I have a confession to make: normally I avoid making New Year’s resolutions. I tried them for years and then realized that the only way for me to win was not to play.
This year I wanted to try again though. Whether it is because I’m stupid or just a glutton for punishment I can’t say but, by golly, I wanted to have a resolution for 2013 and I wanted to achieve it!
At first I made a list that looked something like this:
- Write 12 more books
- Create a web page for all my previously published books (while crafting pages for all of my new ones too)
- Format all of my eligible ebooks for print
- Get in the habit of cleaning my house up every day
- Get in the habit of cooking dinner every school day
The list went on but you get the idea. I had tons I wanted to achieve and I wanted it all done NOW. Fortunately, I took one look at my overflowing list and felt as if I had been sucker punched. Who was I to think I could do all of that stuff in a year? I felt overwhelmed just looking at them!
For a time I just dropped the idea. Annie, you suck at resolutions anyway, I told myself. Instead of bothering with being disappointed just do what you can and be happy.
I wanted this year to be different, though. I wanted it to the the first year I have actually made a resolution and achieved it. I knew if I just thought this through I would be able to come up with some way to achieve this.
Jokingly I referred to this as my resolution to actually achieve a New Year’s resolution but the idea was spot-on. I mean, what is the point in making resolutions if you never keep them?
It finally occurred to me to take my own advice to Simplify, Focus, Achieve. To do this I needed to pick one thing at a time to accomplish, focus on that and then choose something else.
For my first goal I chose the one thing that has aggravated me about myself for years: my penchant for letting the dirty dishes pile up. My very first New Year’s resolution was to ensure that all my dishes were washed before I went to bed at night.
The first few days were spotty; I would see a dish in the sink, tell myself I would wash it up later and then doze off with it still unwashed. As a result I changed my tactic: Whenever I saw a dirty dish in the sink I would make myself stop and wash it even if it was in the middle of the day.
It has been over a month now. My sink stands empty now; I head over there periodically during the day to wash anything Katie or I have placed within. I was already in the habit of tidying up the kitchen whenever I washed dishes so the whole area stays cleaner now.
Since it only takes 20 days to create a new habit I feel safe in declaring
for the very first time in my life that I have accomplished a New Year’s Resolution! Cue the fireworks and choose another goal to accomplish…
Have you ever accomplished a New Year’s Resolution? What was it and what steps did you take to achieve it? Please share your story in the comments below.