Resolutions, Vows, and Self-Improvement.

It’s that time of year again, where people have started regretting their silly New Year’s Resolutions. The “I’m going to go to the gym every day”, or “I’m not going to buy anymore takeaways” kind of resolutions. The kind that don’t allow for any leeway.
Some people are stubborn enough to commit to it, but for most of us, resolutions like that don’t stick.

Why, you ask? Well, mostly because as soon as you slip up, you’ve failed.

As soon as you have to work late, so don’t make it to the gym that day and get Indian food on your way home, you’ve broken your promise. And then, three days later, when your friends suggest pizza and a movie, you think to yourself “Oh, well, I already had one cheat day and nobody died, another wont hurt”….and so on, and so on.

What you need, if you’re anything like me, is to make fewer goals, and more promises to yourself that you’ll try.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, and I don’t make grand announcements like “I’ll never do xxxx again!”, because I know that people, and circumstances change.

Case in Point - I used to be 8, and dream of being a crane driving ballet teacher!

Case in Point – Tiny Fran wanted to be a crane driving ballet teacher!

In fact, promising to commit to something forever was a big issue for me when I was writing my wedding vows this time last year!
I’m a child of divorce, and while that was probably the best decision my parents had ever made, it did leave me with a conundrum – They had made a vow to be love each other ‘until death do us part’, and obviously hadn’t been able to uphold that bargain.

They both changed so much over the 15 years they were married, and there was no way that they could have predicted that happening when they were signing up for an eternity together, but it got me thinking – How could I promise to love Tony forever, when neither of us could conceivably promise to stay exactly the same, forever and always?

And if I did make a vow, in front of my friends and family, to do something that nobody on earth could feasibly commit to, what did that mean for the rest of my vows? Surely, by promising something that I knew was impossible, the rest of the promises I would be making that day would mean nothing at all…?

And I wasn’t willing to do that.

fran-27

Thankfully, my amazing husband completely understood my apprehension, so together (and with a few ideas from Offbeat Bride) we came up with this –
(Fran / Tony)

I promise to forget to stack the dishes on the right and leave stagnant water in the sink
I promise to overdraw the checking account
I promise to complain about the kitty litter
I promise to never use a recipe when cooking dinner
I promise to encourage us to try new and strange things
I promise to create a life for us, full of unexpected adventures
I will love you unconditionally, support you in your goals, and honor and respect you, without TOO much sass.
I will also try not to cover our cat in glitter anymore.
I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you
Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities and quirks
I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams, for through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone.

I love you.
I know.  

I promise to leave my apple cores and dirty butter knifes on the counter
I promise to always leave the lights on in the bathroom
I promise to swear loudly at video games
I promise to always try at least one bite of any meal you create
I promise to listen to your advice, and occasionally take it
I promise to never take score… even if I’m totally winning
I will love you tirelessly, regardless of how often you get distracted by something shiny. I vow above all things to remain unchanged in this, even if I should be momentarily distracted by something shiny myself.
I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you
Although I will be imperfect, I pledge to be sensitive and respectful of your unique talents, abilities and quirks
I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams, for through our union we can accomplish more than we could alone.  

I love you.
I know

Pretty cute, right?
Realistic, slightly comical, not too serious, and with a Star Wars reference thrown in for good measure!
(And no mention of eternity, or ’til death, or anything!)

 

Wiping red lipstick off Tony's face!

The idea of promising to try is something that can really benefit people who don’t cope well with feelings of failure. If you promise to do something, and don’t do it, then you’re going to feel shitty. If you promise to try and do something, but don’t complete it, then that’s ok! You can just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try harder tomorrow!

Resolutions can happen at any time – I try and find new things to do and be as often as they come to mind, not just at New Years – There’s no time constraints on wanting to be a better person!
At the moment, my key focuses are to be more fun (and have more fun), and to be brave.
I’m making a solid effort to be a more fun person to be around, because if nobody enjoys my company then all I’m really doing is having fun at the expense of other people, right? Plus aiming to have more fun is a good reminder that I need to focus more on the little day-to-day things that make me happy, as well as trying to enjoy my life more.

I also decided last year that it was important to me to be brave, by trying more things that I might not be good at.
My biggest issue with myself is that I don’t like doing things unless I’m good at them – to the point that I won’t try new things if they don’t seem like something I will be able to immediately do well.

In order too fix this, I started small – trying things that were outside of my scope of practice, but with some potentially transferable skills – and worked up to trying to enjoy things that I know I’m not good at by mixing them with the things I love.
The first major project that fit this bill was my stop motion video project – Masquerade – which blended things I love (Photography and Stop Motion) with things I’m not so flash at (Drawing, and just generally talking about feelings)

I figured that, by trying to include elements of things I don’t love with things that I do love, I’d be more inclined to see them through to completion!

 

 

And whaddya know, I actually enjoyed making this video – Even the drawing!

The overall thrill that came with seeing that particular video through to completion (and getting a crazy good mark!) prompted a few ideas for other animation projects, including my scariest video project yet – my entry for Miss Pinup NZ!

Screenshot (210)

I’ll make a separate post about that later on, but for now, I guess all I’m trying to say is don’t be too hard on yourselves! Sometimes striving for impossible goals is an amazing motivator, but other times, the best motivator in the world is completing something small that you didn’t think you could do, or getting better at doing something simple.

<3 Fran

1 Comment

  1. Jo Long

    Lol, Fran, those vows are SO you! Great advice, will have to take some on board. 😀

    Reply

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