Statistically, 45 percent of Americans make New Year's resolutions. Of that, only 8 percent actually keep those resolutions, according to the University of Scranton's Journal of Clinical Psychology. The most common is, of course, to lose weight; another popular one is to fall in love. Every year I resolve to drink more water and usually end up only drinking more coffee and wine.
What is it about resolutions that make them so hard to make and keep? They seem attainable enough, right? Stop eating so much and lose weight, find someone who likes the look of you and vice versa, and who isn't mad, and fall in love. So why is it so hard? Look, I have a journalism degree; I'm not the one to tell you what to do or how to do it. But let's just throw a few of the most popular ones out there and talk them over, shall we?
Spend less, save more
I have a kid. Need I say more? Kids always need stuff. They are little money sucking, time sucking bundles of love. I adore my child, if anyone thinks of messing with him I will go all kinds of Honey Badger up in this. However, he makes it hard to save and spend less because he needs and wants a lot. And not to blame everything on him, I want a lot too. Look, I like shoes and pretty things. I might not be a typical broad but I am still female and require things like purses and books and trips to Target. Don't you judge me!
Spend more time with family
As I think we're discussed previously, any time spent with my family is a lesson in both patience and a sap of self-confidence. From my mother telling everyone about my dating failures, to her telling me my hair is too long and it "makes me look like a hussy," if I spent any more time with them I might have to quit my job and move with my son deep into the mountains where we would live off the land, throw away all cell phones and other means of communication and have a pet raccoon named Mr. Whiskers.
Fall in love
This is seriously a common resolution according to every single source I could find. It's sometimes worded differently, but the bottom line is always the same. I don't understand this in the least. How do you resolve to do something that takes two people? Maybe because it doesn't factor in that the other person needs to return your affections? Who knows, but does anyone actually think this is something that will happen with me? I have a small son and an ex-husband, there aren't a lot of dudes willing to carry that baggage with me who I would actually allow to touch my bags and not call the cops on them. I'm feisty, intelligent, opinionated, apparently I have hussy hair, and a predilection for off-color humor - I think I'm good on this one. Plus that's a creepy, desperate-sounding resolution to make. I'm actually pulling a face as I write this.
Help others in their dreams
Look, I will help you move, I will help you find your dog (as long as you aren't wearing a fake cast and driving a van, Buffalo Bill), I have helped people make meals and watch kids - all kinds of stuff. But I can't help anyone with their dreams. Unless their dream is to learn to make peanut butter fudge, then we're golden. I think dreams are fantastic and everyone should have them, but they are yours and no one can help you realize them better than yourself. If your dream is to become a circus clown and I think clowns are creepy, then how much help could I be? See my point? So I'll worry about my dreams and you worry about yours - deal?
Stay fit and healthy
You've already read that I can't even keep my resolution to drink more water, what makes you think I can do this? I always have good intentions to stay fit and healthy - or get fit and healthy - but I work 12 hour days and then I do the full-time Mommy gig, and I'm tired. My son could live on Ramen noodles and bologna sandwiches, and would if I let him, so I consider it a banner day if I manage to cook dinner, do bath time and have him in bed by 9 p.m. with all work deadlines met and no one crying.
But you know what? If my kid and myself remain happy and healthy in the coming year I'll be happy. Chubby and unloved, perhaps, but happy nonetheless. And I wish that for all of you as well - not loveless lives and chubby thighs, but happiness in droves.