New Year’s Resolutions

Goal-Setting for a Successful New Year

It is the second of January and your New Year’s Resolutions are swimming around in your mind. This is it! This is the year you are going to make huge changes in your life. This is the year you will lose weight, save money, keep your house clean, stop smoking, get a better job, get your temper under control or whatever it is you have decided you are going to do. Yesterday, you did so well. You starved yourself and exercised or you spent hours cleaning your home. You didn’t smoke a single cigarette. You started rewriting your old resume. You bit your tongue when your mother-in-law came to visit or when the chlldren made too much noise. You got through the first day of the year with your resolutions intact.

You are still excited today. You are still resolved. But today is just a little bit harder. You are getting tired of running behind the kids or your husband, picking up every little mess before they can make it. Your muscles ache and your stomach is growling from yesterday’s intense workout and extreme dieting. You feel on-edge and know that just one cigarette will help you to feel more relaxed. You are feeling resentment at keeping quiet when all you want to do is shout. You have scoured the help-wanted ads and found nothing to your liking. How will you ever get through today? How will you get through a whole year? Maybe this year is not your year. Maybe this is not the year to lose weight, save money, get a better job, keep your temper under control, keep the house clean, stop smoking…

New Year’s Resolutions are good for us. They allow us to dream of something better. They are a way of saying, “I am not happy with this and I am going to make a change.” Lifetime changes, however, do not happen in a day and most will not happen by will-power alone. To make a real change, we need to have a plan. We need a goal that is realistic and achievable. The sort of changes we resolve to make in the new year are the sort that take time to realize and should be something we work on for the long term. So, let us begin by setting a goal.

There are many ways to set a goal, but the most successful people follow a formula similar to the one I will describe, taken from the book, “The Learning Committment: Strategies for Solving the Problems that Matter”,

New Year’s Resolution: Thirty Times and Counting

Thirty Times Over; And Counting.

Thirty resolutions later with the hindsight of experience, a new one for the New Year 2019 should be in order. For in the horizon is a ray ; a ray I have known for thirty years to be an agent of failure, but one which I pray, determination can seize for hope.

Many of these very good resolutions have lasted a day, most mercifully three. My jinx just won’t let me be. As always, I feel a new year erasing the failures of the old and ushering in a new hope. Only it has never really lasted for long. A few short moments into a new year, 2019 will be different; I feel the familiar noose on the string of life slowly but surely tighten on my existence. I know with all measure of certainty that sooner than later it will snap on my neck, ebbing away my life to a place where only destiny lives. I have sighed that I’m mortal, bound to slide and fall and beseech beings beyond me to steady my hand every New Year believing that the always benign Big Brother is alive and watching over me. But Uncle Sam’s magnanimity has never been absolute. I pray to the supernatural for pity but know deep inside that salvation is a deliberate intervention by me, and that nature only reinforces it.

So I string resolutions, year after year, hoping that a new year will be different. I know my limitations only too well, but choose to hope believing that a day after the old year is finally over, a new set of rules to the universe will emerge. It has always been a mirage. I have failed before but should that not signal experience?

I have my share of them, only I keep most close to my heart. What I broadcast live and regret are those that I make on instinct and publicly, usually touching on my very pet subject of a lethal pass time I indulge in; a true and almost definite prediction of death, but one whose agents I buy with relish, systematically ingesting every hour and knowing that the consequences mean that I only breathe by grace, and one whose fate is as sure as a sunset.

So I look at 2018 and hope it passes on as fast as 2019 is approaching, and hope that some lucky star will smile on me. For if it does not, my family will continue nagging me on a self imposed compulsion for slow suicide, my Minister chastising me for the unforgivable destruction of the body of Christ, my car always needing an air freshener and cops on my neck for a publicly banned anathema. My clothes will always reek of an unwelcome stench; my bills skyrocketing because of the fan in the house. My skeletal frame will get even bonier, my hair receding faster, my skin grayer. The photographic memory bequeathed on me by generations will only show in my son and hopefully in the next few generations to come. For I know that my monster is not a generational respecter, but one which my take graver toll on my progeny.

Worse; my gentleman will be reluctant to stand up to the occasion, and when finally persuaded may only find it worthwhile to reward my efforts with a gaseous eject.

Only in low embarrassment tones do I speak of such humiliation, but reality will surely show when my spouse finally walks out on me in a less private demonstration.

I have refused to read or hear. 2019 is surely different. As I type, a ring of malevolent fumes on my face, I say again as I have thirty times before, that it will be a thing of the past. Tomorrow.


New Year Knitting Organization, Can Make Your Head Spin

It’s the beginning of a new year, and for a knitter that is a big deal. Every new year I go through all my yarns and my patterns and I try to line up what it is I might accomplish this year. And in fact, what I am interested in now. My tastes change from year to year. One year I knitted nothing but socks. Another year I went crazy about knitting fingerless mitts. It’s just what suits your fancy. My fancy is changing all the time. And you might notice at the end of your year that your druthers changed before you even accomplished what you thought you might.

Does any of that matter? Of course not. What matters is that you’ve been knitting. So back to organization.

I have a craft walk in closet. I had it built special for me, so I could get organized. I used to keep my stuff all over the basement. I never liked it and it was always disorganized. My husband could see my distress and always wanting me to be happy, we had this closet built. Now all my crafts are organized. My scrapbooking, my crochet, my quilting and sewing and my knitting. I love it.

