Posted by: oneyearbook | January 10, 2010

Resolve

I don’t know if I mentioned on here, but for 2009 my New Year’s resolution was to not eat candy for a year. Those of you who know me know that this was a big thing to give up: I have a gigantic sweet tooth, and in particular I really, really like both sour candy and all types of licorice. So it was a real test of my resolve. And I did it: for a solid year, I didn’t eat a bit of candy. Much discussion was had in this household as to what qualified as ‘candy’ – ie, chocolate is not a candy per se, but if it came in the form of what is labelled a ‘candy bar,’ then it was. So no Crispy Crunch, no Skor, etc., but I did eat things like chocolate almonds and occasionally Purdy’s chocolates or what not.

At midnight on January 1 I tucked into my first candy in 365 days. I bought five different types to celebrate, and had the full intention of eating them until I felt sick. Which I did. And it turned out I couldn’t eat very many and that, after the first few bites, I wasn’t really into it. The year off had purged me of much of my reaction. I didn’t eat much at all.

By about a week later, with small amounts of candy eaten throughout, though, I’d started to get back into the swing of it – if I saw candy, I wanted it, etc. Lesson learned, I thought: I never really needed it or wanted it; it was just that by allowing myself to have it, I begin to teach myself to feel that I want it and need it.

Side note: this is the only time I can think of in my life where I’ve 100 per cent followed through on a New Year’s resolution. There’s another lesson there: I respond best to concrete, measurable goals. Things like “get fitter” or “write more” don’t have enough of a yardstick for me.

So my new thought is this: what if I resolve (unrelated to the New Year – I’m not stuck on traditional dates or anything like that) to write every day for the next year? Even if it’s only a sentence, I have to work on one of my own writing projects (writing work done for other people doesn’t count) every day. No breaks.

This one’s harder, because it’s not an act of omission – which takes no time, beyond the mental time required to say No, no candy today – but I bet I’ll get to the end of  a year and find that I both wrote more than I otherwise would have and that the habit of writing every day has set in to the point that I just keep doing it. Suddenly it won’t take willpower to find time to write in a day – it’ll just be habit. Unthinkable to not. We’ll see.

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