Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List, talks about her New Year Resolutions. Statistics, why she likes New Year Resolutions and the difference between boring resolutions & ones that might be attainable! Read on for Lori’s thoughts.
Lori Nelson Spielman talks of New Year Resolutions
Thanks so much for hosting me today to talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Let me start by getting the clichés out of the way. With the New Year comes a fresh start. The New Year provides the perfect time to reinvent ourselves. The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on our lives, evaluate what we want to change or improve.
As tired as they may be, I happen to agree with the clichés. I love the symbolism of a new beginning. I have oodles of things I’d love to change, and apparently, so do most Americans. According to StatisticBrain.com, 45% of Americans make resolutions.
Year after year we vow to eat healthy, get wealthy, lose weight and congregate. We plan to volunteer, drink less beer, manage our debt and adopt a pet.
And year after year we fail—at least that’s what my friend, Kathy, believes. I discovered her resolution revulsion while we were having lunch, and the conversation turned to the New Year.
Kathy: I never make New Year’s Resolutions. Ever. Call me the Grinch of the New Year, but I refuse to be pressured to perform under a deadline.
Me: But it’s the perfect time to start fresh, make those changes we’ve been putting off all year.
Kathy: If someone needs to change, then they should change. Immediately. Why wait for January 1st? Resolution-makers are needy. They’re like a group of lemmings, marching to their suicide. Do you realize only eight percent of people accomplish their resolutions? And of those eight percent, seven percent are lying.
Me: You’re so cynical. The important thing is, they make the effort.
Kathy: Uh, yeah, for like three whole days.
Me: I happen to believe in resolutions. As you know, I make one every year. Want to hear this year’s?
Kathy: Let me guess, you’re going to eat healthy, work out more, everything you vowed to do last year.
Me: Well, yes…but this year I thought I’d increase my exercise routine…
Kathy: Bo-ring! The only thing worse than exercising is listening to someone talk about exercise. And food? Trust me, no one wants to hear about it. Rule of thumb: never talk about your diet unless the person you’re talking to is wearing a lab coat.
Me: Okay, forget those resolutions. I’ll just stick with my original goal: Write my next book.
Kathy: You said that last year and the year before. You need something more succinct. How about: When writer’s block hits, I’ll inhale two, rather than three, rows of Oreo cookies.
Me: But those Oreos are so comforting. I know, I’ll organize my office, and keep it organized all year.
Kathy: Seriously? That’s like asking Miley Cyrus to give up twerking. Make it realistic, like stuffing your coffee mug, laptop, pens, papers and candy wrappers into the nearest closet five minutes before your family gets home.
Me: But all that paraphernalia helps me write. In fact, next year I’m going to write 1,000 words per day, without fail. Now there’s a resolution!
Kathy: You already do that. I see your Facebook posts, tweets, emails, Pinterest…
Me: You’re right. Scratch that. By the time I sit down to write my novel, my daily quota of clever thoughts have been used up. How about I vow to keep away from social media while I’m writing?
Kathy: An Internet diet. Interesting. Are you including Sudoku and Solitaire in your diet?
Me: I should. I know I should. Those computer games are a time warp. But I’m addicted. I can’t stop. Hey, why don’t I read 24 books in the New Year? Reading is essential for writers. And I won’t read trashy novels, I’ll finally read the classics.
Kathy: Two books a month sounds reasonable. But make it one classic, one trashy. After all, if you can’t twerk…. I’m just sayin.
Me: Finally, a resolution we agree on! We’re on a roll here. What about this one: I’ll stop reading my reviews.
Kathy: Obsessing over your reviews would be more accurate. But yes, that’s another good one.
Me: And I won’t compare myself with other authors. I won’t curl up in the fetal position for a week when I discover my writer friends have already sold books three and four.
Kathy: Excellent. I think you might actually accomplish these.
Me: No doubt about it. And while I’m writing, I’ll set a timer. I’ll write in two-hour blocks. I’ll limit my caffeine intake to two cups of coffee a day. I’ll—
Kathy: Whoa. Back up…caffeine intake? What about your wine intake?
Me, blanching, aghast: Wine? Come on now, let’s not get carried away. I refuse to be pressured to perform under a deadline. Why set myself up for failure? Do you realize only eight percent of people accomplish their resolutions…