New Year’s Resolutions: A How-To

Ok, so this is a bit late. But I thought it might be a benefit to ya’ll to see how, as one person, I use resolutions to reinvent and improve myself.

As an aside: I don’t usually do “New Year’s” resolutions. I implement resolutions throughout the year. New Year’s just happened to coincide with the end of a period of reflection and a desire to reform.

The basic technique:

A desire to change generally starts with feelings of dissatisfaction. To begin with, I generally journal or use some other form of introspection to determine the root of the problem. (My husband can attest to me coming to him, sometimes days after a marital spat to say “I figured out why I was so mad…”)

Having determined the cause of my discontent, I stop and think about A) whether or not the problem is about me and B) whether the problem is something I can do anything about. A) is usually reserved for personal issues, where I begin to experience conflict with another person. I usually feel terrible for causing fights—but going through these steps usually makes me step back and realize that it’s the other person who caused the shift in dynamic, not me. In which case, my job is simply to disengage.

B) is rather more frequent. Almost always, there IS something I can do, but sometimes, it’s only to change my perspective on the situation. If there is something tangible I can do, I resolve to do it. Usually there’s some tinkering involved; what to do, how to do it, how often to do it, how to hold myself accountable, but that’s basically it.


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