A favorite tool of motivational phrase writers and the Denver Broncos alike, failure is purportedly a useful means to self improvement.
“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.”
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
“Shoot for the moon. If you miss, you’ll still be among the stars.”
Sounds nice, sure, but something tells me Neil Armstrong might not have been pleased as punch to make his giant leap for mankind among massive, luminous spheres of plasma held together by gravity. (Whatup, Wikipedia.)
I realize that in all likelihood, no one really likes failure, but I’d venture a guess that my aversion to it is far more severe than the average overachiever, which is why – here we are on Jan. 16 – and I’ve yet to declare my 2013 New Year’s resolutions.
I’m not sure I always took my resolutions so seriously, as evidenced by decades of unabated bad habits. But after setting challenging resolutions for myself these past two years and actually following through (2011: to lose 30 pounds and 2012: to run a marathon), the stakes suddenly seem noticeably higher. Fail at a New Year’s resolution in 2006 and drink away the shame from a red solo cup; fail at a New Year’s resolution in 2013 and shatter the opportunity to achieve the all illusive self-improvement hat trick.
There are hundreds of areas in my life that still need improvement, from my lack of cross training to my inability to squeeze toothpaste from the bottom of the tube, but I’m having a hard time coming up with a 2013 goal of the same caliber – and eventual achievability – as those laid out in the past two years. Should I vow to cook more meals at home? Strength train once a week? Go to yoga? Sleep eight hours a night? Tell more funny jokes like the one about me sleeping eight hours a night?
Maybe I should resolve to end the year uninjured, with a renewed (i.e. brand spanking new) emphasis on stretching, strength-training and recovery. Maybe I should resolve to make my own coffee instead of racking up a weekly $20 tab. Maybe I should take a page from my dog-niece’s book and resolve to take more risks.
Clearly, I’m open to suggestions. What do you think I should target in 2013?