It’s a little late in the game to talk about making New Year’s resolution. Typically in the days following Christmas Day, people shift their rhetoric from talks of holiday parties and Christmas cheer to grandiose ideas of making the New Year a turning point in their lives. Everyone wants to eat better, exercise more, stop old habits, and adopt new ones in the New Year. Gym memberships skyrocket as people embark on their new lives. However, typically these resolutions don’t last. It’s almost as if making resolutions set us up for failure. No one is perfect and old habits die hard. By February, most resolutions are in the waste bin.

I’ve never been one for making resolutions for the New Year. Sure, I’ve tried before. Just as many times as I’ve tried, I’ve failed. I can’t remember one time that I’ve made such a resolution and actually followed through with it. Resolutions may work for some people, but in my life, I’ve decided that bettering myself can be accomplished in other ways.

There are a lot of things I need to work on in my personal life. I procrastinate a lot. In fact, as I’m writing this essay, I’m plagued with thoughts of putting it off until later in the day. However, I have a lot to do today. I’m sure I would get my writing done. However, if I waited until later in the day, the quality of my afternoon activities would be affected as I rushed about trying to get everything done. So, this morning I told myself that I have an hour or so of free time and this is when I need to accomplish my writing. And, that is what I’ll do. I’ll check this off the list now. I’ll probably repeat this mental exercise in the morning and, hopefully it will work then too.

In my life, putting things into a better perspective is key to not being overwhelmed and keeping my life in order. I have a busy week coming up. Contractors are at the house working and will be for most of the week. There are a few small painting projects I will have to do. I have to work. I usually go to they gym and jog on the treadmill. I need to get my car washed, go to the grocery store, go to the dry cleaner, return some purchases, and do many more things. These aren’t anything out of the ordinary. They are just life. I have a tendency to dwell on all that I have to do and become overwhelmed as if I have to do all of this within a few hours. Of course this isn’t the case and I have to remind myself of that constantly. If I don’t, I’ll lose motivation to get any of it accomplished.

If I make resolutions, I get the same feeling of being overwhelmed. In my mind, all I can dwell on is the fact that I must, for example go to the gym everyday. Of course this is virtually impossible. But, if at the beginning of the year this is my mindset, it feels like a chore and I begin to stress about it. If I tell myself in January that I have to start eating salads everyday, I begin to think weeks in advance that I won’t be able to visit the dessert at church lunch. For me, this turns resolutions into something negative rather than something positive and it has a bad impact on my life rather than a good one.

So, for 2017, here is my resolution – I’ll live life one day at a time. I won’t dwell on all that I have to do in a week. I’ll start every day with coffee, a little reading, a little writing, and a little time with the dogs. I won’t let my mind wander to all that I have to do in the week. I won’t let it go to places where I concentrate on all that could go wrong in life. Rather, I’ll take things in stride and focus day by day on accomplishing just what I have to for that day. The next day, I’ll do the same and hopefully this will lead to a fuller and happier 2017.