December 30, 2013 by
Photography by Katie Anderson

I don’t go out on New Year’s. I’m a mom, so the minivan and I prefer to stay home. About halfway through the Dick Clark New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special, I get nostalgic and start thinking of what New Year’s resolution I should come up with.

Whether you set New Year’s resolutions or you don’t, let’s be real, either way—you never keep them. I’ve never seen a weight loss success story where the thin bombshell proclaims, after asked how she did it, “It was my New Year’s resolution!” Not gonna happen. Ever.

By February, I’ve not only failed at the resolution, I’ve forgotten what it was all together. When someone asks me what my resolution is, I will respond with: “I’ll tell you my resolution if you can tell me what yours was last year.” It’s a time-honored tradition—no one can even remember.

For the record, let’s review why no one can remember a resolution: You were out partying when you told all your drunk friends what your resolution was. Your friends can’t hold you accountable if they can’t remember where their phones or keys are.

A few years ago, I set out to eat clean for an entire year. I was determined. I’m proud to announce that I lasted all the way through April. Think about it. That’s like the Heisman Trophy of New Year’s resolutions.

When my kids asked me what a New Year’s resolution was, it changed things. Do I want to teach my kids to set unattainable goals? Do I teach them to wait until midnight on New Year’s Eve to set a goal? Do I teach them to come up with something they hate about themselves so they can change it? As always, my kids’ curiosity changed my perspective on the entire purpose of a New Year’s resolution. How do I pass down this tradition to my kids and make it a positive experience?

Last year, I decided my New Year’s resolution would be to try something new each month. It could be anything. So one month I wore eye shadow every day. The next month I drove a different way to work for a week. Another month I went for a week without makeup. Each new thing may seem slight and not as noble as you think. But I had fun with it and learned something fun about myself each time. By May, I forgot to proclaim my monthly something new to try. Then again, I still find myself trying new things. The resolution stuck as a practice, hopefully throughout my life and not just for a year.

And so, at our house, I think we’ll come up with something fun and positive for our New Year’s resolutions. It’s the less grandiose resolutions that stick better and make a bigger difference, after all. My kids bring insight to the success of a New Year’s resolution.

 

Read more of Murrell’s stories at momontherocks.com.

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