The turning of each year offers a great opportunity to examine those behaviors that I’d most like to change and then go ahead and try to adjust. In analyzing my behavior, making resolutions, and taking the effort to see them through, I become executive editor in my own life. It’s an important role with an eye on a more desirable future for me, but there are just two problems: Deciding to change is hard. Changing is even harder. I think that’s what has made some resolutions so difficult over the years – I put impossibly big expectations on myself when maybe I’m not ready to make big-leap changes. And then if I don’t meet my grand expectations I feel bad, as though I’ve failed.
It’s such a disappointment to feel like a failure when my intentions are always worthy, so over time I’ve changed how I think about resolutions. At the heart of resolution is solution. A solution doesn’t sound so difficult – I like solving problems. Since I am executive editor in my life, I have resolved that although change is hard, my resolutions don’t have to be – it’s okay to simply solve. As a result, some types of change have become less difficult – true, the stakes and rewards of success are smaller, but so is the risk of failure and the resulting negative emotions. And the result: I’m happier and something actually gets done. And that’s what I’m after: the answer to a problem, the key to a puzzle – fine-tuning shifts that allow me to click some new behavior into place that will help me improve and be successful, no matter how small the change.
I wish you a Happy New Year and all best wishes on seeing through your resolutions, be they big or small.
Tamera Will Wissinger writes poetry and stories for children. She earned her M.F.A. degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. She is the author of GONE FISHING: A Novel in Verse (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children) and THIS OLD BAND (Sky Pony Press). Tamera is content with her approach to New Year’s resolution and will be celebrating the tiniest victories throughout the year. Connect with Tamera online through her Website or on Twitter.