I woke up this morning with two strong and mutually exclusive desires: (1) to kick off 2014 by working out, going for a brisk walk in the freshly fallen snow, cooking a bunch of healthy food, cleaning my house top to bottom, and making several exciting new lists and (2) to savor the last day of Christmas vacation by staying in bed all day reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes on my new-to-me Kindle.
So far I've managed to find a sort of balance between the two extremes, but even as a reader of this blog you'd be shocked at how many amazing New Year's resolutions I've devised and then had to reject on principle. (I am a New-Year's-resolution machine the way my husband is a novel-plot machine.) Of course I can do any of these things anytime I want, but I kept thinking it would be nice to have SOME sort of stated ambition for the next year before the glow of this day wore off. (Some of you are laughing at me right now; I'm okay with that.)
Then I remembered that Gretchen Rubin—who is basically my spirit animal now because she writes books about happiness and goal-setting and habits and recently made a casual mention on her blog that she eats Paleo—suggests setting a theme word for the year. A theme is just the thing! I set my resolution generator to work on it for several hours and have decided on "Use it (or lose it)" as my 2014 theme. This can apply to everything from my heart, soul, mind, and strength to the condiments in my fridge. A theme is better than a resolution, because it's more of a guiding force than a rule. You can't really "fail" at it, and it can be reinterpreted as circumstances demand. Future me will approve.