Take "I'm going to lose weight" resolution, a feel-bad classic. A couple of years ago, while eating some Peanut Butter Oreos (What?! They weren't "Double Stuffed" or anything!) I decided why should I set myself up for failure? Big aspirations always lead to disappointment, which is also precisely why my only career goal is (for real), "Have a job that doesn't make me want to gauge out my eyeballs." When I'm feeling ambitiously optimistic I add, "Make enough cash so mama can enjoy some shrimp tempura rolls guilt-free." That is it. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, as I was polishing off another row of cookies with milk, I decided my New Year's resolution would be (and continues to be to this day) to "Try to be healthy." Notice the "try". Notice the ambiguity. I mean, what is "healthy" anyway? If I said, "I will go to the gym three times a week and eat vegetables with every dinner" I would of broken my resolution on day three. And that's just silly. I like life easy: I don't want a challenge. I want a resolution that I can adhere to without really trying. A real resolution has specifics like that with numbers attached, a Kathryn resolution is really made to be interpreted and reinterpreted continuously. Say, for example, it's January 2nd and I want to eat a mega muffin for breakfast (this is really each and every day). With my Kathryn resolution, I can argue that although a muffin is far from healthy, it must certainly be better than a donut, and thus, today, I have "tried" to be healthy. Genius, right?
In the same vein, by not stipulating how much I will work out, one weekly gym appointment can be viewed as a success. Or, eating eight Oreos instead of ten can be viewed as an accomplishment (that's a personal best for me). The Kathryn resolution doesn't just work for weight loss: you can adapt to avoid failure in any scenario. Making a resolution to read a book a week? Silly you. Just say you'll "read more" and then read the nutritional label on your pantry staples. You just were healthier, and upped your reading to boot. Sometimes I amaze myself.
Now some people like challenges. This program is not for them. (Scratch that: this blog is not for them.) Take Matt for example: he loves learning new things and "experimenting" with new ideas and pushing himself in odd ways. He is a programmer and spends his nights coding and learning new computer languages. There is one word for this: LAME! I, on the other hand, spend my nights watching "So You Think You Can Dance?" and eating, yes, Oreos. Don't lie: you know you wish you were on my couch doing the same.
Now you may say, "Kathryn, you big gorilla, there is no point to life if we don't strive to be better." I agree, but I just think life on a daily basis brings us enough challenges. Here is a short list of some of these challenges:
- Getting out of bed
- Remembering brown-bag lunch as you are "trying to be healthy"
- Finding a good parking space, because walking 20 additional feet is simply not an option (no worries, you were already being healthy by packing that lunch)
- Ignoring the fact that your "healthy" lunch is leftover pizza
- Only checking nyt.com once per every two hours (the agony...)
- Making small talk with loathsome coworkers
- Avoiding the temptation to gossip with awesome coworkers