One-Word Resolution Challenge: A Tradition

Is it a tradition yet? It is for me. In fact, this will mark the fifth year of the one-word resolution challenge.

It took me a while to find this word. I knew what I wanted to do in 2012 — to make a profound change just to prove that one can make a profound change at midlife. I suppose I proved that four years ago, when I decided to lose weight a year in advance of my 50th birthday. I lost 17 pounds, which I’ve more or less kept off. Lately, less, but the holidays will do that. But my clothes fit and I am, according to people who would know, stronger than ever, thanks to personal training¬†with Todd Bauer, TRX, Pure Barre and Salvation Studio. Plus, while I may have lost seventeen pounds, I gained twenty, which I tote everywhere.

This has no relevance to the text. I just like robots.

The problem is — it has to be one word and “Change” is kind of a duh resolution. I also feel strongly that the one-word resolution has to be a verb in imperative form. (To date, mine have been: Stretch, Maintain, Venture, Be. Are all these imperative? I’d argue that they could be.) Anyway, what I want to do is hard to capture in one word. I yearn to honor my good intentions — to follow-up, follow-through. To be conscientious, to remember the little niceties. Thank-you notes, condolence cards, atta-boys. I want to be the kind of person who sends flowers and bakes casseroles and is never late with a birthday card.

I am so not that person. Which is a shame, because I was brought up by one of those people and I have a sister who is one of those people. How did I become so careless? I think, in part, it’s because my family saw my carelessness/ineptness/messiness as one of my signature characteristics. It was a given in the Lippman family that the first place to look for a missing object was under my bed. I lost things. I broke things. I was clumsy. I was sloppy.

I still lose things and, boy, it grieves me. I still break things because I’m still clumsy. I don’t think I’m particularly sloppy anymore. I’m not super-neat, but I like to keep my house tidy, although that may involve hiding some messes inside a desk or a closet when paperwork overwhelms me. I’m not going to be a meticulous person and I’m okay with that. But I could be a more thoughtful one.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but I don’t buy that. It’s paved with rationalizations and justifications, people’s attempts to believe that something bad might be good, just this once. The way I see it, good intentions are ephemeral. It’s nice to have them, it’s better to act on them. How to capture that in one word?

I settled on: EXECUTE.

Not a bad resolution for a crime novelist.

What’s yours?

56 thoughts on “One-Word Resolution Challenge: A Tradition

  1. Rationalizations and justifications. True that.
    I think mine has to be Give. There will be a lot of ways to do it. I have a few in mind, and I suspect more will appear if I look. This writing life can produce tunnel vision, or at least so I allow that to be *my* rationalization/justification.
    Thanks for the prompt.

  2. I don’t seem to be able to come up with verbs; my mind leaps to nouns that I aspire to have. Last year’s was energy. It turned out that part of the problem was a health issue that I ended up having heart surgery for-not exactly what I had in mind. But if I hadn’t been pursuing energy (and exercise) so doggedly, I might not have acted on the health issue.
    This year: strength.

  3. answer

    when i was a kid i had problems with english as you can see. but i always wonder why my teacher made problems for me. Why was a simple ‘answer’ so complicated to spell. I can not remember my 8th year thoughts now, but I know the kid that was 8th and why he was asking questions all the time. I bet everybody who is reading this and more knows how to spell ‘answer’ but did you know or remember the question? How many sentences above to you have to find the question that I asked? 1 ….2……3? O you are fooled? The problem is simple. we tend to listen with other senses and I found out at a early age that I had more than 6 senses. My 7th sense was patience. Wait and the answer is simple to spell.

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