The New Year's Resolution to Rule Them All

The New Year's Resolution to Rule Them All

Abby Stone
Jan 15, 2013

Forgive me the title of this post. Combine going absolutely stir crazy (being housebound for seven weeks with a broken foot will do that to you) with a New Year's eve spent in bed watching a screener of "The Hobbit," and it was bound to happen. But, all kidding aside, the New Year's resolution I made this year may be the only one I'll ever have to make ever again. Ever. It really does rule them all.

My resolution for 2013? Do it now.

What? That's it? That's too simple, you're thinking. Ah, that's the beauty of it. As in "The Hobbit," where the ring that causes all the ruckus is a plain gold band, simple can be powerful.

The challenge I've always had with New Year's resolutions is that they require plans and discipline — lose weight, get organized, save money. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm great at planning. The challenge is in the execution. The most intricately organized plan fails if it doesn't get put into action. And I don't know about you, but the chasm between "I am going to do this" and "I did this" is a huge abyss that I've fallen into, filled with overflowing craft closets and piles of papers. Sooo many papers. I needed a resolution that was about action, that wouldn't require me to muster up any discipline, one that I couldn't wriggle out of or argue against. Which is how I came up with "do it now". Simple. Easy. And yet, powerful, because it's applicable to so many situations. Part zen mindfulness, part drill sergeant determination, it stops the endless "later" that is at the heart of why so many of my New Year's resolutions fail.

Let's take an example that's particularly apt at home: get organized. Here's what happens to me. Let's say I've got a plan to get organized with my mail. I've set up a place to put the mail when I come home, a trash can for the junk, a shredder for the identity-sensitive stuff, a folder to put the bills in that need to be paid. And then. I walk into the house with the mail and my cell phone goes off or a neighbor stops by to chat or I'm hungry. What happens? The mail gets set down. And that's it. I'll deal with it later, I promise myself. After I get off the phone, finish the chat with my neighbor, eat something.

But it doesn't happen. I'm on to the next thing and then two or three pieces of mail has become a pile and, well, piles are just overwhelming. You can see where this can lead. With do it now, I just do it. I'm focused on the task at hand because that's it, that's what's happening now. There's no room for procrastinating or arguing myself out of it. Papers get put away, dishes get done, the bed gets made, the sweater gets knit, I exercise, I stop eating sugar. My life is happening and it's happening now.

(Image: Kim Lucian/Steven's Warm Modern Loft)

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