How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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How easy when Champagne-fueled to make New Year’s resolutions among friends with the glittering midnight fireworks. How hard it is just a few days later in the bright light of a work day to make them stick. For instance, on New Year’s Eve I vowed that what I was eating at that moment was my last, my very last, Baci chocolate. “No more sweets!” I shouted, raising my glass of bubbly, “Let it be known that 2015 is the year of peak kale!” “This ship sails for quinoa!”

A mere three days later, rummaging about in the kitchen (another of my resolutions is to Be More Organized, following the advice of the gem of a book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo) I moved a bag of wheat flour, (Husb.’s resolution has been to Learn How To Make Make French Baguettes At Home, he’s kinda counter culture, going with the gluten instead of against) and lo and behold I found one lonely Baci in the woods behind the canned goods like Little Red Riding Hood and I felt like Johnny Depp playing The Wolf, hello, little girl. I stroked my whiskers.

I start singing “Agony.” “When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach.” Except the hazelnut-studded dark chocolate wasn’t out of my reach. I grabbed it. And I ate it. Resolution schmezolution.

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by guilt. What kind of leadership was I demonstrating to my children who watched the whole thing go down. “But Mom,” they said, dismayed, “You just said you weren’t going to do that.”

You can learn from my mistake.  Behavioral economists have three answers: Make  resolutions easy and automatic, make them a matter of habit, and make them fun.  (Forget unquantifiable and negatively-phrased statements like no more delicious Italian bon bons.) To meet these criteria, I’ve changed-up my resolution-making.

In 2015, I’m going to be peaceful and love everybody and ::wait for it::

I’m going to dance. “Oh, Mom,” My son, 9, said, his face quickly losing color, “You’re going to make a dance club in the basement? The scary thing is I know you can totally do that.”

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