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By Sheila Zanghi
contributing writer 

Love/hate view of New Year's resolutions


December 31, 2022

Sheila Zanghi.

I don't know about you but the very thought of making a list of resolutions each year makes me rebellious and defiant. How dare I demand myself to complete these resolutions? And when I do, what is the payoff? Is it worth the effort? It is so much pressure.

Most resolutions are forgotten a few weeks after that first burst of excitement, resolve and hope. Sometimes the failure to conquer the resolution results in unhappiness, which is kind of a punishment for failure to perform. That is why I do not like yearly resolutions. For years I would spend time thinking about them and plot out how I was going to achieve success. Unfortunately, I rebelled against being told what to do, even if it is by myself, so my resolve would inevitably disappear.

Every year we mostly repeat the same list of resolutions that fall into categories such as: exercise, weight loss, get organized, learn a new skill or hobby, live life to the fullest, save/spend more money, quit smoking, etc. They are usually nebulous and basically unachievable. According to the experts, resolutions that are successful are ones that are specific and measurable although I am not convinced. One year I resolved to complete a project that my mom had resolved to complete years before. I attempted to find all the buttons my mom had saved over the years and finally organize them. I found her fruit cakes tins and Mento's tins full of beautiful buttons that were labelled "keep." As I searched through the sewing machine cabinet and boxes of sewing stuff, I found bank check boxes half full of buttons. On the top of each was a note that said, "not worth keeping." Mom had lost interest and hadn't completed her project which makes me think we should allow resolutions to have an extended expiration date. In my case this resolution will have go on to at least to the third generation to complete as I will pass the button collection on to my granddaughter.

Instead of "resolutions" I think we should have a list of "suggestions." A suggestion should be subject to the "Marie Kondo" organizing method by examining each suggestion. Does it make sense? Does it make you happy? Is it pleasing? If it will be fun or make you happy write it down-but only as a "suggestion" and without a due date. We want a list of happy suggestions to either be completed or ignored without pressure.

I am not saying that we shouldn't make plans and try to improve ourselves, its just that we can be kinder about the whole thing. Some things take longer, so relax and enjoy completing the "suggestions."

Happy New Year.


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