Monday, January 3, 2011

To Resolve Or Not to Resolve. . .

That is the question.  

I'm not feeling resolute, but do feel a certain pulling up of the bootstraps is in order. I've got things to do, people to see, clothes to re-fit into. If things go according to plan -- that will be the day -- then I must be prepared on all fronts to be dressed, coiffed and ready.

"Every man naturally persuades himself that he can keep his resolutions, nor is he convinced of his imbecility but by length of time and frequency of experiment." Samuel Johnson

Now that's encouraging.

I have long ago been convinced of my imbecility, but not quite an absence of hope. So, once again I've made my annual list of resolutions. I've polished, honed, edited and written them down in my new French calendar which proclaims on the cover, "Ecrit Pour La Gloire" supported in more detail by my notebook which boasts, "Les Mots Ont Une Vie." To underscore the gravity, as in gravitas, of the mission before me, the list (and supporting materials) were written by my hand (obviously) -- are you ready for this(?) -- with a fountain pen! Now, I ask you, how much more serious and inspired can one get? Right.

Next we work on follow-through. 

I've taken a metaphorical page from Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project, and decided all resolutions must have one basic theme: They must make me and those around me happy/happier/less not happy. As you know, I'm a huge equivocator. 

She has pointed out on several occasions one must not make nebulous, difficult to define resolutions like: exercise, eat more vegetables, arrange my closets, think positive, etc. As all of you well-organized creatures know, the idea is start small and big will come. One of my resolutions was, "be more disciplined." What does that mean? Nothing, when you get right down to it. 

(I specifically did not choose the Ben notebook on top because I thought "I Want to Change Everything" was a tad too ambitious.)

Realizing the imbecility of such a resolution, I defined "discipline" in detail:

1.) Dress every morning as if you were leaving the house. (You know, like a French woman.)

2.) Apply following makeup products -- every morning -- miracle wrinkle cream and serum (this is where hope comes in), blush; curl and mascara eyelashes after a coat of lash-lengthening product; and the final flourish, colored lip baume. Et voila. OK, call me superficial.

3.) Go back to aqua gym classes for which you paid ONE ENTIRE YEAR TO PUSH YOU TO GO AND YOU HAVEN'T, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 4th, 2011.

4.) Start your meaningful relationship with Dr. Dukan, today, January 3rd, 2011. 

5.) Put the 1.5 liter of water next to the computer and finish it before the day is out. Every day.

6.) Put the timer on and deal one hour by day with paperwork that is piling up and will surely end in one catastrophe or another if you don't get hopping.

7.) Put the timer on and deal one hour by day with any other disagreeable chore.

And a few others I'll tell you about later if they're working. If they aren't, I see no need to publicly humiliate myself.

Are you making resolutions? (Now I'm starting to sound like a real blogger, throwing the question back out at you. This is a first.)

Again, tres, tres, bonne année and good luck to all of us when and where we need it.


Deja Pseu said...

Those sound like some reasonable steps, and achieveable. One of my "directions" for this year (not using the word "resolution" myself, too much baggage) is to continue to find ways to live less wastefully. And to keep socking away as much as I can into savings without going into lack-of-spending-money shock. Oh, and then there's that "10 lbs. to go thing...."

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO! One small step at a time, yes, you are right. I TOTALLY identify with ALL of it! COURAGE!

LPC said...

My resolutions this year, (I never make them, btw) are more like strategies for anxiety reduction and productivity increase. I do think it's about forming habits, because there's only so much will power any of us have to enforce intent. Habits remove the need to enforce. So in my case, I want to structure my day so that I spend x hours writing, x hours poking around the Internet, x hours moving around, x hours doing administrative tasks. I hope that prevents the anxiety of days sucked into the Internet, and weeks of getting less done than I hoped.

Spiral Style said...

I agree with the "pulling up the bootstraps" rather than resolutions. Party over, time to get back to business. Though I consider myself organized, I can be more so in business endeavors. That means more tech savvy which is learning and fun. It is carving out that niche of time. I really like your "set the timer" idea Tish. I may borrow the idea. Thanks.

Marsi said...

No resolutions for me, ever. I figure, if I need to break a habit or quit being imbecilic, I'd best never put it off till January. Carpe diem, and all that ....

Having said that though, today I'm getting braces on my teeth and having sinus surgery soon, so a "new me" is in the offing, despite my best intentions.

All my best to you, Tish, this year and every other!

ms. caboo said...

One of my directions is to make it to the gym twice a week. I'm starting small, but I know if I say I'm going to go 3-4 times a week I will fail miserably. So, I'm starting with twice, and when I can tackle that on a consistent basis, I will bump it up.

