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The infamous “I don’t do resolutions.”

January 5, 2013

Every year when the topic of resolutions is brought up in conversation, there’s undoubtedly someone who offers “I don’t do them” in their very best judgmental voice.  The statement is usually accompanied with a side order of contempt.   Perhaps that’s because the notion of resolutions being trivial or easily broken.   Who knows? Plenty of my Facebook friends had posts on January 1st that laughingly proclaimed “I was gonna do this but…” I took the posts for what they were, usually entertaining.

When the push back comes, I can only chuckle under my breath.  For me, resolutions are about resolve.   Call them what you want, maybe you prefer to say they are goals or aspirations?  But resolutions are often about making a commitment to achieve what you want or believe in for improvements in life.  The new year is a natural place to work some goals out them as you begin one of the very obvious cycles in your life and where visualizing what you want may actually be helpful in achieving it.

I’ve done all sorts of resolutions.   Many are simple adjustments.   I’ve committed to pick up a hobby during the next year or make changes in my diet.   Very early on in my days in DC, one change was to give up milk treated with antibiotics or myriad growth hormones.   It was easier for me than a daily cereal eater, but still has had financial consequences for a new professional who was broke and paying triple price.  It was not trendy to buy organic milk yet; the harm of BGH and antibiotics in cows was still widely suppressed.  It remains to this day one of my favorite and most deeply abided by resolutions; I even try to buy organic or untainted milk when I travel (it’s really, really hard).  At the time of making this choice, it also came with interesting scrutiny from my equally broke friends.  Now many are moms and dads and they are freaking out about the numerous poisons that their toddlers are exposed to during the week just by eating a square meal.

Since my mid-twenties, I’ve usually had multiple resolutions per year.   And because I have a serious travel bug, I also often have one that’s about traveling more or differently.  This year, my travel goal will be about both.  I’m hitting a bucket list goal of going to the Grand Canyon and I’d like to go international or minimally adventuresome more often.   This year, at least one of my resolutions is deeply personal and won’t be revealed to anyone.

Resolutions aren’t just for the start of the year but it’s often a good place for me to catalyze different goals.   For those who choose to forgo them, it’s an important choice and I do respect it, too.  If that means your choice is not to make any goals at any time then you may be losing out.  In a year like 2012, where everything moved so fast and I could barely remember yesterday from tomorrow, because I know what I wanted, I still have a very real of accomplishment and it feels amazing.

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