New Year's Resolutions, in Miniature

After six years of club swimming and one year of begging to quit, my youngest has now graduated to "just" summer league and high school swimming. In place of club swimming, she has joined the gym and--miracle!--used it several times per week. But even as a new gym member, it didn't take her long to experience the New Year's crush.

New Year, new you??? [Photo by  Brooke Lark  on  Unsplash

New Year, new you??? [Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

"The gym was super crowded, all of a sudden!" she marveled.

"Don't worry. It's New Year's Resolutions," I assured her. "They'll be gone by March. If not February."

We turn that calendar over, and hope springs eternal, doesn't it? This will be the year we quit the bad habit. We drop the ten pounds. We pursue that goal.

But if and when we fail, it tends to make us more cynical about making changes in the future. Why bother? What would make it work this time? Don't worry about gym overcrowding--everyone will give up in a few weeks.

This got me to thinking about miniature New Year's resolutions. Why not start smaller, so we can tick something off the list and feel success? Forget losing ten pounds. Forget suddenly starting to eat four servings of vegetables a day, when now you get one, if you're lucky? Small steps. Slow and steady wins the race.

Even better when you walk, make eye contact. [Photo by  Matt Quinn  on  Unsplash ]

Even better when you walk, make eye contact. [Photo by Matt Quinn on Unsplash]

How about trying one of these micro-resolutions for size and durability?

  1. Walk one errand. Pick one errand on your to-do list this week and walk it, instead of driving. I had to return some library books and realized I had two hours in which to do it. A quick map search told me it would be 1.7 miles each way, 3.4 miles round-trip. Entirely doable. Later that night I was a little sore, but I slept like the dead.
  2. Skip one hour of TV. What time do you usually flop on the couch, never to rise again until it's time to go to bed? What if you put it off for one hour, just once this week, and used that time to call a friend/ read a book/ clean out a drawer. Set a timer, and when the hour is up, return to flopping like usual.
  3. Delete one social media app for a day. Which one do you check compulsively? Which one do you decide to glance at, and find an hour's gone by? Delete it from your phone for one day. Whenever you go to check it and find it not there, take a victory lap and think of one thing you love about your life.
  4. Try one new vegetable recipe. Dust off the cookbooks and pore over the vegetable recipes for something you've never tried. Or close your eyes and point to a recipe. Make score cards for your family, that they can hold up for fun.
  5. Learn one foreign phrase. One good thing about living in Bellevue is that there are so many languages spoken. On my walking errand to the library, I heard Spanish and Mandarin Chinese from fellow pedestrians. Exercise your brain by learning how to say something in another language.

Today I'll be trying #4, since the acorn squash in our pantry are turning orange (???). I figure, if you did each of these once per week, 2019 would find an even more amazing You.