In the past, I’ve jumped headfirst into New Year’s resolutions.
One year I resolved to not eat sugar, which lasted mere hours. Another year I vowed to work out every day. I might’ve made it a week on that one. One year I even planned to keep a daily journal of my every thought and feeling like I was freaking Marcia Brady. It lasted two days.
Yeah, I’ve been a real moron on an annual basis.
The fact of the matter is that I am not a hyper-motivated Type-A personality. So wrapping a resolution label around something doesn’t change the reality that I am unlikely to follow through if it’s too much. So this year I’m going small and realistic. Instead of resolutions, these should be called “teeny changes that might stick but probably will not.”
1. "I will no longer sleep in the carpool lane."
Historically, once I’m parked in my warm car and my only job is to quietly wait for a child to exit the school, my eyes tend to close of their own accord. My seat may recline just a little, my hands may tuck themselves under my cheek, and I might enjoy the tiniest of naps.
In the name of adult behavior, however, 2020 will be the year that I shotgun a Red Bull just before pickup every day so I can stay vertical and watch for my child like the other alert parents.
2. "I will use a daily planner and actually remember to look at it."
I love shopping for planners. I am smitten with every little thing about them — the way they feel in my hands, the way they smell and the way they look. And don’t even get me started on the joy of pairing them with the perfect pen. My problem is that after about a week or two, I forget to use it; forget to refer to it. I often forget where I’ve even left it.
So, needless to say, the daily planner has failed to organize my life. This year I’m hoping that an hourly reminder from Siri ("Look at your planner, Lynn!) and a generous strip of duct tape that attaches the book to my person will up my planner game.
3. "I will try to be less of a hypocritical parent to my children."
This sounds like a totally doable change; ethical even, right? In fact, why be less of a hypocrite, Lynn? Why not resolve to not be a hypocrite at all? Answer: Because I can’t make that resolution.
If I’m shirking hypocrisy, that means that if I utter the words "we don’t eat ice cream for breakfast" to my preschooler, I can't eat ice cream for breakfast. I would have to give up my daily secret Ben and Jerry’s Breakfast, and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to do that.
And it isn’t only ice cream. If I tell my children how important and yummy vegetables are, I will have to eat those vegetables and pretend like they are yummy. And if I tell the kids that we don’t use the word “butt,” I will personally have to strike the super fun word “butthead” from my vocabulary.
I’m all for trying to be better, but don’t expect me to wolf down Brussels sprouts with a smile or use the word “bottomhead” anytime soon.
4. "I will only get what's on the list when I go to Target."
Another tricky one that has a high likelihood of failure. I'll try, but I also won't hold my breath on this one.
What are some of your resolutions? Do you typically manage to keep them?
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.