This year, I started joking around on Twitter that I planned to only make resolutions about things I know I can do. Well, I was only half joking. I’ve actually been doing this for years, and privately I call them non-resolutions.
I’ve often despised the true resolutions—especially New Year’s resolutions. There’s nothing like making a slightly drunk statement of all the grandiose things you plan to accomplish in the coming year in the presence of those friends and family who will take occasion to remember and mock you for not living up to your own magnificent expectations.
In other words, I think failure is written all over such things. And I know from personal experience. There was the great ‘stop smoking’ for New Year’s experiment for J and I and 2001, and that lasted about eleven hell-filled hours. Want to know what made me stop smoking in 2002? Morning sickness. Now that’s an incentive, folks. The turn of a calendar is just not incentive enough for most people. This blog was a New Year’s non-resolution, however, and it’s lasted nearly three years. I know that making a non-resolution, not on New Year’s Eve—but at the start of the New Year itself—is a much better way to go.
What is a non-resolution, you may ask? That’s complicated. Enter irrational Sarah-logic, stage right. For me, it means that instead of changing a bad behavior or breaking a habit (which, I think, is much easier to accomplish some other time during the year—like the summer, when things are slower and less people are watching you, and there are more things to distract you), you choose to take something that you’ve been relatively successful at and make it better.
That’s a non-resolution. When I started this blog, I had been writing, privately, for years. I took something I already did with some level of success (as in, I can often string sentences together, more often than not), and tried to make it better. And, you see, it worked. I’m certain that if you can follow this train of thought, you can make it work for you, too. Kindred spirits and all that.
So, my non-resolution this year (and I have given this quite a bit of thought) is to make sure I spend some time on me (who ISN’T good at that), but with the added bit of not feeling guilty about it. That’s going to be the important piece.
I’ve been working for quite a bit on spending more of my time on me. It’s easy for me (and for others, to be certain) to spend every waking moment on getting kids to school and practices and appointments, working 9 or 9 and a half hours straight at work, and then coming home and doing dinner, dishes, laundry, homework, grading, and all that… until you either fall asleep on the couch or crash into bed. So, it was important for me to make the decision to spend a bit of time doing something good for me—exercising, watching The Walking Dead, jumping on Twitter, writing, etc., and I’ve been able to make that happen, for the most part.
Now, I’m going to make it better. I am going to dedicate one hour of each day to me. I can do whatever strikes me. I can write. I can paint my toes. I can exercise. I can crash on the couch and watch television (and GOODNESS, there’s going to be so much good TV to watch this spring—I almost need a TV Guide, but that’s another post). I can do whatever strikes me in the moment. AND… I am not going to let the guilt creep in. I am not going to entertain thoughts of what I could be doing, how I could be more productive (answering emails, wiping down counters, you name it), what that one hour each day may ‘cost’ me later on. Let’s face it, there’s always more crap to be done. I’m never going to have a moment where I think to myself, “Well, everything’s done. I can relax now.” That just doesn’t happen.
But I can have that moment where I tell myself, “Take a break. Everything’s under control for the moment.” That’s something that I can make happen. And then I can take my hour of me-time, guilt-free.
What about you? Do you have trouble with resolutions? What would your non-resolution be? What do you do well, but could make better? Would you like to participate in #OneHourforMe?