Monday, January 2, 2012


Resolution is a hateful word really. It’s down and dreary, and dusty. I looked up the definition of resolution and this is what I found.

Number 1: the process of resolving something such as a problem or dispute. Maybe if we didn’t make resolutions we wouldn’t have so many problems or disputes to resolve. All those weight loss resolutions make for some pretty foul moods. That’s it! I resolve to eat chocolate!

Number 2: a firm decision to do something. This one is a little better. I like making firm decisions. So I firmly decide to enjoy more chocolate with family and friends.

Number 3: firmness of mind or purpose. Okay, I can live with having a purpose.

Number 4: an answer to a problem. Wrong. Chocolate is always the answer.

Number 5: a formal expression of the consensus at a meeting arrived at after discussion and usually as the result of a vote. Huh? We’ll just skip this one. It makes my head hurt.

Number 6: the quality of detail offered by a TV or computer screen or a photographic image. Interesting, and my husband could give me a detailed report on the importance of this and why we need a TV that costs the price of a compact car. Chocolate is cheaper.

Number 7: the process of separating something such as a chemical compound or a source of light into its constituent part. Hmm. Skip.

Number 8: the disappearance or coming to an end of a medical symptom or condition. Couldn’t they have used a more exciting word for this?

Number 9: the musical progression from a dissonant to a consonant chord or note. Since I don’t play an instrument the only thing in this definition that connected was music. I need some Journey with my chocolate, or Queen. Add in Foreigner too.

Number 10: the point in a literary work when the conflict is resolved. As a writer, I resolve to like this one. Though it does mean the story is coming to an end for my imaginary friends.

After reviewing the definitions above, I think we should resolve resolutions. Do we really need them? Now goals are a different ball of yarn. Some will say that resolutions and goals are the same. No, they are not.

Read the above definition of resolution and then compare it to words associated with goals: score, aim, successful attempt at hitting, kicking, throwing, or slapping a puck into the goal, and finish line. I love all these words. Much more doable, positive, inspiring, and powerful. Come on, slapping? You betcha.

I loved a friend’s idea where instead of resolutions she builds a bonfire and burns what didn’t work the year before. Add marshmallows, graham crackers, and CHOCOLATE and make it a party.

The month of January is depressing enough what with the bills of December, income taxes coming due, the dark and bleakness of winter that seems to have no end in sight (this is especially true in Alaska). So I suggest we set up our goals to aim successfully at the finish line. Go out there and hit, kick, throw, or slap until you reach your goal! Then celebrate with chocolate.

Since there is power in putting goals in print, I’d love to hear about the goals you’ve set or reasons you aren’t setting any.

Tiffinie Helmer


Donna Cummings said...

I love this. And I don't do resolutions anymore. I like goals. Because those are about "more". Laugh more. Read more. Enjoy life more. While resolutions seem to be about punishing yourself for doing less than you'd hoped for. :)

So I'm doing more, and worrying about less. LOL

Rochelle Staab said...

You're so funny, Tiffinie. Please, have a piece of chocolate and breathe. It's going to be fine.

I thought for sure I made resolutions every year. When I dug into my wallet to see how I did on last year's list, I could only find resolutions from 2009. I actually accomplished ALL of them (took two years, but what the hell.)

Yesterday afternoon I created my list for 2012 just to torture myself. I'm goal oriented so I don't mind a challenge. I consciously avoid ridiculous goals like "falling in love" (you'd understand if you saw my dating pool) and traveling for a month (you'd also understand if you saw my deadline schedule.) Laughter is definitely on there and...jeez, I forgot already. I like Donna's idea: do more, worry less.

The seed is planted in my subconscious. Let's see how well it follows directions. :)

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Donna, I love this! Yes, let's make goals about more. Resolutions always seem like I'm setting myself up to fail. While goals are possibilities! Thanks for dropping by.

Clancy said...

You're so funny, Tif! I admire your dedication to chocolate. My goals for the year are to write something new every day and write a minimum of 5000 words each week. The blogs and board work and other stuff will have to fit inside that. I'm keeping it simple (not necessarily easy -just simple.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Hi Rochelle! Everyone, Rochelle is the one who builds the bonfires. She is very wise and I can't wait for her next book. I just finished "Who Do Voodoo" and loved it.

