I have a hard time with New Year’s resolutions. I just feel like New Year’s is the perfect time for people to make hollow promises, lie to themselves, spend money on gym memberships, and then go on with their normal lives – after about a week of improved behavior, of course. So they’re not totally ineffective: I would say that New Year’s Day is beneficial for about a week of good, committed action.

So the first problem is the short attention span. After about a week, I see something shiny and forget all about the resolution. Another problem I have is that my resolutions aren’t very good. I would resolve to lose 20 pounds, but let’s face it – like that’s going to happen. So instead, I resolve to go running every morning. And then the next day I remember, “Oh, yeah. It’s winter. I hate being cold.” And there goes my motivation. Sometimes I try to learn from my mistakes, but that leads to over-specific resolutions like “I resolve not to lock myself in my own school locker” or “I resolve not to be punched in the face on Christmas Eve.” (My brother really did not want to put his seat belt on.) Or else my resolutions are just silly. One year I resolved to make a ridiculous flavor of pie every month. Another year, I resolved to learn to like foods like mushrooms, olives, and pickles. (Strangely, the silly resolutions are the easiest for me to keep: I now love mushrooms, olives, and pickles; and I make a pretty awesome grapefruit pie.)

Even the serious ones go a little haywire. Last year, I made a bunch of resolutions just as I came home from my  mission. And the problem is, full-time missionaries have completely different lifestyles from… everybody else. So I had resolutions like, “Never watch TV or movies alone. TV should be a social thing.” Yes, I still think that holds true. But if I’m sick, or if I’m depressed, or if I have an incurable hankering to watch a Pink Panther movie and nobody else is around – you get the picture. It’s a silly resolution. And once I’ve scrapped one resolution, it gets easier to scrap the rest.

So this year, I’m keeping things simple, fun, and relevant. I’ve decided not to make New Year’s resolutions. I’m making New Week’s resolutions. That way, I’ll have a grand total of at least 52 resolutions, all of which will be easy to complete. I will make smaller steps toward self-betterment, and I won’t be overwhelmed along the way. And besides, this keeps things flexible. Some weeks are the sort when you can take on the world, and some weeks are the sort when you might be able to take out the trash. Whatever.

I still haven’t decided what my first week’s resolution will be, but I am open to suggestions. 


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