You Say You Want a Resolution…

Sitting in the Spackle Manor living room while the visiting Major (Ret.) goes for a run and Mrs. M hits the grocery. The Spawn is reading stuff on the herPad (It clearly is not an iPad or even a wePad, but I don’t mind).

Sorry for having been AWOL for a couple of days, but I’m enjoying the time with family and friends at the turning of the year. Of course, the New Year is supposed to be a time for new beginnings and all that. I certainly expect it to contain some significant moments, but not of the sort of which resolutions are made.

There are certainly resolutions I should not only make, but fulfill, losing weight being chief among them. I’ve always been big, but I’m well into time-bomb country these days. Still, finding the resolve to, well, resolve seems to elude me. It reminds me of Johnson once again. Each year, he prayed for the strength to overcome what he saw as his indolence — to live up to what he saw as his “could-have-beens”. And each year marked another year in which he felt he had failed.

And I understand that prayer as well. “I could write more. I could do more scholarly work, more creative work. I could be better.” And instead, my Imp of the Perverse wins again. But how to face it without despairing? I don’t know if Johnson knew that one — his black dog pursued him through too much of his life, and I feel mine snuffling behind me too often.

But that’s a blind alley as well. All I can do is accept that the plan is there — the successes, the failures can be mine no more than in part, and the least substantial part at that.  Regardless of my Imps or Idlers, Julian’s promise remains. Perhaps that’s what I should resolve to remember, and if I do, the rest might follow.

May your resolutions come more easily, and may your new year bring you Julian’s reassurance.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, Literature, Medievalia, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to You Say You Want a Resolution…

  1. Huck says:

    Happy New Year, ProfMondo. I’ve struggled with keeping true to my resolutions, too. And not just the New Year’s ones, but any old promise I make to myself to be better or do better in terms of setting and reaching goals. But I have found one thing that has really helped. It’s a self-“nudge.” That would be a “nudge” in the spirit of the Thaler/Sunstein book by the same name.

    I’ve used this self-nudge for my blogging goals and it has worked quite well. I’ve refrained from applying the self-nudge to some of my more difficult goals (i.e. losing weight) because I haven’t really been willing to make the commitment. But I know that if I make the self-nudge commitment even to the most difficult (but realistic) goals, I will push myself much harder to accomplish them.

    What my “self-nudge” entails is basically a public promise to stick to my resolutions or pay a price. And this price has to hurt (not physically, but in other ways). For my blogging self-nudge, if I fail to live up to my contract to myself, I have to make a contribution of $100 to one of three causes: (1) SarahPac; (2) The RNC; or (3) The David Vitter re-election campaign. And there are ways to set up a system whereby an impartial party manages the money in escrow, ready to enforce the penalty should I fail to meet my goals. This year, I’m ready to apply my self-nudge to more than just my blog. I’m going to do it with a weight loss plan, and I’ll be charting my progress on my blog. We’ll see what happens.

    By the way, if you haven’t read the Thaler/Sunstein book, I highly recommend it.

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