It was New Year's Day 1986 that I decided to give up potato chips. Don't ask why. I think I weighed about a buck thirty at the time, so it wasn't about shedding pounds. I guess it was about discipline. I figured if I gave up something I really liked, I could learn to do that with other things in my life. My little brother would torture me by opening a fresh bag in front of me, crunching a few chips loudly, and then telling me how delicious they were, but somehow I made it. At the stroke of midnight that ushered in 1987, I proceeded to rip open a bag of Lays and binge until my lips were raw and tongue was numb from the salt and vinegar.
21 years later, I decided to add a discipline to my life and I made a resolution to floss everyday before bed. About day 12, my wife got sick of me looking over at her with the waxy string between my chicklets, smiling, and exclaiming, "Hey, I've flossed 12 days in a row now." Again, somehow, I made it. And now it has become so integral to my nighttime rituals that I can't fall asleep until I floss.
As I sat at our kitchen table with pen and notebook yesterday, I thought about what my resolutions for 2008 would be. Put my shoes away after taking them off? Lose a couple of pounds? Keep up with trimming my nose and ear hair? I asked my wife if she had any resolutions and she responded that she didn't make them because she didn't want to "set herself up for failure". That gave us some good material to talk about.
Why no resolutions? Was it a fear of committment? If we never write things down or dedicate ourselves to something, then we don't have to worry about messing up. Everyone else quits, right? I found it interesting that we have become people conditioned to avoid failure at all costs. True, I look at many of my past resolutions and have bombed more often that not. BUT, I have given up chips for a year, flossed 365 days in a row, and so many other things because I tried.
What do we need to commit to in 2008? What's keeping us back? One key component is having some accountablilty. Someone to keep us in check. That is one of my goals for 2008: Surround myself with like-minded, successful people and start a mutually beneficial dialogue so that we can help each other reach our goals this year. No better place than AR to do that! Look forward to flossing together this year!