New Years Resolutions, Success or Bail?

New year resolution

We’re almost a month into 2017. There are many great traditions and festivities that recur during the month of December accompanying Christmas and New Years.

Complimenting champagne toasts and football, New Years also includes self-appointed resolutions to “improve”. Exercise. Loose weight. Be a better person. Although well intended, they usually fail.

Did you make one?

Multi-tasking efficiency is my strength. But the down side of being a well-organized “dynamo” is I’m always thinking ahead to what’s next and unfortunately easily distracted by something out of place.

The end result is this scenario; on any given day I misplace or loose things, some important!

I set my coffee cup down in the laundry room to pick up the clothes basket. But before it gets to the bedroom, I set it down on a chair to pick up the wrapping paper that goes upstairs. On my way up, I remember that I should clean the litter box. I set the paper down on the bathroom counter upstairs, clean the box and carry the poop bag to dispose of in the garage bin. Then en route I grab the ruler that’s on the buffet but belongs in the desk. I successfully throw the cat poop out, but already distracted by “what’s next” I drop the ruler into the garbage bag too. Then I realize I haven’t finished my coffee – I never actually finish it – but I can’t remember where I set my cup down, so I get a new one. Probably a second “new one.”

A Successful 2016!

I was so frustrated with myself in late 2015 after I lost yet another black leather glove that I made a New Years resolution for 2016 to not to loose anything! It may sound frivolous but it was important to me. Basically for me it translates into slowing down and paying attention.

Barely into February, I lost a favorite earring! Grumble. I was fairly certain it fell when I pulled my earmuffs off outside. So it was either in our yard or the garage. I looked for it for weeks, discouraged but hopeful. In late February my husband found it wedged under the snow blower tire. Yeah!

Buoyed by my success, well Joe’s actually, I tried again to be more conscientious.

I started putting my gloves on the passenger seat of the car rather than my lap so when I opened the car door, they wouldn’t fall out. I suspect I’ve lost several that way over the years, always the left glove though.

I made sure every earring had a backing on it, even the dangly ones that pinch together had a back up.

When I couldn’t remember where I left my coffee cup, I mentally retraced my steps and usually found it, although the coffee was cold.

By December 31st the lost tally was, 2 earrings, 1 old garden trowel and a pair of ear buds. Hubby found both earrings diligently inspecting the lawn. The garden trowel resurfaced sans handle and the hotel mailed back my ear buds. Relative success!

Make meaningful resolutions.

If you’re committed to making 2017 a better year, set smaller, well defined goals. New Years resolutions are discarded in part because they’re too ambitious (loose 50 lbs) or unrealistic (exercise every day).

“Be a better person” although admittedly broad and ambiguous, shouldn’t be discarded! It encompasses so many possible behavioral modifications and attitude readjustments, it should always be a “work in progress.”

Make a purposeful goal to modify your actions or demeanor even a little to help others. Make 2017 a success with simple changes like: Smile more. Whine less. Give others the benefit of doubt.. Hold the door open. Say “Please” and “Thank you” and mean it. Be more open-minded. As Tim McGraw said in Live Like You Were Dying:

“And I became a friend a friend would like to have.”

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About Elaine C.Pereira

Elaine retired in June 2010 as a school Occupational Therapist where she worked with special needs children. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband, Joe. Between them, they have five children — Joe has three sons and Elaine has twin daughters-and soon-to-be five grandchildren. Elaine has a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wayne State University. Elaine is the author of I Will Never Forget and she was inspired to tell her mother’s incredible story in part to help other caregivers coping with memory loss issues in their loved ones. I Will Never Forget

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