Last night I had a bit of an epiphany. I was reading The Happiness Project (Gretchen Rubin) which has been the source of quite a few epiphanies for me actually and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to find ways to improve their life. In the final chapter, December: Boot Camp Perfect, she talks about the difference between a goal and a resolution.
[A resolution] is something you must resolve to do every day, forever.
My brain had never really made the connection between the words ‘resolution’ and ‘resolve’! You can’t just hope to stick to a resolution, or plan to, or intend to, or even do it most days with the intention to do it every day. You actually have to resolve to do it. Every day.
Perhaps the resolve aspect of resolutions is why I never succeed in keeping the resolutions. I’d write myself a list, or even just a single thing, and they were my resolutions, I intended to do those things, but never resolved to do them each and every day. Just to clarify the difference here, I’m not saying I need to resolve at the time when I write my list down, technically I am resolving at that point, that’s why they’re called resolutions. I need to resolve every single day, 365 times a year for every resolution I make. That’s a lot of resolving I’ve not been doing.
This understanding of resolutions makes me feel like I’m ready to undertake my own happiness project (more officially than the seeking of happiness that I’ve been doing since I discovered the non-depressed state of being). Now I’m working on some March resolutions which I’ll pin up on my cork board. I’ve also been working on some commandments along the same lines of Gretchen’s Twelve Commandments, only I don’t like the term ‘commandment’, so I think I’m just going to use ‘rules’. As for her Secrets of Adulthood that she shares, Dale’s been working on his own already which I think he calls Life Lessons. I want him to write his down because they’re definitely worth writing down!
I think one of the issues I have is that I find planning out resolutions fun. Drawing up a table, writing down all the things I’d like to do or get done. It tricks my brain into feeling like I’m achieving something when in reality I’m not achieving much, but I’m hoping with this new sense of RESOLVE I can stick to it this time for longer than a few days.
Good luck Fran!
Keep smiling 😀