Measured chaos

A new New Year's resolution

I used to make New Years resolutions.

I only say “used to” because I thought I did this year. I really thought I did.

While I was in college I used to keep a personal blog that I’d write in weekly — mostly so my parents would know I’m alive from week to week because I’m the worst at calling them. Over the five or so years I posted there I would start January by looking at what goals I’d achieved and set new goals for the coming year.

I was planning on assessing what resolutions I’d kept this past year. I was planning on setting new resolutions for this year.

But I didn’t post anything.

I know I had goals over this past year. There were things I wanted to do and achieve. I just didn’t list them, can’t tell you what they were and can’t prove it actually happened.

I then started to realize that I usually have the same few things on my list of resolutions: lose 20 pounds, finish creative projects, stay in a certain place — that kind of thing. It’s all big-picture stuff and things I would have been working on even if I hadn’t made a list.

Sure, that didn’t stop me from failing at three specific goals for three years straight, but I still aimed for those goals, I still made progress on them this year even thought I hadn’t made a specific list.

Which is how I came to this conclusion: I need to start treating New Year resolutions more like a grocery list.

Maybe it’s because I feel I’m a reasonably self-motivated person, but I’m going to work on things I enjoy. Unlike with groceries, I’m not going to have so many disparate things. I’m not going to completely forget about my New Year’s resolutions like I forget to grab dairy from Aldi.

I probably don’t need to put “lose 20 pounds” on the list, because the opposite of that keeps happening so I’m too far in the hole at this point.

What I should start doing is treating resolutions like a grocery list. I need to start putting vegetables on that list, things I don’t necessarily want, but know I need.

I need to put 5 percent of every paycheck into savings. I need to get my tires rotated. I need to rip the Band-Aid off and tell my upstairs neighbor to stop using his treadmill at 2 a.m.

I think New Year’s resolutions can be important. It’s good to have goals. Everyone else was probably already doing this the right way and I’ve just been the one doing it wrong the whole time.

Maybe people are always talking about how they didn’t meet their resolutions because they’re all trying to do the hard stuff.

This year I’m going to try to run toward what I need and not what I want.

All of this is to say, I’ve been out of milk for over a month and I keep on forgetting to pick some up — so my only New Year’s resolution for 2019 is going to be “pick up milk before Saturday. ”