Resolution is Not a Four Letter Word…I Think.

Most people I know feel one of two ways about New Year’s Resolutions: they either love the concept and make them yearly, or they think resolutions are a waste of time because they set people up for failure. After the past couple of years, I can definitely say that I’m all for a resolution or two, but with a few caveats.

I think people often make resolutions that are either too vague (lose some weight…eventually), or too drastic (I’ll hit the gym 5 days a week and eat tofu) to ever be successful. Every year, I periodically fell into one of those two categories. I had some vague notion, but no genuine plan in place, or I went extremist with my resolution and set myself up for failure by implementing drastic and impossible-to-maintain lifestyle changes. Like I was ever going to eat dry chicken and brown rice three times a week…but anyway….

All that changed in 2009. That’s the year I decided to get less fat, and I actually devised a general, but not drastic plan to start on that goal. You can read about it here, and here , and here. Since that time, I’ve maintained the 55 pound weight loss…something even I didn’t think was possible. Don’t get me wrong, I can still put away some fajitas and margaritas like it’s going out of style, but my love of my skinny jeans reminds me that I have to make healthy choices sometimes too…For example, I have to counteract the gallon of crabmeat au gratin I scarfed down last night by enjoying a nice protein bar for lunch today.

Last year, I was determined that we would sell our house and move closer to work and the boys’ school. My 45 minute commute each way was driving me bonkers, and it was past time to leave our post-college starter home. Unlike years prior when my husband and I talked vaguely about this possibility, I devised a list and time-line to complete all the outstanding home improvement repairs and cosmetic sprucing. He probably wanted to strangle me by the end of January, but sure enough, we got it all done, put the house on the market and moved by April.

So, the moral of this story? I’ve had two successful years worth of New Year’s resolutions. Sure, they came after a decade of failures, but better late than never, I suppose. This year, my resolution is financial in nature. I have a definitive strategy for us to live a bit more frugally, save more, and create a financial cushion that will help down the road if we have any life/career changes or unexpected surprises. It’s a simple goal, but at the same time, it will be a challenge as well. My tendency to drag everyone out to eat after a bad day at work, rather than cook, is definitely a habit I need to break. And it sure wouldn’t hurt me to clip a coupon or two. Saving money, rather than buying that new digital SLR I want is certainly no fun, but that’s the reality of being a responsible, mature adult with long-term goals.

Did I mention maturity is overrated sometimes?

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