The family was at the cottage and the tv was on a local station. Five celebrities were looking back over the past year, they played a snippet of last year’s show…resolutions for the upcoming 2014 year. Did our famous group achieve their goals? (meditation, fitness, weight loss, meatless Thursdays, and book reading)? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Although the book reader didn’t even remember her goal until it was shown on playback, ALL achieved their resolution for 2014. The secret? Well, I believe it is in the missing s. Did you notice the title Resolution(s). Well, the achievable number of “New Year Resolutions” is exactly ONE.
It makes me think of my first year teaching…a wise, experienced teacher colleague said that each year of your career, you should choose one subject to revamp/change/freshen/master. That was back in the day—1988. It is as true in my teaching now as it was then. Whenever I’ve tried (or been required) to change-up more than a single area in my teaching, it inevitably leads to feelings of frustration, overwhelm, and/or failure.
In my personal life, I have made resolutions for several years. I usually start my resolution at the beginning of the school year. (That began about a year after we got our boys…I felt my life had jumped into hyper-drive and I needed to feel a little control. ) That first resolution was to have one family meal together each week. It was a small goal, and we did it. Since then, I have kept a handful of resolutions…there is a single rule for success…
Take one little resolution, look at its achievement over time, and the results add up!
One resolution I have been successful with was to simplify and organize our dinner schedule and have soup once a week. I LOVE SOUP! Did it. Easy shmeasy. But then I got full of myself and tried one year to organize our dinner schedule even more! I would assign EVERYNIGHT a category of food. I think it went something like Mondays=crockpot dinner, Tuesdays=soup/salad, Wednesdays=pasta, etc… This one was WAAAAAAY too big and was a miserable failure.
The only other successful resolution I’ve made was the decision to walk Huey (our golden retriever). I had tried to exercise in the morning before and had been temporarily successful, but never for very long. Well, the key to the success of this rather biggish goal was GUILT! Leaving a puppy alone while everyone is at school or work was heavy on my heart. I knew I would feel better if Huey had breakfast and the opportunity for her constitutional. And it WORKED!
every morning… BEFORE work. (I feel shock and amazement even as I write these words.)
So, what is my resolution this year? One, just one that is small. Something that will help me be a better person, help me be who I want to be, help me move toward achieving my purpose….
The plan is to start a gratitude journal. I’ve journaled on and off throughout the years. I’ve written journals with all my students. I know this resolution won’t make me a celebrity…not rich, not skinny. It won’t help feed my family any healthier or make my house more beautiful. But it could make me a more mindful, happy, appreciative, focused, and creative person…
…and that’s not bad for one little resolution.