My favorite quote of the year so far was uttered by my friend January second. At a 7 a.m. meeting she plopped down on the seat next to me and declared: “It’s only been two days and I’ve already broken four of my New Year’s resolutions.” Actually it was a tie between that quote and one uttered by the body guards on the show “Pawn Stars” who said:  “If you’re a pimp and you are in a pawn shop you need to get yourself some better bitches.” But that wasn’t really in keeping with the New Year’s theme I’m going for so I’ll stick to my original choice.

My point is that New Year’s is yet another chance for us to set a bunch of high standards which we know deep in our hearts we’re destined to never measure up to. So I have a few tricks I use to transform my resolutions into the kinder, gentler version of what they were intended to be.

I start with the word itself.   I mean the word “resolution” itself sounds slightly scary and anxiety provoking. So I skip using it altogether. I thought of going with “strong recommendations” or “deeply felt wishes” but my husband rolled his eyes and sighed deeply when I ran them by him. So instead I settled on “goals.”

Each year I spend the last week of December reflecting on what I want to accomplish in the new year. I write out a list of about a dozen goals.  Yes, you read it right – a dozen!  I find having a dozen is much less pressure than having just one resolution.  So when I break one or two – because I know I will – I can say things to myself like:  “Well, Nic, you’re still right on track with 80% of your goals.  good job!”  Instead of things like “You are such a loser!  You can’t even do one thing right this year!”  It’s all about perspective!

And speaking of perspective, I don’t view my goals as hard and fast, do or die, you’re either winning or losing propositions.  I feel I’ve succeeded with my New Year’s goals as long as I’ve moved the ball forward.  If I’ve improved by inches that is good enough for me.  So for instance, my number four goal for three years running is: maintain body weight of 129.  Now that hasn’t been a reality since I graduated high school.  I may have flirted with it when I’ve experienced a bad stomach bug but for the most part I’m a little north of that number.  But in my mind if I can stay within 5-10 pounds of that number I’m doing just fine.  And if I start the year off by getting a little closer to that magic 18-year-old body weight, that is a check in the win column as far as I’m concerned.

So cut yourself some slack this year and hop on my”slacker resolution”  bandwagon.  Perfection is just an illusion.  So stop beating yourself up for not being perfect.  Celebrate your forward progress instead and I guarantee you’ll be a happier person for your husband, your children, and most importantly for yourself.

Got any tricks of your own you’d care to share?  You know I’d love to hear them!

Happy New Year!