As 2011 draws to a close, we are expected to take stock of the previous year and look to the future with resolve.
What do we regret from the past 12 months? What do we hope to do differently this coming year?
Whether the needed changes pertain to relationships, careers, spending, saving, eating or exercising, we need to be willing to face reality.
Altering a lifestyle is no easy task. A major change will not happen overnight. We need to be satisfied with baby steps forward and perhaps a few steps backward. (We're not perfect, and that's OK.)
There is one encouraging thing we can keep in mind, though.
No one is alone in this New Year's Eve resolution process.
In order to achieve accountability, all we need to do is tell at least one other person. If someone else knows our resolution(s), that person can kindly, from time to time, ask us how things are going.
So, friends, here goes.
In 2012, I resolve that:
I won't just get in shape every other month. I tend to be disciplined for several weeks, then slack off. Just when my treadmill thinks it is destined for a yard sale, I climb back on and we become close again ... for a few weeks at least. The goal is consistency.
My dessert of choice will become fruit of any kind, and vegetables will become my snack of choice. Not that my diet is void of these two, but an increase in both is needed. (If I cut it, chop it, dice it or slice it for me, my kids will want some, too, so that's an added bonus.)
There won't be any unintentional science projects found in the back of our refrigerator. We won't have to throw away food because we forgot about last Wednesday's leftovers in the course of this week's games, practices and music lessons.
Work will stay at work or at least not occupy all of my "non-work" time. My husband and children deserve for me to be at home when I'm at home. I'm not sure how I'll accomplish this one, but people tell me it helps to stand in front of a mirror and practice saying, "No, I don't believe I have time to do that."
I will have friends over more often. We will play games, talk, laugh, and share our needs, wants and goals with each other. Game nights will become part of our schedule.
I will nag less and praise more. This goal is directed more toward my children than my husband, but he would probably appreciate a heaping helping of this goal, too. (Not that I ever nag him ....)
Now that you know my resolutions, please go easy on me if you touch base. Remember the baby steps and be kind.
Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.