Why I Make New Year Resolutions

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?

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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27 Responses to Why I Make New Year Resolutions

  1. Val says:

    Good on you for this! 🙂

    I used to make resolutions until a couple of years ago when I made just one that I’ve kept: not to make new year’s resolutions again!

    Actually I make resolutions quite often, several times a year. That way they’re more likely to get done as I’m constantly reviewing things. I’m such a scatterbrained person that I’d not get anything done otherwise.

  2. I also make resolutions (and also don’t feel bad in the least if I don’t keep them)…. however, I also make goals and write them down, and these I’m much more serious about: like my writing goals, finishing certain projects, etc. I learned a long time ago that if I don’t make and write down goals, then they often don’t happen. Resolutions? Not so much…. not sure why there’s a diff to me but there is! (p.s. your resolution to go to the Y that you kept for 6 months plus is WONDERFUL!)

    • Coming East says:

      I actually went to the Y last night with my husband, Julia, and was proud of myself for making the effort. Since today’s my birthday, I’m giving myself permission to stay home and watch all those “Days of Our Lives” episodes I recorded while we were away for the holidays. I’m so good to myself!

  3. pattisj says:

    There are a few new things I would like to do this year, maybe this will be the year to actually get to it.

  4. Leah says:

    Good for you! Just thinking about the goals will help you remember what you’re doing and why. By the way, I used to LOVE Talbots! Would hit up every sale they had.

    • Coming East says:

      I used to shop at Talbots a lot more when I was working, Leah, but now I just don’t get dressed up very much anymore, so J.Jill works better. But Talbots does have great sales after Christmas.

  5. Robin says:

    I have the same attitude towards resolutions. It helps me to take stock and set some goals for the new year. It’s a lot like my 50 Books Project on my blog, wherein I set a goal of reading 50 books each year and each year I fail, but not miserably (because I enjoy the books I read). The number is arbitrary, its only purpose is to give me something to strive towards. And if I don’t make it? Oh well. Maybe next year. Or this year. 🙂

    Happy New Year, Susan!

    • Coming East says:

      When you said you have a goal of reading 50 books a year, Robin, I thought that didn’t sound too hard. And then I realized that meant you’d have to read a book a week—Yikes! No wonder you haven’t reached that goal yet. But what a wonderful challenge to set for yourself.

  6. Pingback: New Day, New Month and a Great New Year | Simple Complicate

  7. E.C. says:

    Good for you CE. Your resolutions are great goals to reach for. Here’s wishing you happiness and a success in whatever you do all year through. 🙂

  8. Shary Hover says:

    I’ve given up on resolutions because I feel guilty when I inevitably fall short. Instead, I write a list of aspirations for the new year. Somehow I do better with those.

    • Coming East says:

      Maybe it’s your age, Shary. At your age you still expect that you should be able to keep up with those things you resolve to do. That’s why you become disappointed in yourself. At my age, I know there’s no way I can meet the high expectations I put on myself, so I’ve learned not to take myself too seriously. LOL!

  9. A broken E-string is much more comfortable to play with than a broken G-string. *rimshot* A new dish a week?! I think I’m doing well if I have a new one a season! I’m one of those non-resolvers, but I’m impressed by your discipline. Best wishes for 2012 (and its resolutions) to you!

  10. Huffygirl says:

    You inspire me Susan. maybe this is the year I will start taking piano lessons again. I’ve been making that resolution for awhile now, so maybe it will finally take this year. Good job on yours.

    • Coming East says:

      Do it, HG! I am firmly of the belief that you don’t have to be the best at something to enjoy doing it, especially if it is just for yourself. I usually play my violin and piano when no one’s around…

  11. You’ve got a great list of resolutions here and they’re doable. I think that’s the key; resolve to do things you can actually accomplish. My favorite on your list? Writing letters. Such a lost art, I think, and that makes me sad. Wishing you the most happy 2012, Susan! (Glad to see you’re back blogging after your holiday away!)

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Mama. I think I’m going to start writing letters to my granddaughters. They will probably say, “Why did Mimi send us a letter in the mail when she could have just used the computer?” LOL!

  12. As much as I hem and haw about resolutions, I have some this year. They a little more simpler than last year’s…I want to go for a walk at least twice a week. I want to continue to write that book I keep putting off. Here’s to (gradually) achieving our dreams!

    • Coming East says:

      Darla, if you only achieve those two goals, wouldn’t that be fabulous! I hope this is the year you write that book, and I will be waiting in the wings to cheer you on!

  13. You’re back! I love making resolutions. Every year, as my family shares our New Year’s dinner, I bring out last year’s resolutions and read them out loud. Then we take turns making new resolutions for the new year. It’s always a lot of fun and good for a few laughs.

  14. You make me think about this more. I need to make another scrapbook. Perhaps it will happen next…’er this year. For a while I was on a roll turning out book after book. There are still more pictures to organize, and always there are beautiful papers crying to be laid out, and made into beautiful pages for our daughters and grandson.

    • Coming East says:

      I know those books are very time-consuming, Georgette, but we both know how appreciated they are. You’ve made me think I need to add to my list organizing and dividing up my pictures for the children. I keep forgetting I have boxes of them to sort through.

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