Could we craft a better recipe for disappointment?
Unless we set attainable goals, we doom ourselves to failure, and by "attainable" I mean doable despite our responsibilities, real or perceived talents, and a mere twenty-four hours in a day.
Sadly, we'll have to scratch "Win an Emmy" and "Serve on City Council" from our to-do lists since we don't control anyone's vote but our own. We're free, however, to write a script we think is Emmy-worthy. We can run for City Council.
Rather than swear to lose twenty pounds in 2012, we'll promise ourselves to eat mindfully and swap fruit for cake and cookies. Instead of vowing to complete a marathon in less than four hours, we'll vow to train consistently so we stand a chance of crossing the finish line.
We can't control our popularity, but we can strive to be a good friend. We can't guarantee our kids will turn into responsible adults, but we can model grown-up behavior.
These tips are so obvious, it probably sounds as if I'm talking down to you. In fact, I'm talking to myself. Year after year, I make New Year's promises that qualify as wishes on stars rather than attainable-by-me resolutions. When will I learn?
Every year arrives ripe with promise. In 2012, I'm going to work harder at the things I can do: finish one manuscript and start another; walk in the park almost every day; be a better friend. (Anne Roberts, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I went underground between Thanksgiving and Christmas.)
What will you do in 2012?