Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Don't Do Resolutions

At one time, I thought that resolutions were required of an adult.  As a child, I heard the adults around me speaking of their resolutions every January.  They were all going to lose seventy-five pounds in thirty days, quit smoking, and become a millionaire. There surely had to be a few realistic resolutions out there, but I don't remember any of those.  I only remember the grand resolutions.

There's probably some obscure psychological reason for that. 

I can remember thinking that these resolutions I was hearing about were a bit impossible; I didn't think that my father would EVER quit smoking, for example.  Even after my mother quit, and made my father go outside to smoke, he kept puffing away.  We were living in Washington D.C., and had just had five feet of snow plopped down on us, and my dad was out there shoveling himself a place to smoke.  And then he decided to quit one day, and that was that.  He didn't make a resolution to do it; he just did.  I never heard him specifically say "I quit" until he asked me to show him how to crochet a granny square. 

When I became an official adult, I did the adult thing and made some resolutions.  I was going to lose thirty pounds, find a rich husband, and own all the books ever.  Or something like that.  I think I actually gained thirty pounds that year, and my quest to own all the books was thwarted by authors writing more books.  Never mind the rich husband.  I was a smart girl, surely I could make my own way in the world. 

Year after year, there I was on January 1st, resolving something.  And year after year, there I was on January 31st, feeling guilty/angry/depressed.  Occasionally, I would attempt to just get right back on that wagon, try to meet that resolution at least one more time.  Things never ended well. I gained the weight I'd planned to lose. I became ill and couldn't exercise more, or keep the house clean, or whatever. 

I realized that my tendency toward making resolutions had to do with meeting other people's expectations than my own.  It was a topic of conversation at work, our resolutions.  Weight contests were started; exercise groups were formed.  If you didn't keep up, the others looked at you with pity, and who needs that?

So I just stopped. I resolved to not do resolutions. I didn't talk about resolutions.  I didn't even mention them.  If someone asked me about my resolutions, I would just smile and ask them about theirs.  I realized that I didn't need to meet anyone else's expectations, just my own.   It was amazing how much weight lifted off my shoulders that year.  No guilt or anger or depression. No pressure to do anything...except be.  I decided to start eating more fruits and vegetables, and walking more instead of taking the elevator.

And then, one day, I had lost thirty pounds.  Without a resolution at all. 

Check out the other writers at Mamakat's. 

 1. Share your 2015 New Year’s Resolution. How did last year’s turn out?


  1. Love, love, love this! Just making a conscious effort to do something "good" makes all the difference in the world. Your attitude surely makes you the best you!

    I do like to set goals but they are simple and make me feel good about myself no matter what... all year long. Who needs to feel defeated! And, I'm not a competitive person. Never have been, never will. I don't need to prove anything to anyone but myself.

  2. Couldn't have said this better! I gave up using the word "resolutions" a long time ago, now, if I reference them at all, I prefer the word "intentions".........intentions leave wiggle room and aren't etched in stone and are far more likely to succeed!

  3. I don't do resolutions either--I think they are self-defeating. I like your attitude on life. Have a great year on your terms. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

  4. It is a glorious gift to reach the point of life when you realize you no longer have to waste so much time and energy trying to please others and live up to their expectations. What a bonus that when you let go of that, your body rewarded you by letting go of 30 lbs! ~May@Achieving Clarity

  5. I have been reading about resolutions a lot around.. I haven't thought about what I would do, have a resolution or not..
    It is great that you have found a way around this resolution thing and kept on doing what you gotta do...

  6. I totally get this! I have to be really fed up with my bad habits to put the effort into changing them and that doesn't just magically happen at the first of the year.

  7. I get this. I no longer make resolutions of any kind. It is too depressing when you fail. Last year the only resolution I made was to laugh and smile more, and wouldn't you know...I had never been more depressed and just sad in a year except the years my parents died. Seriously so no more of that nonsense. No resolutions. Just taking it one day at a time.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!