Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Don’t Give Up...Yet
If you’ve flaked on your new year’s resolutions, don’t give up just yet. Growing into yourself is not a pass/fail class. Getting a B- is still better than an incomplete. I, for one, resolved to post this post around the Lunar New Year when I'd resolved to write this blog, but...meh...it's up now.
What I've found through an informal survey of my girlfriends is that many of our metrics for success/failure are sabotaging us. One girlfriend resolved to "practice more" each week on her guitar skills. After two weeks, she'd given up on it, because she hadn't been able to fit it into her schedule "more." But what she really wants is to dazzle at house parties on the fly, so she re-resolved to memorize 5 popular party songs by year's end. If by June, she hasn't finished learning two songs, she'll know it's time to hustle to make it by next year. And even if she only learns 2, as her friend, I'll still be dazzled by those songs at house parties. Reframe your goals, so you can see how far you fell short but also how far you came.
Rather than declare "I will lose 10 pounds" and fail again this year, another friend decided she would train for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Breast Cancer Walk in October, often a life-changing experience with women survivors from all walks of life. She finds that measuring how much farther you can walk and what a difference you can make is much more relevant to real life than measuring how many Kate Mosses could fit in your pants. Re-examine your motives, because the thought really does count. Is your heart in the right place? If vanity was a solid motivator, don't you think we'd all lose weight every month after a new fashion magazine issue came out?
Last year, I resolved to get two poems published. I only accomplished my goal halfway, but it was still one more publication than I'd ever gotten in my career. Best. Failure. Ever. Making new year's resolutions in March is quite counterculture, if you're the type that turns on a band once they get popular, and if health or a charity run are your goals, the gyms aren't crowded anymore. Don't give up!