Did you have a New Year’s resolution? I’ll bet you did. Forty to 45 percent of adults make more than one resolution each year. I just heard about someone who has replaced resolutions with a wonderful idea. Instead of making a commitment to stop or start doing something that you cannot commit to, try this on for size.
Each year this gentleman, who shall remain anonymous, tries something new. One year he decided to teach himself photography and then gave the beautiful framed pictures that he photographed as gifts. The next year he took cooking classes and became very good at preparing all types of meals. He has taken up bird watching, music appreciation and ballroom dancing. At this point he feels like there is nothing he can’t conquer. Instead of wearing yourself out trying not to do something, try discovering a whole new world or a little piece of it.
When I heard this I was sold. There are so many things that I want to do and ballroom dancing is one of them. I want to learn another language, decorate cakes and make floral arrangements. Remember those booklets they used to hand out Downtown with all of the non- credit courses you could take? What happened to those? I’m sure non-credit classes are available at Allegheny County Community College but it seems like you have to look harder to find them.
I don’t want an online class, I want one where other people are involved. In most cases when someone makes a resolution they want to stop doing something like smoking, overeating, drinking or spending too much money.
How many of us have vowed to get fit? Count me in, I joined a gym a week ago and haven’t been yet. I guess I’m just too busy. I read that I have to actually put working out on my calendar, make an appointment for myself to get busy and get on that treadmill. I want you to pull out that bucket list and throw away the resolutions. Paint that wall purple, go to Paris, buy a convertible, not necessarily in that order but get involved in something positive. I’ll bet that while you are learning something new that old habit that you are trying to get rid of will slowly fade away. Sometimes you have to replace something with something else.
I remember when I was on auto pilot to the mall each day I began to replace those visits with working in community theater. After a while I didn’t miss the daily shopping trips and soon I was working as stage manager and costumer. Also, I was shopping for the theater with their money. Don’t go overboard with your resolutions if you still decide to make one. Please don’t try to pay off all of your debt in one year or lose 100 pounds in 2 months.
Make your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely in order for you to stick with them. And last, don’t tell anyone about what you have decided to do, this is your thing, and there is no reason to have a lot of people in your ear about what you are or are not doing. Frankly I like the non-resolution game plan, each year it’s going to be something new and fun.
(Email the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)