One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A good example of this is the New Year’s resolution. I have made essentially the same resolutions every year for the past decade. Eat healthier food. Lose a few pounds. Exercise. Be a better person. I agonize between strategies for achieving these annual goals. I’ll give up everything I consider a favourite food. I’ll eat all my favourite foods, but only in moderation. I’ll only eat foods that are dark green and orange, the healthy colours. I’ll exercise eight times a week, or six times a week, or three times a week. By February 6, the times a week I intend to exercise: 27.
Ever notice how Resolutions tend to seesaw back and forth between the twin concepts of less and more? Less junk food, more vegetables. Less cholesterol, more exercise. Spend less. Save more. Watch less TV. Write more. Sleep more. Work less.
One definition of resolution is to come to a decision and act on it. To be “resolute” is to carry on with a combination of fearlessness and fortitude. But resolution also means “how it all works out in the end”. The practice of making a resolution, of acting on it and seeing it through until you come to the desired outcome—is really quite a journey. It may, in the end, look a lot like revolution.
So after much thought, I’ve decided to try a new approach to resolutions. I resolve to look after my needs first, and my wants second. I need to eat better, so I’ll have the energy to get through my days and the stamina to live long enough to get wise. I need to spend more time with friends, to nourish my soul, and more time writing to nourish that creative spark.
Less guilt. More gratitude. Less whining. More laughter. More patience, with myself and others. Less tolerance of the day-to-day obstacles that keep me from getting to where I want to go. Wherever that is.
This approach may just lead to a good resolution. Eventually. And in the meantime, here are some holiday party foods, to ring in that New Year with treats that are both delicious as well as healthy, and that won’t blow your resolutions before they’re even made.