I gave up on making New Year's Resolutions in 2010. My last memorable resolution that I actually achieved was in 2007 when I threw myself a bit of a Nerf ball in saying that I was committed to perfecting the cheesecake that year. That being said, I did actually bake dozens that year and I think I did achieve Cheesecake Nirvana at some point. Once completed, it lost its luster. Or it could be that I was good and sick of cheesecake. No matter, once I was diagnosed gluten intolerant in 2009, it was a moot point, anyway.
Since then, I've learned that once I start thinking about things I want to improve about myself, it's hard to stop. I have this habit of scrolling through an interminable list of self-defined flaws that I wish I could just fix with a tube of spackle and a putty knife and after a half hour and the beginnings of a good belly-ache, I grind my teeth in frustration and resolve to think about it another time.
Pay more attention to the dog.
Keep a cleaner house.
Sell my manuscript.
Pay more attention to my writing craft.
Spend more time with Bubba.
Take fewer shortcuts in life.
It goes on and on. And when I decide to take just one thing and focus on it, I can't seem to pick which one is the most vitally important for right now, so forget it.
That isn't to say that I'm completely giving up on doing things to improve myself and my life. I am committed to moving forward and growing, but I'm hoping it's possible to do that without labeling those things as "Resolutions" and putting them out into the Universe to be checked off (or not - thereby producing that horrible feeling of failure to accomplish something I said I would).
And in all of this resolution-mining, I'm wondering what happens if I take a minute to list the things I DON'T want to change about myself. Have I ever really started a New Year with a list of those things? I'm pretty damn sure I haven't. So, here goes:
Stay compassionate and caring.
Continue to enjoy cooking.
Continue showing my girls that they are important to me.
Continue striving for balance in life.
Continue learning about new things.
Continue finding humor every day.
Continue caring about myself.
That's a good start. I think you should make your own list. Come on! Do it. I dare you.