Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Struggling with resolutions

I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions for a number of years, and a few weeks into 2017, I am reminded why.  My resolutions have already fallen by the wayside.

My first resolution was to avoid the chocolates and cookies left over from the holiday.

But, the chocolates presented a problem.  They were artisan truffles with a best before date. There were two options.  I could eat them or put them in the trash.  Since I really dislike wasting food, the best tactic was to finish them as quickly as possible.  Get it over with, so to speak, which I did with great satisfaction on January 3 when I restricted myself to eating one at a time until the box was empty. 

The cookies, conveniently frozen in neat layers, pose a continual challenge to my willpower.  The freezer is a short distance from the TV viewing area in the basement of our home.   As any teen will tell you, there is something irresistible about frozen cookies.  And, it is indisputable that commercial breaks trigger a trip to the pantry, or in this case, to the freezer.   If I continue to watch even one hour of television per night, I will have decimated the cookie supply in a few more days.  I resolve to bake less next year.

Fortunately, I exercise faithfully so there was no need for me to resolve to get fit, which is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions of all time. Still, those sweets are definitely not good for my waistline, and I might have to kick up the workouts a notch this month. 

I could rationalize my chocolate and cookie consumption.  Dark chocolate is good for my memory, and the pistachios in the shortbread add a little extra protein, energy and anti-oxidants to my diet. Overall, though, I have to admit that my nutritional resolutions are a bust. 

I’m not doing so well on my other resolutions either.

One of those caused my daughter to roll her eyes.  On New Year’s Day when she asked if I’d made any resolutions, I responded, “Yes. I’m going to do more edifying reading.”  I should have known from her reaction that I was being way too ambitious and ambiguous, (not to mention pompous as well).  

Like most people, I struggle to keep my resolutions. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  We set ourselves up to fail with resolutions that are too broad, too sweeping, too vague.  If we are serious about achieving our goals, we need a better strategy than just making a pronouncement about our resolutions.

So, I’ve decided to start over.  With the chocolates out of the way, I will deal with the cookies in a sensible manner.  First, I will not watch television downstairs, thus removing the temptation to snatch frozen cookies during commercial breaks. Second, I will treat the cookies as a dessert and not as a snack. (It really is quite obscene to treat cookies like potato chips. Cookies deserve more respect.) Third, I will enlist the help of my husband, and encourage him to eat frozen cookies.

As to my grandiose goal to read more edifying material, I will make a modest list, set aside a specific time and place to read, and go at it, slowly.  

Goodness, I have just made a bunch more resolutions.  

I hope my strategy works, but if not, next year I will take my cue from my son-in-law.  He readily admits that he doesn’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions.  He tries to live well, always, every day.  Now, there’s a resolution worth struggling to achieve. 

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