Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Year's Disillusion- My Plan for 2014

Here we go, kids.  Its New Years Resolution time, or as the pessimist in me calls it, The Year's First Premeditated Implosion.  Now is the time to completely put away any of the self awareness that I may have accumulated over the last year and keep making the same old promises to myself that I know deep down I will never keep.  I love starting out the year knowing that in about a month, I will be labeling myself as a failure.  But yet, I continue to do it to myself, and I think a lot of other folks are in the same boat. Because I was curious, I researched the top resolutions for 2013 as gathered from users of social media websites.  I wasn't surprised.  Number one was change in diet and exercise, followed by save money, get organized, and drink less.  As I read this and I contemplated my experiences of the past year and what I have learned about myself, I realize something- all of these things are very general while the reasons why I have my bad habits that need "resolving" are specific.  For example, I am a sugar addict and I should cut back.  I crave sugar when I'm stressed.  If I try to cut out the sugar, I start to bite my nails.  So which one do I start with- the stress management, the sugar craving or the nail biting? Big resolution, lots of little ways it can fail, and for me, it always does.  Spending less money has the same pitfalls.  Am I shopping because I need new pants, or because I'm bored and avoiding the sink full of dishes waiting at home? Does 'stop being bored' need to be added to the resolution list?  You see how quickly it can snowball out of control?
I'm 35 now.  
I am never going to be in a size 2 again because I like being able to eat whatever I want. I need to just accept this and enjoy my dessert.  
So perhaps that's a good resolution:  Focus more time on who I am as a person.  Learn something new about myself by experimenting with who I am and what I can do.  I think that if I keep things very specific, like on a to-do list, I can check things off and my success is documented.  If I fail, what was the barrier that kept me from success? 
I think, this year, I would like to lessen my carbon footprint.  Pick a week and see how little garbage I can create.  Every time I reach for something processed, that wrapper will be staring at me.  Then come the questions- how does the piece of fruit as opposed to the candy bar make me feel? Instead of hitting the take-out place with all of its packaging for lunch break, maybe I should take along last night's leftover lasagna already packed in Tupperware.  What's the hang up there? What am I missing out on that the trip to the sandwich shop provides? It can go down deep if you follow the hole. 
My waistline wins, my compost bucket wins, my family wins because I'm cooking more instead of ordering a pizza.  I remember 'Be a better spouse and parent' from that Top10 list!
I'd also like to follow the three day detox diet designed by a Hollywood celebrity dermatologist who guarantees me beautiful skin.  Its only three days, not 365.  What if I look better and feel better afterwards? Can I take that feeling of small success and grow it into something bigger and even more meaningful?
Only if I really want to.   
So I think that's where I am for 2014.  Short, obtainable challenges that I don't have to worry about failing because they can teach me something about myself, whether I succeed or not.  Gain something from it, then try again.  
Another good resolution: Don't wait til January to get to know yourself.  Every day's a good day for that.  

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