First of all, I’d like to wish all of you a belated, but heartfelt, happy New Year! I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, I’ve just been covered in work that piled up over Christmas and New Year’s. How in the world does a house get turned inside out over Christmas breaks? Oh, wait, I remember – husbands and kids.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2008 is getting kind of a bad rap, but it wasn’t all bad. In fact, on a grand scale and on a personal scale, I think it had plenty of wonderful things to say for itself:
- History was made in the Presidential election.
- Britney Spears fought her demons and won. Success stories always make me smile. Robert Downey, Jr. also saw a comeback of epic proportions. Two huge movies and another just around the corner. Welcome back, indeed.
- On the personal front, my daughters each met ridiculously wonderful new boyfriends. If they ever slight these boys in any way, my girls know they’ll answer to me!
- Again on a personal level – while my cat, Alexa, broke her leg a few months ago, I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse. And I’m positively delighted she’s right back where she belongs – lying on the desk in front of me, looking back whenever the urge for a chin scratch hits her.
- The USA rocked, rolled, and rallied in the Summer Olympics. Michael Phelps amazed all of us, and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him.
- What a year for movie fanatics! We had some great movies to enjoy this year: Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Max Payne, Wanted, Kung Fu Panda, etc. The Love Guru gave us the chance to say we’d truly seen the worst movie ever. See? There’s something good in everything. My daughter Brittany and I went to the theater to see this one together (I guess the rest of the family knew better?). The two of us had a great time, though, and it had nothing to do with the stinker of a movie. It was so bad! Britt and I will always have the bond of having watched the worst movie ever made together.
I know that, financially speaking, 2008 brought more than a few challenges into our lives and I, like you, am hopeful that 2009 will be kinder to our money.
Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions? Come to think of it, how do YOU feel about New Year’s resolutions? In our family of 5, only two of us actually sit down with our little notebooks and pens. Emily and I live for New Year’s Resolutions! It’s a tradition in our house. We both get such a gleam in our eyes on New Year’s Eve that we can tell what the other’s thinking without a word. Then we whip out our notebooks and burst out with our plans for the year. Change is exciting and we literally get swept away in the moment.
Of course, if we didn’t strive (throughout the year) to meet the goals we set, it’d be just a fun little waste of time. That’s why we use our favorite notebooks to write the resolutions in. They’re right there, staring us in the face each and every day of the year. Notebook Resolutions may not work for everybody, but we firmly believe in them as much as we believe in chocolate. So we won’t be parting with our tradition (or chocolate) any time soon.
I’ve had resolutions in the past that I’ve never even come close to keeping. In fact, I have one that mysteriously shows up year after year: Learn to play the piano. I broke up with tradition this year and left it off of the list. I figured, rightfully so, that if it had ever been THAT important to me, I’d now be able to tickle the ivories a la Alicia Keys.
I think “personal motivation” is the secret to why some resolutions are kept while others are broken. For example, I had goals written on my resolution list last year that pertained to my web publishing business. I did them all. The motivation and “pay off” were important enough to me to do whatever it took to make the goals happen. Playing the piano, while it would be perfectly lovely, just didn’t drive me in the same manner.
One of the best ways to keep a resolution is to ask yourself, “Why is this important to me?” If you can come up with the WHY, you’ll stand a better chance of coming up with the HOW. You know what a huge fan I am of notebooks and list making, so it won’t surprise you to learn that I write my reasons down. If the reasons are personal enough and if they truly matter, you will find a way to make it happen. The human spirit can’t ever be counted out. We may often look like we don’t have a clue what we’re doing, let alone what we’re going to do next – but, when it comes down to it, we’ll often go as far as we want to go. And we’ll often get whatever we’re willing to fight for.
IF the fight is worth it to us. That’s why weight loss resolutions aren’t often kept. Let’s face it, a chocolate fudge sundae with whipped topping and nuts tastes a heck of a lot better than a 30 minute walk in the park feels. (Do you have any idea what I’d give for a…. never mind.) Taking a 30 minute walk when you’d rather go to Dairy Queen is an ugly battle. But the beautiful thing is, if we win enough of these battles, we win the war!
Success tastes even better than a you know what covered with you know what from you know where.
I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful, healthy, and exciting New Year. I hope it’s full of fun, laughter, and wonderful surprises. I hope you open your world a little wider this year and stretch your wings a little further. You’re capable of doing anything you want to do and of being anyone you want to be. Don’t let anything or anyone (including yourself) get in your way.