A Word in Edgewise: I Know I Can, I Know I Can, I Know I Can…


“Knowing thyself,” and “Making New Year’s Resolutions” create something of an oxymoron. You already know your batting average with Resolutions––your avoirdupois of yesteryear still clings as tenaciously as barnacles on a rusty, sunken hull.

Your dilatory attendance at the gym, the Norwegian sweater project that foundered on the first reindeer, the non-completion of your great first novel, indicate 2012’s Resolutions are not slated to happen, either. Unless you heed my advice.

How, you ask, does one set a few life-enhancing goals for the New Year and stick to them?

First internalize, “I will,” not “I want.” “Small is good.” “Less is more,” and keep these verities in mind when picking your battles. “I want” is mere wishing. We all wish and want. I want to win the Powerball, but no one’s listening.

After absorbing the above phrases, create a habit around the Resolution you’re about to embrace. For example: “I will lose some weight.” Not “I want to lose weight;” not “I will lose 30 pounds:” Both recipes for failure. “Will” and “some” are the operative words.

Resuscitate your languishing gym membership. Go every day, whether you break a sweat or not. It will become a habit. You will realize how foolish it is to waste gas to drive miles for nothing, and eventually you’ll do something–anything. Notice that on some machines, you can read a book and pretend you are not exercising. Any time you spend on the machines or swimming, you will at least not be eating.

By dint of not having food at hand (if you habitually tote a meatball sub and vanilla malted, read no further), you will eventually lose a few ounces, a pound, two, and will have fulfilled your New Year’s Resolution (Remember? “I will lose some weight.”)

Success, and the habit of regularity you’ve created, may well lead you to become more ambitious in your exercise program, and further weight loss, and realization that these techniques are applicable to knitting reindeer and writing novels as well.

Note I say, “May well lead…” If I could follow my own advice, I’d not only be buff, but you’d have already read my brilliant first novel and I’d be at the keyboard in my hand-crafted sweater, typing, typing, typing.

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