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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's UNresolutions (Dec. 30, 2009)

In general I’m not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. I feel enough pressure to do and be my best every single day of the year. It’s part of the DNA of being a first-born. We put a lot of demands upon ourselves anyway, so why compound the stress by insisting upon yet another goal, simply because December is waning?

At the same time, of course, I recognize that there is some value in making resolutions. Pinpointing a goal is necessary if you want to achieve it, and verbalizing it often provides the commitment to get the ball rolling (or the bod jogging or whatever you intend to do). The new year gives people (me included) a good beginning point, a fresh start, impetus for something they may have been considering for a while.

So will I or won’t I be part of the tidal wave of resolution-makers as January approaches? I will. But it’s not because I feel obligated. My resolutions are ones I think are worthwhile and important. I’m dusting off two resolutions I’ve made in the past, and the fact that they are reruns illustrates just how hard it is to turn resolutions into lasting habits. My two? I want to have better posture and to floss more.

Both seem manageable. Operative word being “SEEM.” It’s wise to make your resolution something that is likely to be achieved rather than some Herculean feat. But there’s wiggle room within my resolutions, and therein lays the trouble. My resolutions may be hard to keep because unlike quitting smoking, which you either do or don’t do, having better posture or doing more flossing leaves room to ignore it on one day, promising yourself that the next day it will be a priority. My life is tiring, and posture often (literally) falls by the wayside because I am tired and hoisting myself up require energy. Flossing suffers the same fate because while I brush my teeth several times a day, flossing only occurs to me seconds before I collapse into bed at night and am too tired to stand up any longer. (Maybe I could floss laying down!)

So we’ll see. I hope that 2010 will be different. My teeth and skeleton hope this year will be different, too. But if the year is swept away by priorities bigger than posture and plaque, there’s always 2011. And maybe that will be the year I resolve not to make any resolutions at all!

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