Confession of a serial Resolution breaker (proper edition)

(apologies for the edtion posted earlier  – I pressed the wrong button while still editing – hence the errors and unfinished condition – hope you enjoy this one more 🙂 )

I never used to be a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, they never lasted very long – I guess I was a serial resolution breaker – so much so that I used to keep them secret. A bit like when you pull the chicken wishbone and you mustn’t say what it was you wished for – or else it wouldn’t come true.

Now, isn’t that a funny thing – and I’d never thought about it before today. Why on earth would we break a small bone from a chicken in this way and make a wish. Now, if the information I’ve just found on the internet can be believed (LOL) it seems that this practice of snapping the wishbone to make the wish is extremely old in western culture – going back at least to the Romans and before them to the Etruscans (more good Etruscan info here).  Whereby, the Etruscans (800 – 400 BC) were great readers of entrails – particularly the liver it seems – and also would save the furcula (wishbone) of a sacred chicken for people to stroke when in need of guidance from the gods. The Romans, it is suggested, picked up this idea but then, through fighting over the bone, developed the breaking of the wishbone to bestow the favour upon the winner.

Reading up about this I now know we’ve been doing it all wrong! It seems that the wishbone should be cleaned and set out in the sun to dry for a few days before being broken in the wishbone contest – no wonder my wishes didn’t come true!

I remember my father telling me that back in the East End of London, when he was young (we are talking 1920-30s here) IF a family had a chicken as a meal the wish bone would be cleaned up, wrapped in foil and stood on the mantelpiece. Neither of us is sure if this was for luck…  or just to show off that they could afford to eat a chicken!

OH! Where was I? Ah! New Year’s Resolutions, last year was the first time I told everyone about a new year resolution, that being to lose weight. Now, whether it helped me keep the resolution or not I am not sure – I do know I had some good cheerleaders along the way!

Whichever, encouraged by this I made more than one resolution for this year and in doing so thought long and hard about how I would frame them as it is easy to set up a resolution that is doomed to failure merely by how it is framed.

My resolution last year was only to lose weight  Almost by accident I had hit upon the best sort of resolution – one framed in such a way that it is easier to achieve (I did not say how much or by when – so even if I’d only lost a few pounds by the end of the year I would have made it!)  As it happened I lost two  and a half stone, enough to feel good, comfortable, and be slimmer than I have since before I had my first child – and all before Christmas. (more here)

So, when I said to myself ‘I shall resolve to make sure I actually get to bed before midnight’. [This resolution because I am an ‘owl’ and find I write better late at night  – but my Husband is a ‘lark’ and so we get up at 7.30 therefore, if I am to get a reasonable night’s sleep, important for helping keep weight in check, I must get to bed before midnight.]

I realised I needed to make the resolution both firm and flexible – so I did not have to rush Cinderella-like away from a party crying ‘I must not break my NYR!’  So my reasonable resolution runs ‘I will get to bed before midnight at least 5 out of 7 nights a week’

Completely doable! So far so good. So far every week I have met my target (just!) And that’s it – I have been getting enough sleep and the only exceptions have been because we were out at an event that ran on late – or it was late by the time we got home – but that certainly doesn’t happen more than 2 nights a week so my resolution stands!

So, if you have already broken your NYR it could be that you needed to frame it in a firm but flexible way. It’s not too late to re-frame that broken resolution now – as a reformed resolution breaker I can tell you, kept resolutions feel good at the end of the year!

Did you make any resolutions this year?  Have you made and broken any already?

Are you a serial resolution breaker – or a keeper? What is your secret for keeping resolutions?

Do share – I love to hear from you!


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