Seven Worst Ways to Start the New Year

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Hi, I’m Adrienne.  Happy new year!  I’m one of those people who gets bogged down by high expectations from the possibilities of January 1.  Learn from my experience as I present to you The Seven Worst Ways to Start the New Year:

 

7. Hung over and in a carb coma.  This was no big deal when I was younger.  But that was before I encountered the TWO-DAY hangover.   Just as our eyesight and hearing tend to get worse with age, apparently so does our liver’s ability to deal with a toxic blast of vodka, chicken wings, and Doritos.  What an awful way to start the new year – full of resolve and too sick to do anything about it.

6. Paying upfront for a gym membership.  I also went to the other extreme… there was that one year when I decided to go to bed before midnight and start the new year right with a grand workout routine.  The tan, fit college girl with blonde braids at my local gym convinced me to sign up for six months because I’d save a good chunk of change over paying month to month.  She failed to tell me I’d lose all that money anyway after I made one visit to the gym, completely overdid it to save face in front of the regulars who work out all year, and then limped home in shame never to return again.

5. Making resolutions for other people.  Sometimes I can’t believe how pretentious I was.  It wasn’t enough to make my own resolutions that I couldn’t keep… I had to make a list for my husband too and post it on the refrigerator.  It reliably gave me something to nag him about, which gave him a chance to ignore me, which allowed me to snap out on him for ignoring me, and well, you know how that goes.

4. Deciding that your entire wardrobe needs to be sorted and organized TODAY.  It’s a scientific fact that I am my fattest self at the end of December.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, and eating for hibernation in the fall all lead to me wearing the same couple of big sweaters and pants for a month or two until I rein myself in (with New Year’s resolutions!).  One year I pulled every item of clothing out of my closet and drawers, started crying when I realized how few of these clothes looked good on me, and then slept on the sofa to avoid dealing with putting them all away.

3. Looking at anything that comes from Martha Stewart.  If you want to feel like a failure, you need only check out her lists for keeping a household running smoothly.  What, you missed cleaning out the gutters and wiping down the undersides of your baseboard radiators?  Don’t worry, there are overwhelming lists for every season of the year as well as the BEST way to do your laundry, cook fresh cranberry sauce, and assemble party favors.  Thank goodness she doesn’t delve into the BEST way to rear children, or I’d be suicidal.

2. Making resolutions you can’t keep. I’ve written those lofty lists in which I vow to do everything better without having an action plan for how that’s going to happen.  No wonder it fails.  Goals work best when they are achieved by incremental changes, not complete and instant overhauls.  Our society is always looking for the quick solution.  What else would explain the popularity of shows where people lose a hundred pounds in a matter of months, become professional dancers in a few weeks, or meet, date, and get engaged in less than a season?

1. Doing nothing at all.  For as many times as I’ve failed, I’m still not giving up.  A new year is a chance to reflect on where we’ve been and where we still want to go.  I’m giving up the lists.  I’m not using my day off to make major changes that will overwhelm me.  But I am going to resolve to be more patient and loving and to appreciate the blessings in my life.

Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed, you can read about some even bigger mistakes I’ve made in Giving Myself Away.

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Available at Barnes and Noble in paperback and Nook format

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