January 3, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
It’s no big secret: I do not believe in making resolutions. While I recognize the symbolism involved in leaving behind one’s past mistakes and resolving to begin the year anew, I just don’t think the first day of the year is the day to do it. Allow me to reword that: I believe that resolutions and goals should be set throughout the year. Small, obtainable steps should be carefully mapped out so that they are, well, obtained. I know it is traditional and customary to say, “I’ll go to church more, read the bible more, lose some weight and spend more quality time with my family.” I just feel that many people set themselves up for failure the second those words come out of their mouths. Should you stop making them? Absolutely Not! In fact, I hope that you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Have fun with it. Just try to think of something you can actually do. Or break the resolution into smaller steps.
Okay, perhaps I’m taking this whole resolution nonsense to seriously. It’s all for fun, right? It’s just a tradition! In fact, there is a certain amount of pride about losing ten pounds in the first week and then going to work on Valentine’s day and saying, “Oh well! There goes that resolution!” As everyone chuckles that they, too, have put the pounds back on. Oh well, next year. Right? Right?
Wrong. I know many people secretly want to reach those goals. Who DOESN’T want to lose a few or get into better shape? Who DOESN’T want to eat better? Who DOESN’T want to have a better relationship with those around them? Oh, perfect people. Riiiiight. And I ain’t saying I’m perfect and don’t need to make them. I’m just saying I am careful about making these goals and then beating myself up for not reaching them.
Am I a party-pooper? Maybe. Practical? Can’t believe I am saying that about myself. Those that know me in real life can tell you I’m a bit of a flighty dreamer(Not flighty. Well rounded with varying interests!). They are laughing so hard they have tears streaming down their collective faces because they know I AIN’T THE VERY EMBODIMENT OF PRACTICALITY, Y’ALL. Anywho, the whole point (if there is one) is that you too can make a resolution, if you follow a few simple guidelines:
- Keep the goals small.
- Break goals into smaller, easily-obtainable steps.
- Record the steps on a time line or calendar to help plan it out (then go BUY ONE if you don’t have one yet!).
- If you do not have one, get yourself some sort of daily planner or journal, control journal, mom’s calendar, etc. Not electronic, something you can carry in your purse. I personally use Amy Knapp’s Family Organizer. I got mine at
Walmartthe Evil Empire I don’t Shop In. Or, if your resolution includes better organization and cleaning your house better, check out Flylady. And do not tell me it doesn’t work. It just means you weren’t doing it right. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Even the OCD pack rat trash-piling lady on Oprah. And don’t tell me your kids take up sooooo much time (HEEELLOOOOO! I’m Bugaboo’s mom, remember?).
- Make a weekly chore list, a meal plan (the thing I suck at) and an errand list. Make sure you plan time to be with yourself. Don’t try to keep all of that up in your pretty, little head, you delicate flower, you. WRITE IT DOWN. Better out than in, right? Keep the lists in your journal or planner. If you don’t have one, make one! You can easily do it on the computer and keep it on the fridge or in a cheap, three-ring binder.
- Prioritize and get done what has to be done first. Designate certain days to do certain things so that they become routine. For example, MWF is the gym, followed by errands. T and R are days at home to do phone calls, appointments and paperwork. Saturday is MOMMY’S SLEEPING IN and Wednesday is nail-cutting day. Saturday is big project day and MOMMY AIN’T COOKING. Sunday is church and family day. Or doze off on the couch watching football day. One of the two.
- Keep an open mind. You might balk at the idea of routines, but your family will THANK YOU for it. Kids need routine, don’t tell me how adaptable your little snowflake is. Routines make the world go ’round. It isn’t OCD. Don’t tell me about your bad Parochial school experience. I went there, too.
- Don’t OVER PLAN. If you have something written for every hour on every day in your journal you are doing too much. Cut something out. Please remind me of this when they are looking for PTA officers in May, mmkay?
- Be flexible. Sometimes man plans and God laughs. Like this week when we had all of our fancy food and dinners planned (okay, it was pork and sauerkraut. Not too fancy. But the potatoes. Won’t SOMEONE think of the unconsumed potatoes?). Sometimes kids get sick. That’s when you cut out all of the extraneous details and do what is vitally important. The dishes and mail will be there tomorrow, honest. Unless you have walking mail. Or Bugaboo for a child.
See? It ain’t that hard. A little planning goes a long way. There’s a reason you learned to outline your textbooks in highschool, folks. It was a mundane attempt to learn y’all to organize. If you aren’t organized you either didn’t go to parochial school or you are flighty well-rounded and have varied interests. Or you are like the rest of the populous and are just distracted by real life.
As for my resolutions: I admitted it yesterday. I suck at meal planning. I am a It’s-four-o’clock-and-OMG-what-the-heck-am-I-making-for-dinner-kind-of-gal. I keep plenty on hand but I wish I could get better at it. For some reason, even when I plan I don’t get to make what I thought I would. It could be the fact that my carpet is in need of leaning about every five minutes. This is why people have crock pots. Must. Get. Better. At. Meal. Planning.
Actually, my real resolution is to make my house like the Jetsons’ so that Rosie the Robot can clean up all the poo.