I'm not your goal oriented kind of gal. I wish I was, but I'm a little to artistic. I hate anything that nails me down and resolutions tend to do that. For example. I want a tattoo to cover all the nasty scars I have from multiple surgeries on my (now) fused ankle. But I can't commit to a design. I know I will change my mind and want something else in a few years. I never could color in between the lines. Writing down resolutions makes you stay in between the lines. What happens when June rolls around and I change my mind?

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Clancy, simple is always good. I need some more simple. I love K.I.S.S. "Keep it simple stupid." Great writing goals. So much better than weightloss goals.

Alice Trego said...

Hey, Tiffinie! Thanks for spelling out resolutions for us. I didn't know the word had so many definitions! Guess I already knew making resolutions was a lost cause because I change my mind a lot, too :)
Now, I agree with the chocolate thing you mention!!


Sandy L. Rowland said...

When all else fails, go with chocolate.
Love the blog and the graphics--beautiful, awe inspiring.
Thanks for the smiles.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Alice, good to hear from you! I read that chocolate is a natural antidepressant. Another reason to consume!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Sandy, you always make me smile, glad I could return the favor. :)

J. Coleman said...

Hey Tif, I agree. Chocolate solves or "resolves" all problems. For me, my goal this year is to like myself the way I am and stop playing the comparison game or traveling on a guilt trip. I also plan on taking time for the simple joys life offers and only hold onto memories that make me smile. Oh, and write every possible second I can! Happy New Year.

Joni Sauer-Folger said...

Hey bring up some very good points. I don't make resolutions anymore either. So disappointing when I fail to comply. LOL I'm with Donna...I like goals. Like one of my goals for 2012 is to write SOMETHING each and every day. Like Donna said, it's all about doing MORE...and of course, doing it with chocolate. ;o)

Mary Martinez said...

Great post Tiff. I agree on all of the above. I actually did away with resolutions years ago. I never kept them. And like you said Goals are entirely different. I do set goals every year. That actually seems to help.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Thanks. Joni! If someone were to nail me down, my goal is to write something everyday. Something besides emails. :)

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Hi Mary, yes, goals are the way to go!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Joelene, we all need to like ourselves for who were are. I have begun to do that. Since I turned 40 I don't seem to give a damn anymore about what other people think. So far my forties have been my best decade. Just wish I physically didn't hurt so much. Thanks for the comments!

Lynn Lovegreen said...

Hi Tiffanie, great take on resolutions. Like you, I find the concept can be kind of negative, so a few years ago, I came up with priorities instead. My goal is to live according to my priorities, and they are:

1. Family
2. Writing
3. Friends
4. Other stuff

And chocolate is definitely included in #4! :-)

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Lynn, I love this! I'm going to borrow it too. :)

ladystef said...

My resolutions are kind of like goals, but I do like to torture myself now and then. Chocolate...Yummmmmm.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Ladystef, at least reward yourself with lots of chocolate if you continue to torture yoursefl. :)

Kerrigan Byrne said...

I will strengthen my resolve to eat more chocolate and take more time to enjoy myself in the coming year... with chocolate.

Liz Lipperman said...

This is a must read post!! I hate resolutions, too. It's kinda like giving up stuff for lent. I always gave up--or tried to--diet soda, chocolate or something similar that had nothing to do with a real sacrifice. Then I heard a priest say don't give up something--add something, kinda like what someone said earlier in the comments. so, I added gong to the Startions of the Cross every Friday during lent.

So, this year I added a timer.

I set it for two hours at a time and I write. Oops! This should have been future tense since I have yet to use it!! I should have made one of my resolutions to be to do my resolutions, at least for the first few days of January. Sheesh!

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Kerrigan, I will gladly eat chocolate with you!

Liz, you crack me up. Love the idea of adding something. We can do this. Add something for New Years and burn what didn't work in a bonfire on New Year's Eve.

Marilyn Sue Shank said...

Funny, Tiffinie! Thanks for the smile! I think I'll eat a piece of chocolate now.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Thanks, Marilyn! You know I've had chocolate everyday since I posted this. I've been snacking on dark chocolate covered almonds. After all, almonds are brain food, and remember chocolate has antidepressant properties. I've had a few great days!