New Year's Resolutions

“I’m not looking back — I’m looking forward,” Nancy proclaimed. “I try not to think of the resolutions that I have broken. My main problem is I make a resolution and then there is a long weekend of parties and before you know it, it’s three weeks into January and I’m just remembering…. But, looking ahead, looking ahead,” she reminded herself, “this year I am resolving to be less critical. And to get up earlier each day, to shower and dress and start my day by 7:00 a.m.”

New Year’s resolutions were the topic of conversation as the party waned into the evening. Eve took note. The Kelly family could use some resolutions for 2010.

Shawn knew immediately which New Year’s resolution she has kept the longest. “Recycling. That is the one I have kept up with. And the shortest, overeating. When you like to cook, it is hard not to overeat.”

“I don’t make a New Year’s resolution,” offered Meg, “I ease into the New Year. For me, it’s always to give up smoking. But, January First comes, I’m trying to get over a hangover from last night’s party, and I have to not smoke? I don’t think so. How is that going to work? So, I wait until Lent. And then I don’t start on Ash Wednesday, either,” she added with a laugh. “I can’t fast and not smoke. As you can see, I haven’t succeeded in this resolution.”

“I hate to set myself up for failure, so the only kinds of resolutions I make are positive ones,” replied Teresa. “I never attempt the impossible, like giving up coffee, or the vague, like losing weight. I keep it simple. And only do one per year. I try to plan out the logistics specifically. I specify the time and day each new habit is to be done. I then write it on my calendar and schedule in the new activity, however small. Some of my successful resolutions were to read something inspirational daily at noon, to read to my little ones at least three times a week, to get four loads of laundry done by 4:00 o’clock, to bring my kids to the library on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. Some years I post a reminder on my fridge.”

Cathy’s resolution remains the same, year after year. “Sometime during the first week of the new year, I look through my family calendar,” she offered. “And as I read through all the events of the past year, the joy and the pain, I resolve to be a better mom, to love my husband and my kids even more. Something about the good and bad memories of the past year help me to recommit to being a better person.”

“I have never done a diet for a New Year’s resolution, but this year hubby and I will,” offered Bernice. “It’s not so much the extra weight but just feeling better. Frank said the other day that he is tired of feeling like a tub of goo. So, I’m going to read a few diet books and pull the principles that the books share, like eating six small meals a day rather than three big meals. The reading will also help me understand the principles of the diet itself and why it works. And the key to this diet resolution is doing it with my husband. It’s really hard to do it alone, to make your own meals or to not have that glass of wine when others are imbibing.”

“I find that if my resolution is to give something up,” stated Sarah, “if I replace it with something healthier or better, I am able to keep to the resolution. So, if I’m giving up television, it makes it easier to do if I get into a delicious book. And if I am trying to eat well, when the weekend rolls around, I won’t go hog wild, but I will treat myself to a little something.”

“Resolutions for me are often to be healthier,” offered Christine. “To exercise more, to eat healthy… And it always helps when there is an important event later in the year, which I use as motivation, and I work toward that event. This year, though, when the ball drops in Times Square, my resolution will be to love people more and to assume the best of everyone. I’m such a glass-is-half-empty person, but I want to be that glass-is-overflowing person. To see the good in everyone, even the grumpy neighbor. To love all those I come across each day. I hope this resolution lasts until the 2011 Times Square party.”

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