Thursday, January 1, 2009

to make resolutions or not to make resolutions . . .

so today . . . was the first day of 2009! a chance for a brand new start! i love brand new anything, but this year i am not making any new years' resolutions. i mean what is the point? i am never successful at keeping those good intentioned resolutions. is anyone? i think january should be called the month of unsuccessful attemps!

i don't know why it is so hard to keep my resolutions. several years ago, i decided it was because i made too many, so my efforts were kind of scattered and nothing was ever accomplished. the solution to this was clear--make fewer resolutions. i tried that by cutting my list down to only the very most important resolutions, the ones that would make the most difference in my life. it still didn't work--by february i had pretty much given up on all of them. so the next year i decided to just choose one really important thing that i wanted to change and focus on that--just one! as it turns out, the number of resolutions wasn't really the problem, because i was unable to keep even one! ok, i thought, maybe it is the curse of january--just too much pressure to start (or stop) doing something on january 1st. so i decided i would make my resolutions at the beginning of any month that started on a monday--the beginning of a new month AND a new week, and without all the "first of the year" hoopla. but i soon discovered that too many oportunities for a new start kept me from starting anything new--after all, if it didn't work out this time, another opportunity would come around in a few months when i could try again!

as a result of all of this, i have come to the conclusion that if i am going to make changes in my life, i just need to pick one and do it. the time frame isn't important. in fact, sometimes focusing on that self-imposed time frame immobilizes me. maybe i need to start (or stop) on a thursday or a saturday rather than a monday. maybe i need to give myself some time to ease into a new behavior instead of expecting it to be instant. maybe, just maybe, i need to stop focusing on what i need to change and start focusing on how far i have already come! i don't know . . .

what i do know is that i am not yet the person i want to be. you would think by this point in my life i would have my act together, but i don't. maybe i never will. but for now, i think i will start out this new year by trying to give myself a break. i'm never going to vacuum every day (sorry if that shocks some of you!) i'm never going to exercise regularly. i'll never be finished organizing my closet. and as for menu planning, let's just say that unless my mom and dad are visiting, it is anybody's guess what we will have for dinner on any given night! my digital music collection is never going to be the way i want it. and the only way my photos will ever get organized is if i quit my job and devote the rest of my life to it. BUT i think i am becoming more patient and maybe even a little bit more compassionate. i am trying to overcome my fears and do some new things (who would have thought i would ride a zipline through the treetops in a rain forest?) and i am trying to just keep moving forward and not let circumstances overwhelm me. so maybe at the end of 2009, i will find that i have progressed, even if my carpets are still waiting to be vacuumed.

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