So Do You Make Resolutions?

It was fun scooting around the Web over the weekend and reading everyone’s thoughts on resolutions — if people make them, if they hate them, if they ever follow through on any of them. …

I wrote once before on my theory of resolutions: My basic point being that I generally find them kind of intimidating and disheartening, so I tend to spend my New Year’s day making lists of things I accomplished instead. I find it much more inspirational, and much better to give me that shove to march strongly into the new year.

No accomplishment is too small for the list: Anything I’d been putting off but finally did, any writing I accomplished, any home-improvement task I completed, any financial stride I made, anything that improved our health in any way, anything I was able to do for my kids that I’d been wanting to do for a long time — it all goes on that piece of paper.

When my list is done, it goes in a book with other lists just like it, and sometimes I make a plan for more accomplishments I’d like to complete the following year. I don’t always complete them, but I’m always surprised how many I do manage to check off. 

It gives me a sense of capability, and pride, and completeness and power.

So what would be on your list of accomplishments this year?

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4 thoughts on “So Do You Make Resolutions?

  1. Ooh, the list thing is good! I am a list maker anyways – I write down stops I need to make on my way home for work, things I need to get, people to call…On the weekends I list on my white board what I want to get done and cross them off when finished. There is nothing better than seeing everything you got done at the end of the day….except, maybe what you did in a year! I am going to have to make one of those, thanks!
    As for the resolutions, I don’t make them. I think I mentioned last year that the only one I kept was to never make one again! I don’t often have something huge that I want to accomplish (personally) – I mean everyone could get more fit, eat better, etc. I try my best to do what I can, but who wants to feel like a failure. This list of yearly accomplishment would do the opposite, I am excited!

  2. Oh my goodness, I feel almost pressured to make New Year’s resolutions because so many people do and it seems like I get asked quite a bit what mine are! The usual need to eat right and exercise more alays seem to fail at some point 🙁 So, the past couple of years they have actually been my daily resolutions – a compassionate heart, patience, understanding, love others, help others, etc. I love your idea of accomplishments! I think I am going to have to make a plan for accomplishments and start a list of accomplishments as well. Oh boy, I’m excited, too!!

  3. I think the idea of looking back and acknowledging accomplishments is a great one, and absolutely an appropriate way to end the year. Sometimes it feels a little self-serving to congratulate oneself on one’s own achievements, but on the other hand, if we reward ourselves for what we do right, we may feel more motivated to repeat those successes.

    As for resolutions, I think they can be extremely beneficial, but only if viewed in the right way. A lot of people treat a resolution as an all-or-nothing promise — “I’m going to start doing X everyday.” Then, when they miss a day, they say they’ve broken their resolution and give up. That hardly seems “resolute” to me.

    If a change is worth making, it makes no sense to give up on it because of one setback. This year my goal is to write in a journal for 15 minutes a day at least four times a week. If I blow it one week, I can either try to make it up the next week or just forget about that week and move on. But if writing in a journal is beneficial at all, it will not stop being beneficial because I didn’t do quite as much of it as I had originally hoped.

  4. Debi — I’m a total list-maker, too! Love ’em.

    M. — Love your daily resolutions! — a compassionate heart, patience, understanding, love others, help others, etc. Really nice.

    Bill — Howdy! Yeah, I should have also mentioned that my “accomplishments” aren’t impressive. I mean, I even list things like the fact that I finally reorganized the spice cabinet! They’re not big or a big deal — they’re just there to remind me that I’m capable of making change, one little thing at a time. I love yours about writing in a journal for 15 mins a day. That’s a hard one to keep up, but — like you said — if you can’t do it one time, you can just pick up and move on. Even if you only did HALF all year, it will STILL give you a lot of great journaling, not to mention that great rhythm every writer needs. Good luck!

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