff.
All in all, a list of resolutions I can look back on with a smile. And one I certainly hope to repeat.
Causes Mary Wagner Supports
Washington County, Wisconsin Human Society
Crohns and Colitis Foundation
Chicago Writers Association