Growing up, I loved, LOVED, New Year’s resolutions. I’m obsessed with self-improvement. I would get myself a new spiral notebook and a new pack of pens, open to the first page, and make these tremendously ambitious lists of every way I was going to change myself, my life, and my routines from that moment forward. I’m also obsessed with spiral notebooks. I love buying them, and when I do, I immediately feel like my life is going to be better and more organized. Of course, I have half-used spiral notebooks all over the place.
Anyway, back to New Year’s resolutions. Here’s an example of what one of my New Year’s resolution lists may have looked like in high school or college:
- Use every page of my new spiral notebook.
- Finish using the other spiral notebooks that I have.
- Use pens until they run out of ink.
- Make a to-do list every evening for the next day.
- Ride my bike or walk when possible.
Wash my car every week.
- Conserve water.
- Floss every day.
- Recycle when possible.
- Eat more vegetables.
- Go to the gym
5xat least 2x a week.
- Call a different friend every week to catch up.
- Volunteer once a month.
- Save more money.
- Do homework right after school.
- Alternate fiction and non-fiction.
- Wash the fish bowl every other day.
- Be more organized.
- Use longer words.
- Cut coupons and remember to use them.
- Stop reading People Magazine.
- Start reading Time, Newsweek, and the New Yorker.
- Look up words I don’t know. Start using them in sentences.
- Watch less TV.
- Get more sleep.
The lists would go on and on, for pages. And for a while, I’d be really good about going through my lists every day or so to see how I was doing. Occasionally, I’d have second thoughts about some of my resolutions (Stop reading People? What was I thinking?) but for the most part, they were things I really wanted to do. But eventually life catches up with you, the inspiration brought about by running down the street at midnight beating on pots and pans would fade, and one by one, my resolutions would be broken.
I’m a grown-up now (allegedly) and not much has changed. I am not as inspired by the beginning of a new year as I used to be, but I’m still obsessed with self improvement and spiral notebooks. In fact, I bought myself a nice new notebook and pack of pens while I was in Staples doing some Christmas shopping. I’ve been feeling mentally fuzzy lately (okay, for the last five years or so…) and I thought it might help to write more things down. None of the half-used spiral notebooks lying around my house looked like they were up to the task. This new one is a beauty. Not too big, not too small, and it has a little pocket for little things like receipts and coupons. I’ve been keeping all sorts of lists… Groceries, things to do, things to buy, things to remember. And honestly, it’s really been helping me a lot. I am not sure I could have gotten through the holiday season without it.
But one thing I have not done with my new spiral notebook is filled it with pages of resolutions. In fact, this year I made only one resolution. In a nutshell, my resolution is “feed my babies wholesome, real, FRESH food.” Translated: fewer chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and Chef Boyardee. If you know me, you know I am intimidated by the kitchen and I am not great at planning things in advance. So, I think this is a resolution that’s worthwhile, and possibly one I can even keep.
Are you a resolutionizer? If so, what is on your list?