The Three Most Important Rules for New Years Resolutions
1. The first rule is the most important. And no, it's not "stick with it," as some might say. The No. 1 rule for making New Year's Resolutions is to purge yourself of guilt. That's right. Resolutions aren't supposed to so gruelingly difficult that you don't look forward to keeping them, or that you beat yourself up about them if you slip up. So take a minute right now and repeat after me: "I will not feel guilty for not keeping my New Year's Resolutions."
2. Enthusiasm. That's rule #2. That might seem hard at first, especially if your resolution happens to be anything but fun. But if you look at your resolution less as something you have to do or you'll feel terrible about yourself (while simultaneously feeling terrible about breaking our "No Guilt" rule), then you are more likely to give up because the pressure is just too much. So, take a minute right now and repeat after me: "I vow not to hate my new year's resolutions, and if I do, to find some little part of them to be enthusiastic about, because if I try and can't find some part of them that I enjoy, then they are not worth keeping."
3. Make it legal. (Or at least, in the personal sense) Rule #3 is to find some way of making your resolutions permanent. Keeping them in your head is important, but thoughts are fickle things, my friends, and our flawed, human brains can't be counted on to remind us of our resolutions all 365 days of the new year. So take a minute right now to find a piece of paper or a typewriter or word doc on your computer and write down your resolutions, including Rules 1 and 2. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
And now that we've looked ahead a little bit, let's take a moment to look back on 2011.
This year I:
- Started my Junior year in high school
- Took my first really helpful/productive/inspiring creative writing class
- Learned to drive
- Worked my butt off writing music for the school play
- Visited Cloudcroft, New Mexico, where I've informally decided to move to if I ever get the chance and/or enough money
- Discovered my new fav author, Thomas Mullen
- Saw my new fav author, and many others, at the Texas Book Festival
- Won a regional Silver Key from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
- Had a Wind in the Willows themed Christmas
I could go on, but I'll spare you the more boring details :) And now:
The two major accomplishments I hope to achieve in 2012 are:
- Getting accepted to the Iowa Young Writer's Studio this summer
- Winning an award for a Senior Portfolio from Scholastic Art & Writing
Today some friends are coming over to eat cabbage (for money) and black-eyed peas (for luck), so I better wrap this up. Before I go, I'll leave you with this picture: