By the time anyone reads this, statistics say, most people will have already let slip their commitment to resolutions made less than a month ago. My slightly behind the curve words on the subject only illustrate why I don’t make them in the first place. I’m a procrastinator with a guilt complex about punctuality. If I don’t promise to be a better person, there’s at least one less guilt in that formula.
So this year, I’ve been challenged and coerced into imagining my resolutions. I say ‘imagining’ because that’s my loophole for not imploding next December when they’ve not budged an inch from the fast food receipt I scribbled them on.
Before the first letter hits the page I approach a fork in the road. Aim for the moon with my resolutions or only a little bit higher than a stepladder will take me?
Utopian resolutions serve two great purposes. Anyone who can even imagine themselves performing such selfless, saintly acts deserves a pat on the back. Secondly, if by year’s end, I haven’t invented ‘television for the mouth’ (a cure for obesity and malnutrition I’m sure), nobody can blame me.
On the other hand, limbo level goals suffer two drawbacks. If I stay focused and determined enough to make my garage clutter free and clean, who holds a party in my honor for taking one step back from a spot on ‘Hoarders’? Secondly, who would you even share this lame promise with? Tell your spouse and they’ll likely come back with, “Finally!” or “What did you do? What are you making up for that I don’t know about?”
So in the end, I come up with perfect resolutions. What do you get for the man who has everything? Nothing. What kind of resolutions can a procrastinator proclaim proudly? The immeasurable.
I resolve to more, and less. This year I will smile more, love more, laugh more. By next New Year’s Eve I aim to worry less, cuss less, and yes, procrastinate less. To become a better person, that’s what resolutions are all about Charlie Brown.
And if I only manage to become better by an inch, I won’t be ashamed of failure, or afraid to claim victory. I might not share my scorecard with anybody else though. But that’s our little secret. And maybe that inch into a brighter future helps me squeeze two inches into the light next year. Perhaps it isn’t the size of the step, but the direction it’s headed.