Resolutions are intimidating

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

I used to have a traditional New Year&8217;s Eve resolution. Each year, I would vow to quit smoking.

The funny thing is, I don&8217;t smoke. I made this resolution because I knew it was one I could keep. The others – traditional ones like lose weight, clean out my closet, end world hunger – were simply too hard to keep.

I&8217;ve heard an expert say that New Year&8217;s resolutions fail simply because we set our goals too high. It&8217;s impractical to think someone who regularly downs a bag of Oreos for dinner is suddenly going to switch to raw carrots just because it&8217;s Jan. 1.

Big resolutions are intimidating and studies show most people don&8217;t keep them even until the second month of the year. Attainable resolutions, the experts say, are small ones.

So, this year I will follow this advice and make small resolutions. Maybe, just maybe, if they are small enough I will be able to keep them.

For example, I would like to learn how to use my cell phone. My stepson Derek received a cell phone for Christmas and within one hour, he knew how to text message, take photos and send emails via his phone. I have not mastered saving people&8217;s phone numbers in my phone or checking my messages, much less sending one.

I think this is a reasonable goal.

I would also like to find all the missing socks in our house. This is actually a big job but it&8217;s important, so I&8217;m willing to step out on a limb for this one. Our washing machine or dryer – I haven&8217;t determined which one is the guilty culprit yet – is eating our socks. The result is we have lots of loners in our sock drawers. I&8217;m starting to think some of these loners may have a match in the same drawer. If not, it&8217;s time for them to land in the trash.

While I am at the cleaning, I will also throw out all &8220;temporary&8221; food storage containers that have become warped, discolored or simply do not match any lids anywhere in our house. I think the lids have gone to the same place as the socks but I can&8217;t be sure.

Along these same lines, I would like to clean out my car, match up stray compact discs with their cases and toss out all makeup bought in a moment of weakness, such as the lavender eyeshadow the magazine said would look great on someone of my coloring.

It didn&8217;t.

These are pretty small goals and seem attainable. Come Feb. 1, I plan to have these things done. And, just in case I end up like most of America and forget my resolutions around Jan. 15, I always have the quit smoking thing to fall back on.

At least it is a sure bet.

Leada Gore is publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer and former managing editor of the Shelby County Reporter