This year, instead of making my usual list (mental or written) of New Year's Resolutions, I am writing my New Year's Non-Resolutions. I am sharing them here as a public service, because I believe we all need to be freed from the shackles of these silly resolutions.
For starters, making resolutions means that you are declaring intent, and that it the heart of the problem. As soon as you announce your best intentions, some temptation comes along too great to resist. I dare say by the time the first month of the New Year is completed, most of these earnest resolutions are broken. You know those FAIL websites? We should start a "Resolution Fail" subsection on it. It would be extremely heavily trafficked.
Here's the scoop on why these resolutions never work: we don't do deprivation or denial well, or at least most of us imperfect humans are that way.
So unlike previous years, I will not resolve to go on a diet or lose weight, because who am I kidding? This resolution for many of us usually lasts as long as the first doughnut or other sweet temptation is offered. Or the first time afterwards that we are in a restaurant and see someone with a Mojito that looks absolutely yummy. (And contains about a million calories.) I wrote a recent blog on my love affair with carbs and sugar even though they are supposed to be the enemy, but if carbs are wrong, I don't want to be right.
Besides, I have to give myself a reason to keep several sizes in my closet, and buy just about everything I see in the color black -- it's very slimming you know -- and not dieting helps me justify those purchases. Speaking of justifying purchases, see my next Non-Resolution.
I seem to have a teeny bit of a problem with impulse purchasing. Did I really need that 50th pair of black pants or the 30th little black dress? It seems as soon as I resolved to do less impulse buying in past resolutions, the really great January sales start, so why punish myself with guilt, anxiety, and buyer's remorse?
There's just something about a deal that I can't pass up. Never mind if I need it or not, and never mind if it is practical. Never mind if it is not even my size -- I will be that size again one day even if I I resolve not to diet.
Unlike most people making resolutions, I will not resolve to exercise more or go to the gym. This is because the key to torturing yourself with exercise is finding something that does not resemble that dreaded concept of hard work, and where you can see the effects fast. We can all find a million reasons not to get in the car and go to exercise, so it absolutely has to be something that you can auto-pilot your mind and body to propel you there.
Luckily I found this in my Bikram Yoga. Somehow being reduced to a puddle of sweat in a 105 degree room for 90 minutes, while contorting my body into impossible poses is actually enjoyable for me. Don't ask me how or why twisting myself into pretzel shapes while in a sauna of a room is a better alternative to hitting the gym, but it is working and I auto-pilot there a few times a week.
The thing about Yoga versus going to a trainer is that the Yogis are very Zen and non-judgmental, especially because there are all sizes in there, and we are all accepted. Who knows though, it is possible that those polite Yogis have funny nicknames for us all and are mocking us in the break room afterward with these conversations: "Did you see Butterball trying to get in the toe tree pose today, giggle, giggle!"
Last, I will not resolve to save money. It's been a year where my home was flooded and destroyed, and money has been flying out the windows at lightning speed ever since as we attempt to build a new home, replace lost items, and return to normalcy. Retirement savings will have to wait, and as that funny Internet saying goes, we will now be able to retire when we are approximately 140 years old.
So who's with me to become resolution-free for 2016 and just do the best we can do, day by day? How about a year of just being the best people we can be and know it is enough?
Wishing one and all a Happy New Year.
Read my regular blog at www.arlenelassin.com