They say that 80% of all New Years resolutions fail by the second week of February. So, welcome to the party losers.
Don’t worry though, your resolutions were probably garbage. I mean, I’m sure they came from a good place, “I want to be healthier,” “I want to be happier,” “I want to do that thing I always say I’m going to do but never actually do.” We’ve all been there.
We all want to use our phones less and eat more vegetables and stop smoking and really focus on me this year, but we’re bad at it and I think it’s because we make bad resolutions. Which is why for years I flat out refused. I loved the view from my high horse and lording over others as I patronizingly said “January 1 is such an arbitrary date, if you want to change your life do it on April 15th.” The snark was delicious.
But a few years ago I thought old-Teira be damned, I will resolve something! It was even something I’d wanted to do for years, and I did it, and I’m still doing it, and you know what, it wasn’t even that hard. And you know why? Because it was a great resolution.
In 2016 I resolved to eat more butter.
There’s a long backstory here about growing up in the 90s, in a low-fat household where margarine was king, and queen, and readily available, and as far as I was concerned, delicious. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about, we’re here to talk about how you can turn this year around and stop being such a loser.
So, last year was another success story. And, while it pains me to tell you what I resolved – because it’s a stupid thing to say – I refuse to be embarrassed. I resolved to “be more extra,” and now that I’ve said that I’m never going to repeat it again.
This was grounded in a realization that I’d kind of tempered a bit of who I was and, in many ways, my style went along with that. When I was younger I was always wearing or doing something weird, and I felt it was time to live with a little more abandon again.
Maybe you’re rolling your eyes at these resolutions, but they were simple, they held me accountable and pushed me in a direction I wanted to go. It wasn’t about restricting anything or achieving some hard-fast, measurable outcome. Instead, each time I added butter to a pan: winner. Each time I reached for gold glitter: winner. And each time I did those things it was easier to do them again. Build your confidence friends.
The butter resolution was great because it helped changed my relationship with cooking. Adding fat to food was something I was raised to believe was tantamount to murder, okay, that’s not true but we certainly never did it. Now, cooking is not only more fun, I do it a lot more often. Thanks, butter. There’s probably something to be said here about not eating what is essentially plastic anymore, but that gets in the way of my main point.
2017’s go big or go home resolution really just gave me a nudge to step outside of a box I had mindlessly been hunkering down in. I got bolder, and it offered a nice reminder that it’s fine to be different. And now, if you know me, you’ll know I have this great ridiculous haircut that people tell me on a regular basis is 1. rad (they’re right), and 2. they could never pull off (they’re wrong). This haircut simply requires you to look yourself in the mirror, be pretty sure you look like Dolly Parton in the 80s, and leave the house anyway.
For 2018 I’m resolving to be more creative. I just want to spend more of my time making things. So every time I pick up an instrument, draw something, write something, sew something, I’m a winner.
I think resolutions, as they stand, are kind of silly. We keep setting ourselves up for failure by pick hard, overly restrictive goals that our hearts aren’t in. But my experiences have been great, and my simple, silly resolutions have not only work, they’ve grown and transformed into something more than I had hoped for.
So stop trying to lose an inch around your waist and start resolving to do something you’re excited about. If health is your game this year, don’t aim to lose weight, find an activity you love that physically exhausts you and just try to do it more. Don’t make a goal that strips you of joy. Resolve to add things, things that will make you feel great.
I’m just saying, resolutions are hard to keep because we make them that way.