New Year’s resolution lists are NOT supposed to make us feel like failures

They are suppose to inspire, to guide, to lead, right? Here’s the thing though: a year is a really long time, crap happens, and our needs and goals change to meet the things we are facing at the time. Can any list of resolutions ever last the entire year?

Last year I tried doing something a little different. I tried focusing on one thing every month to focus my efforts and stretch my boundaries. I got to the first couple of months and plop! it fell away and disappeared into the pile of good intentions but too much to do. Indeed, the goals I had for 2011 got somewhat lost in that same pile.

One of the goals was to get to yoga more often, which I did well at in the beginning until I hurt my back and neck in one of the climbing trips and suffered too much pain to even consider yoga of any kind. Our regular massage therapist was called into double duty and she recommended I reduce the weight lifting to a minimum until we could get the pain worked out. I backed off on the weight lifting, added about 7 pounds (mostly in my chest, dammit!), and that blew away the goal of staying as close to 125 as possible.

So, now I’m wondering if setting goals like these are simply a way of jinxing the year?

I had another goal to wear lipstick more often. Not a drastic change, but one that may have been a little short-sighted for someone who gave up leaving the house for work and working from home instead. Now, I’m lucky to remember to put on sunscreen and face lotion at all. I have, however, made sure that when I go out in public to a place other than the gym, I wear a little mascara and eyeliner and I carry lipstick and try to apply it as often as I can.

When I explained this to one of my friends, she sweetly replied: “don’t worry, you’re pretty without makeup” as did my hubby when I forgot this ‘rule’ and went to dinner with him without wearing any.  Yes, they are so supportive, but the point is:  it’s not about trying to be prettier, it’s about being respectful to those I’m meeting and making an attempt.

Not that those who choose not to wear makeup aren’t trying. Many people simply don’t want it and won’t have it, and that’s their right. I didn’t wear any for years. It’s when you choose to wear your pajamas to the library or grocery store and your hair hasn’t been washed in days and your top is filthy AND you have no makeup on that you are clearly not trying (unless you are really sick or your kids are really sick and then you’re just doing the best you can to survive and no one should judge in that case).

The point I’m trying to make is this: Working from home isn’t an excuse to let myself go. Putting on a little makeup, matching socks, etc., is doing my part to make an attempt and respect others.

I had another goal to knit one sweater I can wear. I got the body done … and amazingly – it fits! Now, I just need to stop being seduced by the other projects I have going and knit the damn sleeves. I thought the weather getting cold would help me get back to it, but that has just made me work on scarves and hats instead.

So, while I don’t really feel like a failure, I sure don’t feel like I accomplished my resolutions. I think this year I’ll just stick a short list I know I can do:

  • get to yoga at least once a week (now that my neck is healed, this is easier)
  • continue to eat healthy and get plenty of sleep
  • lose the weight I gained last year
  • get outside once a week – for a walk, for a bike ride, rake the yard, whatever
  • pay off the credit card

Next year, if this doesn’t work, I’m abandoning resolutions completely. Wish me luck!




fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!

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