I love your strategy, and have been meaning to read that book. Now I will most definitely have to!

Brenda Leyland said...

You made me LOL on this one... LOVED IT.... I found myself in your words, but the LOLing came when you mention the year's subscription to the gym... that's moi!

In my defense I did go for 6 months faithfully.. because I kept reinforcing that it was a non-negotiable.

The moment I gave myself an excuse not to go one day last summer, the whole thing fell apart, and like Humpty Dumpty, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't get moi up to the gym again!

Oh I like having a theme for one's resolutions... now that is good! When we connect at the heart, our emotions, that's what moves us in the first place. So thanks for that reminder!

Happiest of New Years.....

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Tish, great resolutions. I have to admit my only one was "exercise". I too joined Aqua Gym but we stopped going when my girlfriend I went with lost her car keys! What an excuse?!! We could have walked there but it was 9am on a Monday and we couldn't face it!

You have inspired me to dig out my beautiful fountain pen and go and buy some ink for it.

I never leave the house without make-up and I always use a serum under my moisturiser, sometimes I slap a few on.

I'd not heard of Dr Dukan, I've looked him up now - the last time I wanted to lose seven pounds I did India Knight's diet and it dropped off, in fact The Actor thought I had an eating disorder it was so quick! I'm not sure I could go without dairy, I'm addicted to cheese.

I'm going to try the water by the computer as I barely drink any. I'm surprised I'm still alive frankly!

Again Tish, thank you for a fabulous post xx

desde my ventana said...

Absolutely in agreement with you, this it is the way.
I wish you also a happy year 2011,

Rubiatonta said...

Not resolutions, qualities. Bop on over to my place for the details...

Charlotte said...

Brilliant--especially the bit about the paperwork, the water, and the disagreeable chore. Thanks for the tips, Tish!

Anonymous said...

I resolve to set aside 15 minutes each morning for yoga, and 15 minutes each evening for practicing the piano. The yoga without fail each morning (before breakfast) warms my muscles and seems to make me walk taller and straighter; the piano I will practice after walking the dogs. Just 15 minutes either doing scales or tackling just 8 measures at a time clears my head and makes me feel more confident.

ROSALIE said...

You are indeed delightful. Plus you appear to be making many *decisions* that mirror my own. I love the 'imbicility' element. What a fun way to start the new year. But I am taking your advice very seriously as all of your advice and thoughts are just what I've been looking for. I am so happy to have discovered you.

Catherine said...

Aqua gym! Yes! (I would come swim laps in the other half of the pool if I were around. :))

Pooch Purple Reign said...

this sounds like a fun challenge. for me, my list is similar. working from home seems to find me in my yoga pants past noon :)
change is imminent so my wish is to not resist it so much
~laura xx

Alice Olive said...

I don't usually formalise my resolutions however, the blogosphere is encouraging me to do so this year.

1) Keep up the juice cleanses every three months
2) Continue checking off my New York must-photograph list
3) Read more fiction
4) Get back to normal me after being thrown off a bit last year
5) Be more patient

A-Dubs said...

I very much enjoy - and will be borrowing - your plans for which a timer is necessary.

Happy New Year! And best of luck with your resolutions.

Beadboard UpCountry said...

Hi Tish!
I am making some suggestions to myself....Trying not to be so resoulute about things....I like several of yours.....I have two sets. One for myself and one for the shop, that takes prioritizing.....Sometimes the shop wins sometimes I do. I'll have to see which does this year!!!!Naryanne xo

Semi Expat said...

Hi Tish - I like the idea of the timer on disagreable tasks very much. So far I have not made any resolutions. Think I must TRY Harder...x

Anonymous said...
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Design Elements said...

I agree with you. Hug

rebecca said...

Might as well make the process FUN! And you've definitely conveyed the humorous side of a VERY serious matter.

I think I'm going to put a link to this post and the comments in one of my tabs and revisit it frequently so that I can retain my perspective and sense of humor throughout the year!

I loved Christina's comment: "I'm surprised I'm still alive frankly!"

kanutta said...

Inspiring post! J'adore ton blog by the way :) I think I will copy your idea with the timer for boring tasks.

I only have one resolution for the new year: minimum two trips to France this year.

julia said...

In 2011 I resolve to contain the guilt I feel over all the unaccomplished resolutions! Cheers to the new year and your wonderful blog. A good lipstick and a good laugh can take you pretty far.

TK Kerouac said...

Love this post, and you are so specific so it should work out

My main resolution was to bump up my gym workouts and eat healthy

but after reading yours, perhaps finding a better way out of my procrastination will be high on that list:)

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