Resolutions? Not such a Good Idea.

My nephew recently asked on Facebook if people had any New Year resolutions. I wrote back that for one, I wanted to lose five pounds. I also said that’s always been one of my resolutions for the past 40 years. No matter what my weight is, I always want to lose five pounds. This says many things about me, none of which interest me at all. It was a joke anyway.

When I taught middle schoolers, I’d have them write five goals at the beginning of the school year and at the beginning of the new semester. I had my own kids do it too. The list wasn’t buried—it was accessible so you could glance at it every now and then. It was amazing how stating your intentions could make them come about.

I think goals shouldn’t be too lofty and they should be attainable. For example, “I will eliminate the problem of garbage” just doesn’t work for me. “I will have a recycle can in my kitchen and will recycle bottIes, cans, and paper,”—now that’s what I’m talking about. It’s a practical plan. It’s what I can do to help change the world, one person at a time. “I will lose five pounds” obviously doesn’t work for me, either. And at my age when you lose weight, your skin sags like crepe paper decorations kept up too long. Instead my goal is to eat healthily. “I will eliminate as many processed foods from my diet as possible, including Oreos, Starbucks coffee cake and Hagen Das ice cream bars” is specific and should help me healthwise. (You notice nothing was stated about wine and Martinis.)

I’m thinking of adopting or adapting Chef Angela’s idea of a yearly bucket list. She already posted her 2014 Bucket List on Facebook. (Now, that’s really putting yourself on the line—other people will know if you don’t attain an item. I don’t have that courage.) A Bucket List sounds so much more positive than a New Year’s Resolutions list. It’s a looking forward instead of back, and it can include dreams too.

One thing I have on my list I will share: “Every day, name five things I am grateful for.” I have been doing this for many years now and it’s a life changer. Every night when I lay down my sleepy head, I name five things I’m grateful for on that day. One night, the list included “I’m grateful that the toilet only overflowed once.”—it was that kind of day. But slowly, my attitude towards life changed. I stopped looking for what I didn’t have and became grateful for what I did. I’m a much happier person.

One of the things I’m grateful for is you—the people I connect with through the blog and through Facebook. You make me a much happier person too! Happy and Healthy New Year to each and everyone.

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