This is the year. No really, this is it. After decades of promising to clean out the basement, take swing dance lessons, and in general excise the impatient gene that makes me crazy-for-no-reason, this is the year I am going to keep my promises. No longer will any of the above be among my resolutions. Instead in 2014, I resolve to pay attention to the wisdom that comes with experience.
A recent poll revealed that 97% of Americans do not follow the four rules for healthy living… eating right, keeping a healthy weight, exercising and not smoking. That means only three percent (!) of us are committed to keeping the most popular New Year’s promises. Even knowing 60% of us die from illnesses connected to those behaviors; only one in five actually stays on track for six months or more.
These statistics reinforce what I know down deep…so many of my “I plan to,” and “Someday I’ll,” are doomed. This is the year. Because life accelerates as we grow older, there’s no time like the present to cut our poor stressed-out selves some slack.
It’s hard enough to accept that we have no sway over what tomorrow brings or takes away. Resolutions have to be more grounded than a wish list of self improvements. How old do I have to be to stop comparing the me I see in the mirror with…anyone. Lose all the weight you need to and pay off your debt? Learn Japanese and never procrastinate? Become a mentor and initiate sex more often? Come on now. This is the real world. The same world that raises the bar daily making you feel you’re a time zone’s distance away from being the best than you can be. As the final seconds of the year tick away and we become more introspective, the baby steps we take toward self improvement should be attainable, relatively easy and totally life enhancing. Rather than adding to my 2014 to-do list, I vow to simply erase.
This is the year I will never again…
1. believe that anything is “fun for the whole family.”
2. say, “We should do this again,” when I so don’t mean it.
3. greet anyone with a warm “how are you,” … and then keep walking.
4. tell a girlfriend that she looks tired. It’s never received as the concern it was meant to convey.
5. wait till my mortified daughter reminds me to check out my chin in a magnifying mirror, for her sake and mine.
6. be embarrassed by my husband’s 30-year-old jokes or a daughter’s failure to send a thank you note. It’s on them, not me.
7. lie and deny I’m sleeping when someone calls on Sunday and wakes me up.
8. think that grandparents exaggerate… about anything their grandchild does.
9. waste my breath complaining about any person or situation I’ve complained about more than 50 times already.
10. let one more day go by without gratitude…sincere and heartfelt…for the blessings I’ve unwisely taken for granted for too long.