kavin24 asks: How can I make my New Year’s Resolutions?
Hi kavin24 –
We dogs don’t think much about our future, so I don’t think any of us make reservations, beyond the “Wow did she get mad when I peed on the couch! I sure won’t do that again!” variety.
But I think New Year’s Resolutions are a great idea. You humans are very calendar-oriented, so I hardly ever see people reach the end of a year without thinking back on what they accomplished and didn’t, and what they’re hoping will be different next year. So what a great time to decide on changes you wish to make to yourself. Fantastic! However… at the same time, I see lots of resolutions never work out. So I’m very glad to give you some suggestions – not on what you should resolve, but on how to do it right!
1) Aim Toward Your True Goals. If you hate sports and working out, then resolving to become an Olympic athlete is probably not a great idea. You’ll fail at it because you don’t really care about it enough. But if you’re sick of being overweight because you want to look cuter so you’ll get asked out more… THAT’S a goal you’ll keep pursuing. Similarly, if you don’t really enjoy reading, but want to make sure you pass all your classes, don’t give yourself a goal of reading the complete works of Tolstoy; just aim for good grades.
2) Be Realistic. On a like note, give yourself goals that are actually achievable. If I say I want to catch every squirrel in my neighborhood, I’ll face disappointment without question. But if I say I’m going to work hard every day to catch at least the slowest of them, that’s much better.
3) Look At Yourself Harshly. Do I mean to insult yourself? Not at all. But if you only resolve to work on things that you’re already pretty good at, you won’t change your life all that much. But if you really think hard, and finally say “You know what? The thing about me that bothers me the most is my complexion. I’m going to go to a doctor, change my diet, get more sleep, do everything I can to clear that up,” you’re going to have a GREAT time with that resolution, and I’ll bet you do great with it.
4) Take Note of Social Pressures. Your family and friends have a lot of effect on you, and always will. And that’s okay. If you say you want to spend eight hours a day working on your dancing skills, you might find that the other people in your life get pretty resentful. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but just that you should be prepared for whatever feedback you get before you commit to anything.
5) Make Room For Fun! So you have a resolution to do a hundred situps a day, one to eat more vegetables, and one to do volunteer work at least once a month? That’s great! Now give yourself a reward, too. “I resolve to take a break from homework at least one night a week and go see a movie,” “I resolve to go dancing more,” “I resolve to get a massage every month.” Anything like that is great. You don’t just want an accomplished year, after all; you want a happy one too!
And on that note, kavin24… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!