A few days ago I was talking to a woman about New Year resolutions, and she said she doesn’t make them anymore. ”I never keep them anyway, so why make them and be disappointed?” she said. I never keep mine either, but that doesn’t deter me from making them, and here’s why:
Making resolutions makes me take stock of myself every year and think about how I might improve myself or what I might like to do that I’ve put off doing, or it helps remind me of things I used to like doing but forgot about. For instance, last year I made the resolution that I would pick up my violin again. It took me nearly the whole year to go and get my broken E-string replaced, but I had it in my mind that at some point I was going to stop procrastinating and start practicing again.
I also told myself last year that I was going to work out at the YMCA three or four days a week. Believe it or not, I kept that up for a good six months before I started petering out and only managed to get there two to three days a week. Then it got to be twice a week—if I was lucky, but by that time it was October and I knew I could renew my enthusiasm once the new year rolled around and I made another resolution.
Some of the things I’ve contemplated making resolutions about this year, besides doing a better job at keeping up my exercise routine, are making one new dish a week for dinner, reducing my spending (lucky for me I hit the Talbot’s and J. Jill sales Saturday when it was still 2011), relearning how to knit and maybe making a sweater (I’m not too serious about this one, now that I see it in print), getting my first draft of my novel to the point that I would consider letting another person actually read it and critique it—okay, well, maybe at least letting them read it, baking bread on a regular basis again, and writing more letters. Or writing letters.
Do I earnestly think I will fulfill these resolutions? Heck, no! Will I be disappointed in myself if I don’t keep them up? Likewise, heck, no! But what I do know is that I will achieve some of these goals for part of the year, and I will be better for it. And just the fact that I keep thinking about what I want to do and how I want to be makes me appreciate that I still have some of these choices in my control. Now, how can that be anything but a good thing?