How to Make Resolutions… and Break Them!

My daughter has a goal to be the first six-year-old with a hundred-dollar bill. I don’t have the heart to tell her about the Vanderbilt/Whitney/Mary-Kate and Ashley set. So far she’s accumulated three twenties from her weekly payoffs/allowances. resolutionsI’m glad she has a goal, even if the economy has turned our notions of thrift and hard work upside down. In that spirit, let’s take a look at a few resolutions we might as well break in the New Year.

Resolution #1: Save Money
As a family, we’ve been working hard to save from every paycheck, doing with less, living within our means. Then BAM! (to steal a phrase) it’s all nearly gone – thanks to greedy bankers making subprime loans and the dopey government that encouraged them. Maybe the word “subprime” should have been a clue. If I had invested all my dollars in cute boots and shoes and not the market, I’d still have those cute boots and shoes today. New Resolution #1: Invest in cute boots and shoes.

Resolution #2: Lose Weight
I’ve been trying to lose the same five pounds for the last 10 years. The statute of limitations has got to be up on that dream. If it were a person, it would have been officially declared dead. Magazines and advertisements tell me to embrace my new curvier self. However, I distinctly recall some wisdom from high school to “not go gentle into that good night,” which I believe means that I’m supposed to rage against my fleshy middle or something. There’s got to be some middle ground. New Resolution #2: Forget about being a size 0 or even 6 (or 8) and instead resolve to make healthy food choices with every bite.

Resolution #3: Be a Model Employee and Climb the Corporate Ladder
After my first year of employment out of college, I was invited to a “perfect attendance” breakfast for not missing a day of work all year. The breakfast, while a good idea to reward good employees, had unintended consequences. I remember standing around a table of Danishes and muffins with the other invitees. There was a palpable pause in the room. We all looked at each other and then back at the table. You could feel the collective mental gears churning: Danishes are hardly a fair exchange for a day at home. No one said a word on the topic, but the next day, every attendee from that breakfast called in a sick day – yours truly, included. In today’s economy, your job security is your skill set, not being the “perfect” employee. A roll of the roulette wheel and you’re on the dole; getting too high on the ladder makes you a more expensive resource and easier to chop. So, shelve that goal for a while. New Resolution #3: Have a life. Balance hard work with time off to recharge (hopefully vacation days, though, not sick days).

Resolution #4: Fit In Fitness
I read somewhere that the greatest motivation for exercise is not the promise of future weight loss, but how it makes you feel immediately. For a fact, I feel much saner when I jog or walk regularly. Three days without a jog and I’m low. And 20 minutes is all it takes to reap the lift. A friend who took up cycling with a group of biker ladies reduced her anti-depressant medicine after she started working out regularly. That’s proof enough for me. New Resolution #4: Don’t just fit in fitness, make it an addiction.

Resolution #5: Get Organized
Having dinner on the table is a hallmark of an organized life. I try to menu plan, cook over the weekend and defrost things before I head out the door. The other day, I’d spent tons of time trying out a new recipe. “Mom, good dinner,” my son choked out after gagging only five times. “Thanks,” I replied. (I could tell it was not his new favorite.) “Are you going to make it again?” he asked. “How about in a month?” I answered. “No,” he replied. “A year?” “No,” he said again. “Okay.” His effort at a compliment in such circumstances was noble and sweet. When I’m disorganized and running late, dinner is PBJ and soup with bananas on the side. Those nights, I get genuine rave reviews. Plus, we spend the same amount of time around the table as a family – the important part. New Resolution #5: Skip the organization and keep backups handy.

by Expert Mommy, Margee Moore