I, Ann Garvin, am resolving not to resolve.

In fact, I write this long past the January 1st. deadline of New Year’s resolutions. I resolve not to set myself up for failure by creating an expectation I cannot possibly follow.

Here’s how New Years resolutions work for me. At 9:30 PM after I’ve eaten 12 tiny Skor bars that I have purchased thinking that I’m the kind of person that can consume one small treat at bedtime when in fact I am not that kind of person–I vow no more Skor bars in the house. I vow no more tiny reasonable treats because, for Ann Garvin, a bag of tiny reasonable treats becomes 12 unreasonable treats. And then I go buy more treats because I want to be a reasonable person.

In review. I am not reasonable.

That’s the kind of girl I am. If I resolve anything, I rebel. Don’t fence me in baby because the brat inside of me will push back. Does that mean I don’t change my behavior? No, listen to what I’ve changed.

  • I floss! (often)
  • I don’t eat candy during the daylight hours (mostly).
  • I stand during the work day (a bunch).
  • I don’t drink soda (except on really hot thirsty days in August or when I’m designated driver and I must stay awake).

Have you puzzled out my behavior trick? I never say never. I never resolve.

I know there are some people out there that, when they say, “never again” they mean NEVER AGAIN and they don’t cheat. I bow to these people and truth is, I don’t think these people need my help.

But you, who has trouble with Never Again-we should probably have a sleep over.

Why is NEVER AGAIN so hard for those of us that like our “habits” but find our “habits” don’t like us (or our bellies)?

Have you seen the Oregon Trail wagon ruts http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/site7.htm ?

This is what I think our habits are like. We repeat and repeat behaviors until they are well worn paths in our brains and to our refrigerator during episodes of The Walking Dead. How hard do you think it might for a wagon wheel to wrestle out of a rut? How hard is it for us to get out of our own ruts?

Hard. I’m thinking really hard.

Like Hella hard (as my daughter might say)

So, what I’m thinking is this. Slow and steady. Small changes create a new path. Stop the resolve.

Don’t say I’m going to start on Monday when I wake up, to stop eating pork rinds during breaks. Instead start at Tuesday at 3PM and try to resist just once. Then, create a strategy that helps you work on your desired change. Don’t buy them. Don’t let yourself get so hungry pork rinds is all you can think of, try Goldfish or another alternative. Give yourself lots and lots of options. Head yourself off at the path by creating another path. Try. Fail. Redesign. Try again. It make take a year or five. Don’t beat yourself up and scold yourself, just give yourself a pat and try again.

Then let me know how it goes because I have these Skor bars ….