BY ZOE AMOS
Still haven’t decided on your new year’s resolutions? You’re not the only one. Besides, there’s no point in making them just to follow the half of us that do. A blase attitude about your resolution means you’ll probably fall into the sad majority (66 to 92 percent depending on the source) of those who fail to keep them. Reasons for not following through vary. Bottom line? When you’re not passionate about change, follow through lags and other motivations lead you astray. On the other hand, those who are passionate about their goals are up to 10 times more likely to achieve them.
I’ve made a few worthy resolutions that have stood the test of time. They’ve ranged from the momentous quitting cigarettes to minor washing off make-up or sunblock before bedtime, to can’t-possibly-fail proclamations such as, “This year, I will eat more chocolate!” But the single best resolution I ever made was the one that removed New Year’s resolutions from my life forever. One year I decided that if I felt strongly about making a life change, I wouldn’t wait for a significant date to do it, I would start right away. I also decided that each year I would do something new and go somewhere I’d never been.
I’m not saying my way is the best for everyone. This mindset works for me, which is why I continue on with it. New Year’s Day resolutions can help those who need to mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually gear up, who need to see that fresh 01-01 calendar date to use as a springboard. You may tally your successes year after year and if that’s what works for you, then “Bravo!”
It is helpful to conquer foundation goals first, that is, to put yourself into a position where your next desired change is even possible. This is where I find myself several weeks into the new year. You see, my GF is more physically active than I am. She has helped me by encouraging me to walk more than when I’m on my own. I like walking and could always manage a couple of miles. Three was pushing it. Now on occasion, we walk over five miles. Yes, I feel it, especially when we tackle steep hills. I keep pushing myself knowing it’s a good thing. I love being outdoors and longer hikes mean getting away from the crowds. I love the smell of sage in the air, seeing hawks ride the thermals, and getting a good night’s rest after an afternoon of exercise. My resolution is more like a goal: I’ll log my progress and see if I can reach 250 miles by year’s end—that’s just over 20 miles a month. This decision falls within the “do something new” category and with longer hikes on the horizon, I will likely trek somewhere I’ve never been. Did I mention I take chocolate on the trail?
I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t want to improve their life. Resolutions are another form of goal setting. Change happens slowly and we all continue to evolve. Situations change. Dreams change. Personalities change. People come and go and leave their marks—kisses to gouges—and we respond. We fall down. We get up. Sometimes we need our support system to help us along. Mine will help me reach 250 miles by year’s end because it’s unlikely I’ll do it alone.
Did you make a resolution? What do you need to do to make it happen? How important is it? What will make you soldier on past the rough spots? Is your support system at the ready? Your resolution is a promise to yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask others for their help. It’s amazing what you can achieve. Tap into your power and reap the rewards. You can still make a New Year’s resolution or a decision to improve your life any day of the year. Tell me about it. I’ll report back sometime later this year and let you know how it’s going.
Wishing all my gentle readers a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!
Zoe Amos brings her lesbian point of view to articles and stories on diverse topics. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. Read her stories on Kindle and Nook. Check out her other life at www.janetfwilliams.com