The new year always brings out the most ambitious part of me: the one that plans to make big changes and promise big things and follow through on everything. Come February, I am normally still fairly determined (albeit a little disillusioned), and by the beginning of the summer I am altogether hopeless, chalking up my ideals and expectations for next year.
Always next year.
My resolutions are usually admirable, involving how many books I want to read and where I want to be this time next year and how many times a week I’m going to work out. But they never stick. I know I’m pledging huge things to myself, but I also know that these are valid things to desire, like gaining knowledge and losing excess weight and reaching career and life goals.
So why don’t they happen?
My husband works for a build-your-own-website company, and he is a wealth of knowledge on human behavior. I’ve learned a lot about advertising and sale techniques since he’s been at this job, and the other day I was watching a car commercial that started with big announcer-man’s booming voice saying, “Here at (whatever car brand), we know you.” I snorted a big laugh and said, “No you don’t! You don’t know a thing about my life—you just want me to buy things I can’t afford.”
My honey shot me a grin and said, “Precisely.” People will buy things or services based on the person they want to be. That pang of regret that happens when I see a lingerie store’s commercial right after dinner? Yeah. I want to be a supermodel, I want to have great hair, I want to be desirable and attractive and physically impossibly beautiful. I sigh and I start to wallow around in my pity and self-loathing and in a small voice I say, “I need one of those bras so I can be impossibly thin and really, really sexy.”
I can see the marketing in the car commercial, and I can laugh at it. I can also see the marketing in the lingerie commercial, but I succumb to the message: I need to buy this lacy little thing, because I need to look like the women I have been conditioned to think are society’s definition of beauty.
So this year I want to be different. I want to be intentional in my resolutions, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure or goals that are just straight-up unattainable. I don’t want to forego my favorite foods for the sake of how some company defines beauty, nor do I want to believe that eating McDonalds three times a week won’t hurt my body. I want to take the time to think about the woman I am, the woman God created me to be, and what changes and dreams will get me to that place.
For 2013, I want a mindset, not a marketing strategy.
What do you want for the coming year?
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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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