MY TOP FIVE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2011 THAT I REALLY PLAN TO KEEP

The title of this should come as no surprise. We all go through the resolutions process each year and never learn. However, this year I am empowered by a Wall Street Journal article that advised me how to keep my resolutions – START EARLY.

Well, I started just before Christmas, but due to a family event, I am just posting about it now.

What about you? Did you start early? If yes, I would like to hear from you – what are your resolutions? Perhaps we should monitor each other and see who can follow their resolutions the longest. Is that a deal?

Send me the list of your resolutions and whomever keeps them for the longest period, (verifiably, of course),  will receive a nice gift.  I have quite a few cute items (from a previous business) that can be arranged into a gift basket (i.e. mugs with funny messages, heart-shaped glass containers with red ribbons, small picture frames and more) and I may even include a box of my fabulous chocolate truffles.

There is one last qualifier for this challenge – let me in on your secret as to how you managed to keep your resolution. This accountability project starts now and is even for the resolution procrastinators. Here are my top five resolutions for this year.

Resolution No. 1 – Make this blog a priority.

I will work hard to develop this blog to be a reliable resource for my fellow chocolate appreciators – by offering posts that are fun to read, yet educational and most of all, supporting  our passion for chocolates. It seems easy – I like to write, I  am passionate about chocolates (particularly the dark ones) and I’d like to consider myself a “foodie.”

This should be easy to keep, right? Unless, I will be broke and will need to do some “real work” that pays some “real money” that will assist me in paying my “real” rent. Better yet, I will be following my mentor’s advice – write between 10 p.m. and
1 a.m., about my passion – chocolate – and work hard at my j-o-b during the day to pay the bills.

Resolution No.2.  I will stop eating meat  – I will go GREEN.

This year I plan to stop eating meat. This resolution should be easy enough. I do not even like meat all that much, except for a nice rare beef wellington or rack of lambs roasted to perfection. However, I guess a succulent lobster can take the place of these favorites (Is that allowed if I am a vegetarian?). Moreover, I am a “dessert” person with hopelessly sweet tooth.

Per the WSJ, all I have to do is train the part of my brain responsible for linking positive emotions to new habits – no meat – and I will be on my way to victory.

I could switch a three-course steak dinner for a three-course dessert dinner. Picture it. A great floating island as the first course followed by a citrus sherbet to cleanse the palate and topped off with a  Valrhona Manjari chocolate mousse. This one might be a winner, unless my brain will need positive rewards for milestones reached, which may include a nice rare beef wellington or rack of lambs roasted to perfection. Oy-Wey!

Resolution No. 3 – I will lose weight.

I definitely want to lose weight – it is a tradition for me every year. However, this time it will happen. I am going vegetarian, after all.

It usually works for a while. I will locate an appealing program, evaluate if it is doable and follow it for 2-3 months. I usually lose the tire around my waist and the bulges in all the wrong places. I will stand in front of the bathroom mirror every morning, making sure this is real. Then, I’ll go shopping every day to reward myself – I’m all about the positive rewards.

Then, hunger strikes while I’m shopping for my new skinny clothes. I have a sensible dinner waiting to be warmed at home. However, I’m not finished shopping. So, I’ll just have a coffee and cheesecake (the Cheesecake Factory is right next door to where I live and shop). Tomorrow, while shopping for my new slimmer wardrobe, I’ll repeat this shop and eat cycle, except the dessert will be different – as there are two ice cream shops, two bakeries, a chocolate salon and a cupcake boutique. My choices are endless – pistachio gelato, German chocolate cake, peanut butter chocolate cupcakes…You get the idea.

Unfortunately, by the time I finish my shopping, nothing fits, including my old clothing because now I am two sizes larger than before. So back it goes. This one may be tougher than it appears.

Resolution No.4 – I must check a cosmetic procedure off my list.

I have been dreaming about this resolution for years, while my wrinkles are getting deeper and more pronounced. My main reason for postponing this wish is that I am scared to go under the knife. Particularly, since I have seen many “botched jobs.” So, I always talk myself out of it.

However, today, many procedures do not require the  use of a knife or scalpel. I can get local Botox injections between my eyebrows, around my eyes and in the smiling line. Who wouldn’t want botulism toxins injected into her face to invoke temporary paralysis? So what if I sleep with my eyes half open and scare some people; I didn’t ask them to watch me sleep.

It’s actually a win-win situation. because I will not only lose my wrinkles, I will be the first to know if someone breaks into my home and plans to attack me.  And, I’ll have the advantage of scaring the intruder. This sounds promising.

Perhaps I should have a chemical peel instead. Sure, I’ll walk around looking like a towering inferno for a few weeks and give people chills. But, then I’ll be young and beautiful after it heals, unless I’m one of those people whose skin is susceptible to uneven pigment changes. Then, my son’s science teacher will ask me to come to show and tell and demonstrate how a rainbow is made.

Resolution No. 5 – I will spend more money in an effort to reduce my debt.

This year I want to get into debt – deep debt, by spending most of the money I don’t have. I just need to copy our government’s method and I will be on my way to keeping at least one resolution.

Probably the most popular resolution behind weight loss, people vow to “get out of debt,” even it means giving up the things they enjoy. Why go this route?

It’s much easier to enhance our lives with items we cannot afford but feel we must have, than to give up the conveniences we built up over the years. And why should we? Life is too short not to enjoy it. That’s what the credit card companies tell me. They send me cards with all kind of offers I simply cannot refuse. And remember, the more you shop, the more points you get. I just love rewards.