According to an informal survey involving all three of Truly Rich Best Friends, New Year's resolutions hardly work out. You resurrect one from the past year, jot it down on the back page of your Smythson agenda on the first day of the year, and then tear it up as soon as you encounter, say, the soft-serve ice cream at Bucky’s or, maybe, a gem-encrusted minaudiere on sale. If you really want a successful life change, drop the “R” word completely. Instead, pick a keyword and dream.
Identify your keyword.
Resolutions are ambitious creatures. “I resolve to only eat fair trade, organic, whipped butter for the rest of my life.” Good luck with that! “I resolve to only buy X amount of shoes this year.” Ha!
The best way to pin down a goal is, not through a resolution, but via a theme. This may already sound promising because themes remind you of parties, and happy things happen at parties, like that time long, long ago when you “accidentally” spilled wine on an old stranger, who then proceeded to berate you, and then fell in love with you. (He is now your husband.)
A theme is fun. Post-War Glamour? Trendy Infusion? Count me in! However, your theme shouldn’t resemble anything that can be read on a save-the-date card. It should be succinct and powerful.
My theme for the year? Beauty, as in all things beautiful, from a beautiful mind to a beautiful body to making big, beautiful eyes at every person I meet. This will be my north star, a shining light that will guide me toward my goal. It can also be a mantra muttered under my breath or a battle cry announced to the world: Beauty. Beauty. BEAUTY. Give it to me.
Take small steps.
Every day I tell myself that this is the day I am going to finally clean out the second guest room, which somehow, through a series of unrelated events otherwise known as my obsessive hoarding, has become a storage of treasures. I move chin-forward toward the fray, but as soon as I open the door, I run the other way while squealing, which coincidentally is also the sound of all the forgotten things trapped in the room.
I am simply overcome by the enormity of the task. I mean, where will I move the taxidermy peacocks?
I find that the best thing to do is to break down your goal into baby steps. For example, for my keyword beauty, wherein I endeavor to look like my ideal, a cross between Queen Rania of Jordan and Cindy Crawford in the ‘90s, I will avoid going with all guns blazing into the invasive wing of my Discreet PS Doctor.
Instead, I will take the small step of attending all my laser treatment appointments in January. I already know it will be less overwhelming to lay down for five minutes while a magic wand undoes all the sins of holiday binging, so I am sure I will be able to do it every 10 days!
This is hokey, but it helps. Reviewing all your small triumphs shores up your resolve to pursue your keyword this day and the next and the next until you achieve your body goal of looking like the shadow of a semi-retired Miranda Kerr.
For example, after surviving today’s session of HITT with my TRBFFs, I lay down on my mat and proceeded to daydream about all the things I did to make it happen. Like when I gently toppled over the water bottle the Overachieving Young Lady, so I can get to the burpee station ahead. Or when I powered through that devil invention called battle ropes by calling on the spirits of my ancestors (on my father’s side—they were landowners).
I finished my dream session by visualizing the three pieces of boiled eggs, peeled and quartered, waiting for me inside my locker. And then, I thought of the joyous things I will do again tomorrow like waking up before the roosters crow and dragging my body back to health club. That in itself is a victory.
Visualizing is like patting yourself on the back, but invisible. Your TRBFFs will think you have gone bonkers for smiling by your lonesome, but you should not mind them for they are not winners.
One time, I wanted to bake a magic cake, a three-layer cake of sponge, custard, and fudge that sorcerers make (this is a real cake!) for my mom. So I tracked down the recipe on Pinterest, listed down the ingredients and equipment, and made a mental note where to get them.
I was loafing on my Pinterest feed when I saw a tartan table runner. I Googled that and found an amazing tartan gown made of fantasy and Scotland. I then discovered this Blanchet-like actress called Catriona Balfe. So I watched six episodes and half of the first season of Outlander. I fell asleep, woke up, and (famished!) FoodPanda’d a Hollywood Legend from Pink’s.
Point is, my mom did not get her cake.
You should stop reading this and pursue your keyword now.