Maybe we shouldn’t call them resolutions

Posted 1/3/19

Some people proudly, defiantly declare they do not make New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t believe them.

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Maybe we shouldn’t call them resolutions

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Some people proudly, defiantly declare they do not make New Year’s resolutions, but I don’t believe them.
Unless we consider making a resolution a formal matter – something written down on parchment and notarized, which nobody does, or shouted from a rooftop for all neighbors to hear, which I hope nobody does – then we’re most likely always looking for ways to make our lives better, which is the essence of a resolution.
A new year just gives us a good excuse to think about these things and maybe formulate a plan.
Cultural influences have trained us to think of resolutions in concrete terms: quit smoking, lose weight, dance as if no one is watching.
But just as we are all unique creatures with unique personalities, needs, desires and goals, there’s no reason our resolutions need be so homogenized.
For example, on Sunday – during a break in the ever-persistent rain that came to define 2018 – I retreated from the world into the workshop in my backyard for some quiet reflection.
I hadn’t been at it very long when I realized that my workshop, being a bit neglected, had grown cluttered to an unacceptable level.
A few months ago, I could walk into my workshop, even do a pirouette in there if I felt like it. But that was before the two hurricanes of 2018 came and before I loaded my workshop with lawn chairs and other outdoor odds and ends that I’d worried might be blown away by Florence.
I’d secured my premises for the storm – and done a fine job of it – but I’d not gone back after and restored the original order, thus my cluttered work space.
I vowed, then and there on Sunday morning, to address this problem and went about the task.
This kept me busy for a half hour or so before I realized I was looking at a major task that would take more than a morning to accomplish.
So I took a break, which included taking down Christmas decorations.
A few hours later, with the Christmas decorations taken down and re-boxed, I began hauling them up the pull-down ladder into the attic above when, similar to my outside experience earlier in the day, I realized I also need to address the 20 years of clutter weighing down our attic floor.
There’s a dresser up there, for instance, that I don’t plan on using again, so why am I storing it? I could say the same for any number of items found up there.
Without once uttering (aloud or to myself) the word “resolution,” I realized on Sunday, as the year further faded, that I’d already come up with a number of … I’ll call them “goals” which, because I was running out of time to accomplish them in 2018, must spill over into the new year.
I could say I resolve to lose weight, or binge-watch less Netflix. I’d be fooling no one, though, by making such claims.
But if I stick to my newly-realized goals of uncluttering the attic and the workshop, I’ll probably lose weight and watch less television in the process.
I’m not sure, but I think I may have finally, after too many years of failure, finally cracked the code of success of New Year’s resolutions.
Just don’t call them resolutions.


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