So it is a good idea to put your knitting ideas according to style. For instance you might put all your sweater patterns and yarns in one area. Or organize your needles into all double pointed, or circular or single pointed. Put your yarns according to weight, worsted, 2-ply, 3-ply, baby yarn, or even fancy yarn. But I like to put my organization more into simple and not so simple and quick and not so quick. My rational for this is that I can make the decision as to what I am going to make much faster.

You see as a true knitter I collect. Yes, collect. I have so much yarn I could knit a village and still keep knitting. But when you are in a yarn shop and you see gorgeous yarn, you must have it. My husband has stopped trying to understand this. He just opens his wallet, remember he wants me to be happy.

So when I go into my craft closet, I know if I am wanting a complicated “accomplishment” project, or a quick take along project. Am I knitting for a baby, a wedding shower, or myself.

It took me awhile to figure out what a quick project would be. Was it just small or was it something uncomplicated. I decided it was both. I love knitting socks and mittens, I am not a big scarf knitter, I get bored with them. But I love textured yarns and interesting patterns. I like to cable and make interesting textures. But these are not always quick. But they could be take- along in terms of size. But if I have to keep my eye on the pattern in order not to be lost I keep it at home.

I find if I am knitting for someone else I keep it simple. Something I will truly finish quickly because people usually do not appreciate a hand crafted gift. For years I stopped giving my home made gifts. But I got over my pout and hurt feelings and now I just pick my recipient of my special gift.

Anyway organization helps me to have a lot more fun with my knitting projects. If you are a knitter or crafter of any kind, I hope you got some ideas and a little insight into my knitting world.

New Year’s Day: A Memoir

People hardly celebrate the New Year’s Day now. To them it’s just an additional Sunday because it feels like a weekend or something like that. Since Christmas is more attracting, then the new year’s day will be absolutely knocked out? I know Christmas makes so much sense.

But it sounds unfair to the new year’s day, isn’t it? There are so many important things that you can do. For example, you stay up to watch the clock striking and then go to bed or relish the thought of a brand new year, brand new opportunities and a brand new start. It’s just like you are given a new life, when you open your diary you start on a brand new page of 2019 and you can write anything you like on it! You will have so much fun, won’t you? It actually means a lot, I guess.

Why do people hit the road on Christmas? Oh the other hand, they would like to say, um, well, you know, “what’s the big deal for the New Year’s day. No one’s going to celebrate it. ” Oh my golly gosh! I think the new year’s day deserve your attention better.

In my hometown, the arrival of the new year usually means a huge celebration with lots of fireworks. It is an especially big deal because of the large number of soldiers living in the area. I guess it will be quiet this year due to the current situation-dry weather.

The year 2018 has been an important year for my hometown since records have been kept. My mom and dad will go to bed early and get up early to eat their jiaozi (dumplings). Most of the young people will stay up until after midnight and eat their special food at that time for good luck and prosperity during the new year.

Another cuisine they will eat may be the fishes, which are sometimes called “five flavored fish” and are considered by the wealthy only good to be fed to the livestock. It was, however, eaten with gusto by the people, who sometimes had little else to eat.

The addition of either shrimp or chicken makes it a complete protein and a nutritious meal with the addition of greens and/or onion. The fact that it is considered a decent dish led to the tradition of eating it the first day of the new year to ensure prosperity.

New Year’s Resolutions — My Approach to Making and Keeping Them

Personal View on Setting and Adhering to New Year’s Resolutions

My way of making New Year’s resolutions and seeking to keep them may be untypical. But it seems to benefit me. Maybe it will help you, too.

Each year I make several specific New Year’s resolutions, seeking to improve my health and happiness. Over the years I have succeeded in making various positive changes in my life that I at least partially credit to these resolutions.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I always fail to keep all my New Year’s resolutions completely.

But I am happy with the successes! To cite a few examples, I credit past New Year’s resolutions for helping me:

  • quit biting my fingernails.
  • improve my diet.
  • exercise more regularly.

    Some Things That Help Me Keep My New Year’s Resolutions

One thing that helps me in keeping New Year’s resolutions is writing them down. I put a copy of my resolutions in a daily journal I keep near my bed. As part of a morning and evening devotional I seek to take a few minutes to read/meditate prayerfully over at least one of my resolutions.

Also, I usually write my New Year’s resolutions using words like “seek to improve” rather than trying for perfection. This makes attaining success easier. I also sometimes list specific steps to undertake to implement my resolutions.

For example, I might set a resolution to “seek to exercise regularly by walking or bicycling at a particular time each morning on most days.” By writing “regularly” it gives me some leeway. If I skip exercising one day, I can still claim to be exercising “regularly” and keeping my New Year’s resolution. And using the words “seek to” gives me credit for making an effort on those days when various factors prevent my exercising. Setting a specific time helps me budget the exercise into my daily routine.

By the way, I start early on my resolutions each year, too. On Christmas Eve, I print out a copy of my New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year. I then seek to begin following them on December 25, Christmas Day.

That way, if I break them during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I can recommit to my New Year’s resolutions (or revise them) for New Year’s Day.

In addition, even if I fail to keep a New Year’s resolution, I try to keep a positive attitude because:

  • I can try again.
  • I can revise the resolution into something more easily attainable.
  • I can make a totally new resolution that is better.

And, I don’t wait for next year to try again, revise a resolution, or make a new one!

After all, any day is a great one to resolve to improve, to begin living one’s life in a better way! Any time is a great time to make positive changes in one’s life! Happy New Year!