Making resolutions too easy to break

Published 8:09 am Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello 2015.

It’s now a new year and once again I find myself evaluating the options for those New Year’s resolutions to take up in hopes of improving myself.

Some of the things I’ve tried in years past were to take golf lessons (my playing partners would all be saying, “Finally!”); teach myself a foreign language, even though I never seem to leave the shores of the continental USA; and that always hard-to-keep one of making myself a better person, you know – getting in shape physically, mentally, and spiritually.

These dreams of 250 yard drives down the fairway, of being able to say something more than “El bano por favor” (Please, where is the bathroom!?!), and about conquering the world by purging the usual demons have all gone down the drain.

Face it, most of us give up by February.  I always do.

I feel that resolutions are good things for us to make, even if we don’t always carry out those promises we make to ourselves at the beginning of the year. If anything, a resolution is a good humbling reminder of all of our own faults coming out of a holiday season filled with excess: we eat too much, and we shower ourselves and others with way too expensive gifts we all too often can’t afford. You know you’ve given yourself, or somebody else, the ol’ “Budget-Buster”.

But when your resolutions go up in smoke, it reminds you that you’re human, that you make mistakes and that sometimes you fail. But that’s no reason not to pick ourselves up and try again, always in hopes of learning something new and becoming an even better person.

So when the clock struck midnight Thursday morning, I didn’t make any specific resolutions for 2015.

Instead, I hope to find something that will see me coming to a successful conclusion and not another end-of-January dismal failure.

Though I might not be taking up New Year’s resolutions this year, I thought I might pass on some ideas that might help you if you’re making “specific” resolutions yourself and maybe take those ideas from thoughts to action.

1) Don’t overthink too much. Face it, the first thing most of us do is try to take on more than we can accomplish. Simply put, try to find one thing and stick with it. Doing too much don’t always work.

2) Get somebody to hold you accountable. Schedules are great, but having someone push you with reminders along the way makes all the difference in the world. Somehow, based on human nature we’re much better when working with – or maybe against – someone with the same goal (the ol’ push me-pull you). Try a little of the “let’s see who gets to the finish line first, okay?”

3) Don’t wait until New Year’s to start. (Though technically, I suppose this tip is too late…)

But hey, I think this is still good advice. If you’re just sitting there reading this column, don’t you wish you were getting some exercise?

Why don’t you get up, go outside for a short walk, then come back and read some more?

Don’t procrastinate is the biggest message. Start your resolutions, and don’t be paralyzed by fear of that start date.

Until then, I’m just gonna to say – and maybe you should too – “2015: To be continued…”

 Gene Motley is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be reached at or 252-332-7211.