Don’t set yourself up for failure

We are 4 days into the new year.  Normally by this point most people would have given up on their New Year’s resolutions but since New Year’s was a Thursday/Friday deal this year, most people are waiting until today to start working on their resolutions (Monday’s just make more sense, don’t they?)

Personally, I’ve never been big on resolving to do things.  It’s always very daunting.  What happens when, 4 days in, you forget to do the thing you resolved to do?  It’s SUCH a bummer.  And who wants to start their new year off being bummed?  Not this girl.  I thought it would be fun to take one picture every day for the first year I was married.  The honeymoon was easy, pictures at the pool, at the beach, etc.  And then we got home.  And Boo went out of town on business.  And I forgot.  And there went that plan.  And I was bummed.

Typically people over-extend themselves.  Go to the gym everyday.  Why would you pick something like that?  One afternoon with cramps and you can bet I’ll be curled up in the fetal position wearing sweatpants and being glad that I’m not at the gym.  Eat less junk food.  Spend less money.  Well great, these are all things we SHOULD be trying to do but let’s face it, eat less junk food ain’t gonna happen when you still have 3 dozen Christmas cookies leftover.

So here’s what I do for my resolutions.  I pick something manageable.  Last year my resolution was learn to make soup and I achieved that in February when I learned how to make chili.  How can you go wrong with a resolution that can be fulfilled in two month’s time?  I realize that most people don’t think this is the point of the resolution; they would argue that the goal is to better one’s self.  But how much better about yourself will you feel when you’ve failed at your goal?  When after just 3 weeks your tennis shoes get shoved to the back of the closet, not to be seen again until you do the wardrobe switch in May?  You are going to be BUMMED!

And me?  I’m going to be sitting pretty, having already accomplished my resolutions for the year.

There is another reason that the manageable resolution is a much better idea.  Say you decide that your resolution is to expand your cooking horizons and you make 1 new recipe sometime in February.  You’ll think, “Hey, that felt great!” because you’ll have completed your New Year’s resolution.  You’ll be riding high from that sense of accomplishment and you’ll think “that was so easy that I’m going to expand my music horizons” and as long as you listen to one new band you wouldn’t normally listen to, then you’re set!  So really the small goals set you up to achieve more rather than the potential to start with one big goal and fail.

For the record, I plan to learn to make another soup this year and I also plan to start shopping at Whole Foods.

DO YOU SEE HOW EASY THAT IS!?  I can have my resolutions, uh, resolved, by the end of this week!

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6 thoughts on “Don’t set yourself up for failure

  1. i agree. i don’t see it as having to better yourself, i set goals. tangible goals. so instead of “get in shape” or “run more” i have “run at least 1x a week (when healthy)”
    i’ve even roped M in on it and this year they’re written down, goals for me, him, and us. it just makes us more accountable and i like it.
    my favorite is “at least 1 date night a month”
    looking forward to the rest of 2010!!

  2. The soup idea sounds pretty do-able. Whole Foods- that stuff will suck you in. It was all the rage in Greenwich, CT when I worked there… pretty soon, you’ll want organic everything. Like organic soup. See what I mean?

  3. I like fun resolution! Mine would be “buy new shoes” and “eat fruits weekly” lol

    ps. yes, yes please join my project Barbie. If you don’t have all pink dress, a few touches of pink in your wardrobes would be good too.:)

  4. Paula: I like the way you think!

    NSJ: Oh I love the idea of resolving to have a date night once a month!!

    Ken: Good man.

    WildARSChase: Oh man, killing 2 birds with one stone? Excellent.

    andhari: Buy new shoes, that is SUCH a good resolution! And I think I’m totally going to get involved with your project Barbie–it sounds fun, plus I can double it with a post for streetcake!

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