New Year's Rabbit Reconstitutions

All new year's resolutions fail. It's a scientific fact. Show me someone who is actually keeping a a resolution afloat mid-February, and I will produce the Loch Ness Monster. In fact, show me someone who makes a resolution and keeps it through the end of the year and I'll throw in Big Foot, Elvis, and indisputable evidence that Joan Rivers is precisely 114 years old and has never had a bit of plastic surgery in her life.

Failure simply cannot be an option in 2011. That is why this year I am abandoning new year's resolutions. Rather than resolve to do something new, I am simply going to commit to those things I am already doing with at least some success. I am leaving behind the ideal and grabbing hold of the REAL.

Ideal: I resolve to be more charitable with my time, money, and emotions.
The Real: I will continue to abstain from punching anyone in the face, no matter how much he or she deserves it.

Ideal: I will exercise at a brisk pace for 30 minutes at least three times a week.
The Real: I will continue to walk my dog so he can pee, and even run a little when it is butt-cold outside.

Ideal: I will eat more whole grains, steamed veggies, and drink 8 glasses of water a day.
The Real: I will continue to eat chocolate on a daily basis, preferably more of the good stuff.

Ideal: I will lose the same 12 pounds I have been complaining about for a decade.
The Real: I will not gain weight. At least not enough to require buying bigger pants.

Ideal: I will get 8 hours of sleep every night, preceded by meditation, journaling, and teeth flossing.
The Real: I will continue to fall asleep on the couch watching trash TV if I feel like it, sleep in on the weekends, and floss at least when a popcorn kernel gets stuck up in there.

Ideal: I will speak in a polite, professional, and ladylike manner at all times.
The Real: I will continue to swear when no other words will do, but restrain myself in front of children and the elderly. Well, in front of children anyway.

This year, 2011, is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac calendar. And rabbits are cautious. They look before leaping. They don't jump into diets and investments and relationships without using their little bunny brains. I feel confident that my list of New Years' Reconstitutions is doable. And that's all I'm really going for in 2011. I'm not saying we ought to settle for mediocrity or stop setting goals or refuse to challenge ourselves. But sometimes we need some small successes just to keep us going. And that's what 2011 is going to be about for me: small successes. It would be great to get out of bed an hour earlier every morning to do sit-ups and stretching and read some classic literature before work--that's the ideal. But you gotta know where you're at. For sometimes just getting out of bed and going to work is not only The Real, but a Real Success, too.

P.S. If you'd like to join me in a year of Real Successes, the official Year of the Rabbit doesn't start until February 3 this year, so you still have a whole month to modify your list and replace some of those idealistic resolutions with realistic reconsitutions.

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