I have a confession: I find New Year's Resolutions a little overwhelming. These big, sweeping decisive goals that are supposed to set your life's course for 12 whole months ... I mean, come ON. Think of all the things that could happen. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, what if a Ben & Jerry's opens right up the street? Obviously this is a sign to skip the bikini on your cruise in June and hit the New York Super Fudge Chunk with total abandon.
If your goal is to get organized, I've got bad news. Martha's show has been cancelled. Another sign to throw in the towel, watch Hoarders and judge people with real organizational issues (I mean, your storage area could use a little attention, but these people are one shake-the-house clap of thunder away from an avalanche of wet newspapers and dead cats), and finish off your ice cream.
Also, I don't like the word "resolution." It sounds so stringent. I think if we changed the term to New Year's Short Term Items for Consideration, we'd get a ton more accomplished. Resolutions sound like they need an 18-step action plan, which gives anyone in their right mind an anxiety attack. But setting short-term goals like "eat Queso dip once a week instead of thrice daily" is much more palatable. See? I feel lighter already.
It's why I love this Stephen King quote: "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work."
This quote has helped me forgive Mr. King for terrorizing me when I was an impressionable teenager. I think I slept with the lights on for a year after I saw the movie Pet Semetary, and had pretty specific plans on how I could kill a zombie jogger with a lighter, hairspray, and a pair of pom-poms.
Also, it's a gentle reminder that waiting for a sunny day, or until you have a little more money in savings, or until the kids are older, or to feel less scared gets you nowhere but frustrated. But a funny thing happens if you do a little less resolving and a bit more doing ... before you know it, you've created a new habit and reached your goal.
So this year I propose we ditch the resolutions for Short Term Items for Consideration. What's on your list?
Happy 2012 --- Let's Get up and Go to Work.
Amy M. Dawson is a columnist and Southern humor writer based in Atlanta. She thinks Stephen King is a genius, but is too scared to read most of his books. Learn more at www.amymacwrites.com.