Reason Over Resolutions

Updated Aug 12, 2014

New Year’s pledges are not the only way to change

Are you a resolution-maker?

I’m one of those folks who tends to make them … only to break them soon thereafter. I have a terrible track record with New Year’s resolutions: I’ve never kept a single one.

Because of that, they seem a little pointless to me. Is the beginning of a new year really what it will take for me to lose that 20 pounds or start reading a book a week or give up sugar? I mean, I get the idea of turning over a new leaf, but in the end, Jan. 1 is one more day of the year; it just happens to be the first day of the year.

So does that mean I’m destined to trudge along in life, goalless, never completely satisfied but with no idea what to do about it? Well, of course not.

For me, resolving to make a change just doesn’t work. I guess you could say I have weak resolve. It’s not that I don’t want to make changes happen, but I need something bigger than one day out of the year to actually make me want to make those changes.

It can be a number of things. Maybe your doctor gives you a year to live, and you suddenly realize you have a time limit on all those places in the world you wanted to see. Perhaps a new love interest comes into your life, and you want to impress her by learning to cook fancy Italian food. Or, as in the case of me and my husband, you can find out you have a baby on the way.

In the past several months, Bobby and I have talked more about our goals than we have in the 21 months we’ve been married. Suddenly, getting the budget in order impacts more than just us. We want to get in shape so we can keep up with a toddler in a few years. Our house that we loved when we bought it last year now seems to be falling apart, and we have a new repair project each week in preparation for a third family member.

We’ve found a reason to change. It’s not just a day out of the year. It’s something so important to us that we are willing to inconvenience ourselves, get uncomfortable and get dirty to meet some goals.

So if resolutions aren’t your thing, maybe what you are really looking for is a reason that doesn’t hinge on a certain day of the year. The sooner you start looking, the sooner you will find it.