You Say You Want a Resolution

You Say You Want a Resolution
Rachel Birdsell

Rachel Birdsell

For the past two years around the beginning of the New Year, I’ve shared my list of resolutions with you. They weren’t the typical “lose weight, be more organized” types of resolutions. They were the “eat more chocolate, read more books” types of resolutions. They were effortless, and almost damned near impossible to break.

The reason I’ve always written easy-to-keep resolution lists is because I suck at keeping traditional resolutions. I’m not alone in that, though. Only a small percentage of people actually manage to succeed at resolution keeping. So, if failure is almost guaranteed, why do we keep making them? We might feel great about ourselves while we’re writing our list of resolutions, but once we’ve failed at keeping them, we feel worse than when we started. That’s some effed up masochistic shit, isn’t it?

So, if I really want to be more organized, why can’t it magically happen? Why isn’t wanting something to happen enough to make it happen? I think I’ve finally figured it out. It’s because making a resolution such as “lose weight” isn’t tangible. While it may be a great ambition, it’s vague. How will you achieve the weight loss? Diet? Exercise? The latest fad pill? I need specific goals instead of abstract aspirations. So, this year, instead of making a list of resolutions, I’m making a to-do list. Here’s some of what I have planned for 2015:

Discard 50 percent of the stuff I have now. That may sound drastic, but I have an alarming amount of stuff, so much that it’s weighing me down. (Note: Shoes are not included in the “stuff” category.)

Take care packages to the homeless every third Saturday of the month. Why the third Saturday? I have no idea. It’s arbitrary, but it works.

Say no without explaining why.

Answer my email as soon as I read it. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Take a welding class, and then pray to Thor I can find a cheap welder on Craigslist.

Do 50 crunches a day. This is strictly for vanity and not for health reasons.

Get tires for my bike and then get on the damn thing and ride it. What good is it doing in the basement other than looking awesome?

Start a book club, more specifically a mystery-lover’s book club.

Keep a list of every penny I spend so I can stop spending money on unnecessary things, and instead, save it for necessary things like journals, lipstick and Hot Tamales.

Continue to write about things that make you mad, sad, happy, blasé, but mostly that make you think.

Reward myself with a little shiny something, some chocolate crème brûlée or a new book every time I keep a resolution for an entire week.

May 2015 bring you peace, love and more happiness than you could ever imagine.

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer and graphic artist. You can reach her at

Categories: Commentary