Resolutions

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I’m one of those annoying people who makes multiple New Year’s resolutions every year. I obsess over my resolutions for pretty much the entire month of December and, sometimes, even bounce them off friends and family. Then I decide on my final list right at the very end and record them in my journal on January 1.

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Through the years, my resolutions have ranged from the easily attainable personal changes like “read more” and “enjoy the outdoors more” to the, shall we say, aspirational and probably out of reach, like “qualify for the Boston marathon” and “lose 20 pounds.” Needless to say, I’ve had mixed success achieving these personal goals. So, if, like me, you’re thinking of making some resolutions for 2014, maybe this advice will help.

Years ago, I read an article that claimed you improve your chance of sticking to a resolution if you tell it to others and then write it down. That really does help. What I discovered on my own is that having several resolutions increases the chance that at least one of them will stick. And also, that it only takes one successfully achieved resolution to make you feel proud at the end of the year.

If you’re still having trouble coming up with your own resolution, feel free to borrow one of mine.

One year, I resolved to “get outside more and enjoy Vermont in every season.” I took up downhill skiing after a 23-year hiatus and started running outside, even in inclement weather. Meanwhile, the canoe that takes up half the basement makes an excellent conversation piece. Another time, I resolved to “write more.” I bought a diary with one page for every day and resolved to write every single day. I did it – sort of. I forgot to take the diary on one lengthy trip. My husband thought I was nuts when I came home and struggled to fill up all of those empty pages, “post facto.” I am still journaling today, so “mission accomplished.” More recently, I resolved to “read more” and joined two book clubs. Only one of those clubs actually reads books – the other one is more of a monthly ladies’ gossip fest. The point is, I am reading more.

The resolutions I have kept have led to small life changes that make me happier and healthier. This brings me to 2014. I do hope you give this whole resolution thing a try. Me? I have five things I’m still mulling over. It’s anyone’s guess what I’ll pick when I write in my journal on January 1st. What about you?