In 2010, I decided I'd make a real commitment to New Year's Resolutions and stick to them. Many people say that and lack follow through. I'm not many people and I'm not messing around when it comes to resolutions. Last year I wanted to learn how to cook and adhere to The Compact in which I agreed not to buy anything new for a year that wasn't a "need" so that I could be more aware of what I was purchasing and consuming and how it impacted the environment. I succeeded at both as far as I'm concerned.
My husband will tell you that I can cook since he is eating much better than he was a year ago. My new skills are also evidenced by how infrequently our fire alarm goes off--a major indicator since it used to signal dinner time. Our friend Sarah taught me how to cook for the first five months of the year until she went on vacation and Iain was born. But I continued to challenge myself with new recipes and creations for the entire year. We eat better than ever before, buy more organic and natural foods, frequent the farmers market, and survived a summer receiving a Community Shared Agriculture farm share. I'm constantly checking ingredient labels and chastising my relatives for not paying more attention to what they are eating--mostly because I don't want them passing poor eating habits on to my kids.
I followed The Compact about 98%, higher if you don't count December. Either way, I still succeeded in dramatically changing my behavior and increased my awareness of my purchasing behavior. December was my weakness and I ended up buying two dresses and a pair of jeans that were completely against the compact. I also purchased three pairs of winter socks, and some winter boots since the insole of my old ones shifted causing an unbearable ridge near my toes. I probably could have found both at a resale store, but I didn't want to...didn't have time...felt like I needed them...found them on super sale...was tempted by all of the shiny lights...went shopping with friends...and had had enough of not buying anything fun for eleven months. I also plan to pass all of them on or repurpose them once they have exhausted their usefulness to me, not that that makes what I did okay...
All in all, it wasn't a bad year for my resolutions.
In 2011, my goal is to lighten up, smile more, be less serious, and spend more time enjoying my kids and my husband. Who knows, we might even throw in a few date nights this year--crazy, I know. I also need to stop swearing for real now that I have a parroting three-year old. That's the one that will seriously challenge me. I've been trying for years now and haven't come anywhere close to succeeding. I'll add it to the resolution list and count myself successful if I stop swearing in the presence of anyone under the age of sixteen. Just don't hold your breath for the results on that one.
Moral of the story: Resolutions are a good way to evaluate where you are, where you want to be, how you might get there, and they can be a great motivation. Just remember that you are solely responsible for their outcome.