My husband has mastered small talk. He can strike up a conversation and hold his own, no matter how awkward the circumstances. To his usual repertoire of “Have you seen any good movies lately?” he adds a January Special, “Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?” Almost everyone he asks seems to have some sort of answer. And they generally coincide with the typical Top 10 – plus a more interesting offering here and there. New Year’s Resolutions seem nearly universal.
Except for me. He always tries to pin me down to one, but I’ve never seen much use in making an official New Year’s Resolution. It seems like declaring a particular NYR is almost a surefire method to doom your self-improvement efforts. It’s more useful to declare on January 1st, “This year, I’m going to take up smoking, eat more bacon, and be 5 minutes late to every scheduled appointment on my calendar.”
I am, however, a huge fan of self-improvement. Resolutions just create pressure I don’t need. I think I make my most productive efforts when a particular change inspires my resolve, rather than just sounding good when spoken in a single sentence. The best thing about these changes is that they don’t require a particular day on the calendar to start. Sometime last January, perhaps as late as the third week, I realized that my writing muscle was getting flabby. The concept of this blog began to float around in my head and before I knew it, I was committing myself to a weekly writing ritual, which I have now faithfully kept for nearly a year. I have yet to run a load of laundry every week with that kind of consistency, and, as you know, my elliptical doesn’t get the workout it should, but my personal resolve kicked in and here we are.
Someday I hope to find the discipline to eat right, exercise daily, clean the floors every week, and get out of bed an hour sooner. But I don’t dare declare any of those as a New Year’s Resolution; that would just be surrender. For now, I’m just waiting to see what inspires my deeper resolve in 2011. Hopefully, before too much longer, it’s will be getting a crib set up and finding a car seat. But we’ve got three months…it’ll happen…
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine. Daniel 1:8a