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It’s New Year’s Resolution Time!

For 2012, let’s try something new.

Before Christmas there were presents to buy and cards to send and cookies to make. In hindsight it seems easy compared to what we have to make this week: New Year’s resolutions.

Some people don’t make resolutions. They say if you really want to change something about yourself, why wait for January 1st? But I like the fact that most of us continue to make resolutions every year even if our resolve only lasts three weeks. The success of it is in the persistent optimism we display in the face of annual failure.

Those go-getters who improve themselves all year long might think we take our resolutions lightly, but we don’t. In fact, we use the entire last two months of the year to prepare for them. From the overindulgence of Halloween treats to the gluttony of Thanksgiving, we slide right into the excessiveness of Christmas and the debauchery of New Year’s Eve. It’s only in our bloated, in debt, hung-over state can we see the possibilities of our true potential. Otherwise we might think we’re fine just the way we are.

My true potential is apparently found in five-pound increments: five, 10, or 15 pounds to lose, depending on the year. Recently on one of those morning shows, I heard an “expert” giving advice on how to set yourself up for resolution success. She said if you’re more specific with your resolution, you’re more likely to follow-through and therefore to stick with it. I thought I would try that approach this year. After all, who am I to argue with a New Year’s resolutions expert? So in 2012, I will not eat butter crunch ice cream. That’s specific and it’s setting me up for success since I’ve never liked butter crunch ice cream.

It is nice to have a time of year when we feel like we can have a clean slate and a fresh start. It’s important to have that designated time to take a look at the past year, reassess, and make a conscious decision about the person we want to be. I normally don’t like to tell other moms what to do in this column; I only have my own opinions, but for the New Year I’m going to make an exception. I think we should all make a resolution to be kinder, be a better friend, be more complimentary, find less fault, be less critical, and see the good things instead of the bad. Don’t we do enough already, you might ask. Here’s the catch. The recipient of these deeds is yourself. Sure, it would be nice if everyone behaved this way to each other, but let’s start by doing it for ourselves.

If a friend said to us some of the things we say to ourselves, we’d consider her a pretty lousy friend. So why do we treat ourselves that way? Let’s resolve to give ourselves a break once in a while, be kinder to ourselves. Let compliments from others sink in. Give ourselves credit that we have caring, happy children. Rejoice in our attributes and be less critical of our perceived faults. Be our own best friend. If we can stick to this new resolution, by this time next year we’ll have learned to embrace everything about ourselves - even that extra ten pounds.

I wish all of you a 2012 full of contentment.

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