FACT: A majority of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
FACT: A majority of those same Americans break, abandon, ignore, postpone, or modify-beyond-reasonable-recognition those same resolves-to-self-betterment pledges within the first two-to-three weeks of the new year.
FACT: Statistics don’t lie, and the figures I quoted above are polygraph certified.
As I type this, we are roughly forty-three percent of the way through the month of January, or about three-point-six-percent of our way through the year. It is way too early to abandon plans and goals; you have plenty of time to snap out of your ‘I already blew it’ doldrums and get your 2019 (and life in general) on the track you want it to be on.
The basic problem with resolutions (and resolving in general) as I see it is twofold: lack of follow through and support for setting/meeting any goals that may have been set is certainly the main culprit, but just as big an issue is a basic fact: just how grounded in reality and real life are your goals?
The solution to the busted resolution problem also has two key components: realistic expectations… and Post-It notes.
Yeah, those ubiquitous sticky-squares can make your life so much easier by allowing you to post basic, to-the-point reminders in the places where they will be easily visible, thereby doing you the most good. You can slap those suckers on dang near anything, and the good ones will stay stuck there.
Think of them as pulp-based Jiminy Crickets.
The second part of the keep-the-resolution equation is basic self-improvement book/class/system/TED talk: SMART goals. That is, your goals/resolutions should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
For this project, the goals should also be simple, so add another S, and the ‘time-bound’ part can be more flexible being as self-improvement of this type is more an ongoing thing, in varying Interludes. So, we’ll go with SSMARTI.
Yep. Set some SSMARTI Goals for yourself.
Today is that day! You still have over fifty-percent of January left to pull off a full reboot – heck, over ninety-five percent of the year still lies in front of you!
But enough with the statistics. Let’s get real with some genuine, reality based, SMARM goals. Eh, resolutions. I won’t pretend to be some sort of self-improvement guru; I simply present here my personal examples of life-betterment for 2019 as simply a template for you to use and/or modify as you see fit.
Start by printing out my list, then tack it to your refrigerator or at your desk (or any suitable location) as a reference for when you use it as a guide to start making your Post its. (I recommend a darker color version; the pastels are way old school, and the yellow ones, in particular, remind too many people of legal pads, micromanaging bosses, and work in general.) Oh, and if you attach a Post-It to a bulletin board, do not also stick a tack in it. That sort of redundancy kills any of the self-improvement-coolness vibe you’ll want to nurture.
Think of this entire exercise as a potential-for-many-paper-cuts-Fitbit. It can be done. You have plenty of time to get on/back on a new year/new you track. Below is my list to use as your SSMARTI template. You can be a SSMARTI, too.
Here we go:
My Personal Resolves for a Better Me, 2019
More gut, less data
Less microwave, more crock pot
Make love, not war
More poetry (reading it, writing it)
Less chocolate…eh. Who am I kidding?
More passion, less whining
More doing, less complaining
More compassion, less condemnation
Less La-Z-Boy, more chaise lounge ***
More peanut butter-and- jelly sandwiches. With different jellies. Maybe even different nut butters (keeping them ALL chunky, however)
Challenge the status quo
More Bukowski and Kerouac
Write some Bukowski and Kerouac
Sip (not drink) more whiskey
More maraschino cherries
Quote Dylan and Sinatra more often
Less salt, more cilantro
More blogging, less graffiti
Play kickball with grown-ups
Play more cards
Fewer emails, more notes and greetings cards
Walk the dogs more frequently ^^^
Honor an urge
Make more whoopee, make less drama
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
More instinct, less planning/second guessing
More podcasts, less TV
Moderated hedonism °°°
More coffee/beer/lunch/dinner with friends
Make more friends to have coffee/beer/lunch/dinner with
Try different places for friends/coffee/beer/lunch/dinner
Try different coffees and beers
Try harder more often
Here is to a successful 93.4% of the year 2019 you have remaining.
*** Goes more to locale; deck, backyard, dock, beach, etc.
^^^ Post-it notes should not be stuck to dogs proper
°°° This may possibly conflict with anything related to poetry, chocolate, or whiskey