New Year’s Resolutions – Ain’t Gonna Happen!

“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” ~Oscar Wilde

“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” ~Mark Twain

I love these two quotes – and they pretty much sum up how I feel about New Year Resolutions – I don’t put a lot of stock in them.

I do not make them – ever.

I had a friend who regularly made New Year Resolutions; once during a light debate about making resolutions he told me with pride that one of his resolutions he made eight years ago still sticks. That’s great, glad you don’t bite your nails anymore. Ick.

But one big list one time a year?

That really does not work for me. And why January 1, New Year’s Day? The Chinese New Year does not even start until January 23 so that throws a little wrench in things.

By the way, 2012 will be the year of the Dragon which is said to be bringing blessings of harmony, virtue, riches, fulfillment and longevity. Yea Dragon! Bring it on!

Why not make them on your birthday – after all, logically, that is when your personal new year starts? Just a thought.

Back to my original thought; I don’t make New Year Resolutions because I have some illusion that I need not change anything about myself – trust me, I’m fully aware of habits I need to modify!

It is a pressure thing. I have enough pressure in my life why on earth would I add a list that I am forced to come up with in two days and feel the need to complete it starting RIGHT NOW? I do not need that kind of stress.

Don’t put that kind of stress on yourself – it is not healthy. If you feel the need to make a resolution make it because it is truly something you want to change, not because some weird social pressure to accommodate a tradition that is effectively vacated within 30 days.

So all you fellow rebels out there join me in effectively thumbing our collective noses at resolutions!

I will not make the standard resolutions of working out, eat healthier, break a bad habit or two or change my entire schedule. I will not set myself up to fail because I am honest with myself and know the following:

1. Although I love a great work out, I have to get to a point at which I can’t stand it anymore and finally throw myself into it. Kind of like cleaning a certain room, you can let it pass for so long then one day it just sends you over the edge and you go through with a flame thrower.
2. I’m that annoying person that gets so consumed within projects that I forget to eat – seriously. So my main thing is to remember to eat period. Think I’m kidding? Yeah, well, this is why my best friend, son and another friend regularly ask me if I have eaten each day.
3. I still enjoy my certain bad habits and have no desire to change them so therefore I know I won’t.
4. My day is not typical and you cannot force a square peg in a round hole so making myself conform to a stringent exact schedule would be torture and immediate failure for me. Why would I want to make myself feel like a failure? Seriously.

So if you feel the need to make a resolution, do yourself a favor and be honest with yourself. If you didn’t have the ability to complete the task yesterday what makes January 1 a magical transformative day that now you can? Set yourself up for success.

But, I do have friends that insist on asking, “But if you did make a resolution, what would it be?” Apparently nothing I had said to this point sunk in, so it is easier to just play along. So, if I were to make a New Year’s Resolution, I guess it would be just one thing:

Be more tolerant.

This is also something that I wish more people would adopt, the world needs more tolerance. It seems so simple, but in my world it is much more complex.

More tolerance for myself personally: what I mean by this is to remember to accept myself and not feel the need to apologize for who I am. I could not say it any better than Marilyn Monroe:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

More tolerance for others: I judge others not by their words or intentions rather by their actions. I’m a wordsmith so I know how easy it is to come up with just the right thing to say, but the importance is in presentation, implementation and completion – i.e. action. I wish to be more tolerant of others in accepting their inaction. Whether it is by choice or inability is not mine to determine, just accept. I will let go of the need to defend, analyze or hope for anything different than what others chose to do – that goes for family, friends, colleagues and clients.

Family. I’ve had family that have made decisions that I do not agree with and tried to help or influence; I will accept that these are their choices and I can support the person without supporting the decision and be tolerant of the person that they are, not who I wish or know they can be. They love me despite my stubbornness, impatience and every other nagging quality – it is time I am more tolerant of their qualities and love them as a whole.

Colleagues/Clients. I’ve had potential clients that could not pull the trigger, could not commit to embarking on something that would bring them great personal and professional benefit. I will be more tolerant in understanding that commitment comes from within; no matter how much I want to help, I am not able to do so until they open the door themselves. I will no longer take this on as my own – it is not something that I could say or do differently, they will be ready when they are ready.

People in general. Sometimes I think people act intolerant of others due to lack of life experiences. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own little world that when we feel someone acted unjustly to us we take it personally. I refuse, I choose to give the benefit of the doubt and let them and myself go on living our lives without placing importance on insignificant acts.

So if there were to be any New Year’s Resolutions, my wish would be that we all give ourselves the gift of tolerance – learn to accept and love ourselves and others as we are, not as we hope to be, but as we stand right here right now. From that we can gain peace, joy and strength to then move forward in modifying behaviors or habits to bring about the things that give us the greatest happiness.

Blessings for the new year!

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

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