Why I Fail At New Year’s Resolutions

Well, we’ve got a couple days left of 2013 and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been asked about what my resolutions are for the New Year.  Thinking about them I realized they are the exact same ones I’ve had for years.  I’m not kidding.  I swear I’m stuck in Groundhog Day waiting for myself to either change the resolutions or figure it out.  I like to think I’m not the only one dealing with this, so instead of listing what I plan to do, I thought some self-reflection on why I fail every year was probably better.  So here goes…

I consistently make the predicable resolution to lose weight.  I am perpetually wanting to get that figure back that I had in my early twenties, or something relatively closer to it than where I am now (hint: it was a smaller version of what I have now, kind of like going from a Mini to a minivan).  Memes going around about how fit moms of three are and asking me what my excuse is (you know the one) don’t help my crusade to accept my body post-birth body.  Part of the problem, I am well aware, is that my primary excuse is that I would rather lie on the floor doing a puzzle or use our cardboard box as a spaceship and visit the “poo planet” (I kid you not) with my daughter than I would hit the gym or spend my time meal planning and counting calories.  Although this makes me a pretty crummy person when it comes to my health, I do believe it’s helped make me a pretty good mom, especially as I try to finish my PhD at the same time.  However, in my attempt to find the “quick fix”, I have tried the fad diets, I have cut out all sugar and bread… and gained 10 pounds, so clearly these do not work for me.  I know I’ve already thought about it again this year and hopefully I can find the small changes that will allow me to be healthier while being the parent I want to be.  At least I can make the resolution to not try anything with “quick fix” in the title, even if I still opt for a visit to poo planet over a visit to the gym.

I make resolutions to become the “crafty” type.  Every year since having my daughter, I swear I’m going to be more crafty:  I’m going to make toys and costumes and we’re going to make decorations year round.  And then I don’t, even though I stare at the crafty moms I know and feel immense envy.  In all fairness, I was better this year than in any other year, as demonstrated here and here, but I fell far short of what I had anticipated doing.  Frankly, I either need to just tackle one project at a time, like say, Halloween and start in January, or accept that I am not, at this moment in my life, “crafty”.  (One big cue to this should be that when I enter a craft store, I often wonder how long I have to be there for and why people are soooo in love with the place.  I mean, I get it, they sell popsicle sticks, but can’t I get those along with a yummy popsicle for pretty much the same price?)

I plan on making it through my reading list.  I have a reading list that is long, but not ridiculously long.  (Well, not for each year as new books get added to next year’s list.)  However, I never make it through even half.  I used to blame the library for not having my titles in and having to wait months for some of them, but since getting a Kobo, I now can also take them out via ebook and that increases the viability of me reading some of them.  And I don’t.  Not that I don’t want to at some point, but it seems that newer and more fun books end up available that were never on any list, and how can I say no to those?  Really I suppose it comes down to this:  My list is filled with wonderful, scientific books that everyone should read (you know the kind).  When I read them, I love them.  I really do, but if you put one of those books next to the new Reacher and ask me what I’m going to pick up next?  Well, let’s just science better have a 6-foot-5, 250-pound, ex-military cop drifter who likes to kick ass included in the story if it wants a fighting chance on my nightside table.  Sometimes the fun read just wins, and I think I have to accept that that’s okay.

And finally… I make the resolution to stay on top of the household chores (laundry, dishes, etc.) so our house looks clean all the time.  And then I wake up on January 1st, see the toys scattered around, the dishes in the sick, the laundry overflowing, and think, “Screw it.  Let’s go to poo planet…”

 [Image Credit: Public Commons Use]

By Tracy Cassels

December 30, 2013