I was looking back through a couple of journals from 1993 and 1998 and found a pattern relating to new year's resolutions: they are always the same. I've never faced that fact before. The mind is amazingly good at protecting itself. I could see the problem when reading through the journals. Every year I vow to try to become perfect and do everything I want to do.
Every year I vow to get my house organized in order to make better use of my time. This first one is the killer. It requires that I get every facet of my house in order. It means that I will need to get and keep the house organized. I will need to maintain a schedule to keep it clean. I'll need to make menus and grocery lists that include everything for those menus and all the other things I'll need to keep the house going.
I also resolve to take better care of myself. I will lose that 10 (or 20, 30, 40...pounds--depending on the year), cook healthier meals (making the menus and shopping above a bit harder), make the hair appointments, do my nails, exercise, shop for clothes, meditate, do yoga. As part of this, I will fit in my hobbies and passions including writing, sewing, and crafting. What I have looked at as two resolutions requires an unending number of other resolutions. I'd be just about perfect if I had pulled it off.
Despite the stupidity of my resolutions, I've had some success over the years. I've managed to keep within 10 to 20 pounds for the weight loss for the last eight or nine years, my meals are healthier, and I'm better organized in many ways. Another problem is that my resolutions failed to take "life" into account. Families have problems. Members need comforting, counseling, a kick in the butt, to borrow the car, someone to accompany them to the doctor, for surgery. Jobs, volunteering, and neighbors also make demands on time and energy. These things all take time. Plans fall behind or need tweaking. I become discouraged and stressed out more easily than many others.
Here is what I am thinking now. I need to pick one thing and work on it, become comfortable with it, before adding on more. So this year, I resolve to get up at 5:00 a.m. every day and write down a REASONABLE plan for the day over morning coffee. Getting up on time and writing the list are the only things I HAVE to do to succeed at the resolution. Having extra time in the morning to plan and get started on the day might be just what I need.