December 31, 2010

Resolution Round Up

Mother Time, by Rima Staines

John Selden said, "Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it’s twice as onerous a duty." I thought about that for a while in 2010 since I publicly declared my resolutions here. However, like most people I forgot about my resolutions after a while, and that I posted them. This lowered the onerosity factor considerably. What could be onerous, is looking back at my resolutions.

A year older and a year wiser, I look back on my 2010 list with new eyes. The first thing I notice is that there are 10 resolutions. What was I thinking? Of the Americans that still bother to make resolutions, only about 8% set four or more. Optimistic? Very. Realistic? Perhaps not.

My giant list of resolutions did provide a framework for change though, and some of them were actually met. But in the name of simplicity, this year I am cutting back to one.

In addition to adopting only one resolution for 2011, I am also going to practice being less uptight and goal oriented. I will achieve this by not targeting a specific and possibly unrealistic goal, such as "I will exercise 90 minutes a day, 7 days a week", and by replacing it with a more achievable and enjoyable broad theme.

Setting resolutions should inspire us and bring joy and success. They should lead us to happiness rather than seeing us reluctantly conforming to the misguided and unrealistic expectations others may have for us. Resolutions should give us wings and inspire us to be more.

So here I go, ditching the expectations, bitterness, and potential defeat of traditional New Years resolutions, and replacing my 10 specific goals for 2010 with one broad theme for 2011.

My one, simple resolution for the new year is: To live more freely with exuberant enthusiasm.

Happily meeting this resolution will lead me to live more simply, to enjoy every moment, and to take care of myself and others. This is what I want for the coming year. I feel lighter already.

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