According to U.S. News, approximately 80 percent of people fail their New Year’s resolutions by mid-February. The article doesn’t cite the research, but I’m going to go ahead and take that as fact since it’s in print and that’s how facts work.
This year, I spared myself the agony of certain defeat and didn’t make any. In years past I didn’t have the same wisdom and devised a number of resolutions that—if I’m honest—had little hope of making it out of the gate. Let’s take a retrospective look together, shall we? By the end of this, I’m sure at least one of us will feel better about our goals (it won’t be me).
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Resolution 1: Eat everything with a fork or spoon
“Wow,” you’re thinking, “this girl really takes her table manners seriously.” While I do appreciate a nice table setting, the motivation behind this resolution was a quirky angle on the humdrum goal to eat healthier. At that particular point in my life I was doing a lot of snacking. Car snacking was the biggest culprit. Cheetos were my co-pilot. While stationary, I was eating a lot of bar food, nibbles, and other items whose journey from kitchen to mouth involved a stop in the deep fryer.
I knew I needed to make a stop to all of this, so I established a rule involving flatware. In the end, it only made me a hazard. Have you ever tried to eat a potato chip with a fork while driving on the freeway? Very dangerous, I don’t recommend.
Resolution 2: Eat everything with chopsticks
Having completely forgotten about the debacle of resolution one, I instated a new rule the following year where I had to eat everything with chopsticks. Before you ask, yes, I did own my very own pair of non-disposable chopsticks. And yes, this resolution lasted about five hours on New Year’s Day.
Resolution 3: Learn the names of all the world leaders
The chopstick year was also the increase my geopolitical knowledge year. I’m no fool, I knew I needed a backup. The world was (and is) in a state of flux, and I was feeling completely uninformed. I’d been out of college for a few years and couldn’t be trusted to learn new, important things without some prodding. You just need to see my DVR contents to know this is true (if you want to talk about Bravo reality shows, I’m your gal).
My husband and I dusted off our globe and went to work. This resolution had some moderate success, and I did learn quite a bit in the first few months of that year. I also gained a lot of respect for the kids who are learning geography these days. In my day, the USSR was an easy gimme on tests. This is in no way an endorsement of Soviet communism; even then it didn’t earn me enough points to get an A.
Resolution 4: Entertain more
For whatever reason,* my house has never been the gathering place. We usually host a party or two a year, but have never been the “come on over and have dinner on a Tuesday” type of people. 2018 was going to be the year when this would change. I made a pledge that we would have people over at least once a week. I proudly declared this to a friend of mine, who lovingly said, “Oh, great. We’ll call the others when it’s our week so they know they’re off the hook.” I know you’re now jealous of my loving friendships. Company aside, I was pretty happy with this resolution. It fell off a few times over the year, but I found myself in much better spirits the weeks we had friends over than the weeks we did not.
*it’s usually a mess
Resolution 5: Don’t make any mistakes when speaking
Just when resolution four had you thinking I set reasonable expectations for myself, I present to you number five. I have a small child, and I am acutely aware that I set the example for what she says. I am also quickly approaching middle age. This is a problem because middle age seems to be accompanied with forgetfulness, mispronunciation, and misspeaking in general.
I was getting so frustrated with myself and put my foot down then and there. Mistakes were forbidden! Unfortunately, this didn’t pan out so well. I realized the only solution was to not speak at all. I have, however, been working like really hard to get like, like and um, um out of my everyday vernacular with some modest success.
Resolution 6: Stop smoking
I’m kind of cheating by putting this on the list. It wasn’t really a resolution, per se. I happened to stop smoking at the end of the year and carried it into the new one. It also wasn’t an entirely deliberate act.
I was one of those only smokes when drinking types. Unfortunately, I was very addicted to smoking in that instance. I couldn’t have an alcoholic beverage without also craving a cigarette. One holiday party changed all that. I sat outside for most of the evening, talking to a friend who was apparently competing for the slowest burrito eating award. This sounds odd, but honestly to this day I’ve never seen anyone take that long to finish a burrito. I was apparently also in my own competition. I chain smoked the whole night. I have no idea how many cigarettes I had, but I was physically ill for three days after that party. The good news is, it’s been seven years and I haven’t touched a cigarette since. Disclaimer: I do not recommend this as a healthy way to stop smoking. Please talk to a qualified professional about appropriate ways to quit smoking.
Sundry Resolution Rules and Final Thoughts
No list of resolutions would be complete without a mention of exercising more. That’s why all you new faces at the gym are called Resos around these parts. Many a new year has involved my declaration that I will exercise more. Many a new year has also started with me, hungover, unable to do so on the first of the month. I’ve since revised this particular resolution so I have more flexibility. The new rule is I start exercising once all the holiday weight has settled nicely on my body. That’s usually a week out from the last cookie and ceremonious disposal of all baked goods into the nearest trash can. Once I have my new baseline, then I can start doing squats and lunges with reckless abandon.
If you find yourself still crestfallen about any failed resolutions, I offer you this final glimmer of hope. It’s the trump card of goals. It’s the secret weapon of life changers:
You can always try your resolutions again on your birthday, which marks another new year.
Tell me about your resolutions, failures or triumphs. Share them in the comments!
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