Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Photo by Andrea Davis for Unsplash
Here we are two weeks into January, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve given up on your New Year’s resolutions. If you’re like me, those resolutions would have had something to do with exercising more, eating healthily and getting organized. And if you are like me, instead of writing your column yesterday, you spent all day sitting on your couch, playing the bubble game on your phone while consuming a two-pound bag of peanut M&Ms. Stop beating yourself up, I’m sure you’ll get your column written by deadline.
Apparently one-third of us lose interest in our New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. I don’t what’s holding you back, but in my case, I’ve been approaching my resolutions all wrong. They are so vague and broad, they aren’t achievable. What do exercise more, eat healthily, and get organized even mean? It’s no surprise that instead of eating better, exercising or organizing, I was lured to my phone games and a giant yellow bag of peanut M&Ms.
I would argue, however, that peanut M&Ms are a healthy eating choice. Peanuts are a good source of omega-3, fiber, vitamin E, and antioxidants. And I think I read somewhere that antioxidants are even more powerful when they are ensconced in a chocolate shell that melts in your mouth not in your hand.
The experts tell us we should make our resolutions specific and measurable. Instead of exercise more, my goal should be to walk ten thousand steps or do ten burpees per day. I can use the handy-dandy apps on my phone to keep track of my steps or burpees, making my phone a force for good rather than a force for the evil bubble game.
The experts also say we should tell someone about our goals because sharing our progress might help us to keep going. So, if I tell you, “I will do ten burpees a day,” I’ll be more likely to do those burpees because I will want to keep myself honest.
For the sake of honesty, I am telling you now that I will not be doing ten burpees a day.
To do a burpee, you stand up straight, then squat down, put your hands in front of you, kick your feet back behind you so you are in the push-up position, then bring your feet towards your hands and finally jump back up into a standing position. Then, I imagine, you drop to the floor, curl into the fetal position and weep for mercy. The burpee website says there is no fun way to do them. No kidding.
Exercising more was a bad goal anyway. I don’t want to work out more. As it is, I visit Gordon Trotter at his MuvStrong gym in East Hampton three times a week. Gordon is an animated New Zealander who is passionate about helping people to be their physical best. I’m only aiming to achieve physical mediocrity.
Also, Gordon thinks burpees are fun. He’s basically a cheerful, work-out sadist. I don’t need to spend more time with him.
My third resolution, to get organized, is the one I should really focus on. I’m sloppy. I can rarely see the top of my desk. I don’t make my bed in the morning. And due to my weird relationship with scrap paper, I have piles of it lying around.
My threshold for chaos is quite high, so I can carry out my adult duties while in a state of disarray. However, every few years, the accumulation of the flotsam and jetsam all over our house begins to get in the way of my day to day activities. Our tv remote recently went missing for two weeks in our bedroom clutter. I had to turn on the tv and change the channels manually – like I was living in the 70s.
I also can’t find the second key fob to my car, which means if I don’t remember to take the fob out of my back pocket, I’m potentially one flush away from some embarrassing phone calls to the car dealer and the plumber.
Mr. Hockey (my current husband) eventually found the remote under our unmade bed. But it and my AWOL key fob serve as a wake-up call: I’ve got to get organized. However, according to the experts, I won’t be successful without a plan. I’ve got to make a goodwill pile and a garbage pile. I’ve got to sever my unusual bond with scrap paper. And I need a timeline. I wonder if one room per month will suffice. My office might need two months.
I’m sharing this resolution with you to keep me honest. And I might update you on my progress from time to time so I will keep going. To paraphrase the African proverb, “it takes a village to clean my house.”
You can be my village.
I think Winston Churchill once said, “We shall fight on the desks, we shall fight in the closets, we shall fight in the attic and the basement, we shall fight in the cupboards; we shall never surrender….”
This is my rallying cry! I hereby resolve to get my house in order!
And if I have some time, I’ll try to exercise more. Gordon, please note, no burpees.
East Hampton Press, January 15, 2020