So last week, I presented you with a series of my moderately lofty New Year’s resolutions. I was excited about them. I was full of pep and enthusiasm. 2013 was going to be the year I changed for the better, for good. So obviously, Monday morning rolled around and I could not get myself out of my bed without hitting the snooze alarm about twelve times first. In the past week, I have consistently kept exactly zero of my resolutions.
My problem is, I tend to have an all-or-nothing approach to changing myself; either I’m supposed to be up at 5am having some sort of kale smoothie on my way to do yoga with orphans, or I might as well be sitting on my couch watching a Here Comes Honey Boo Boo marathon while eating ice cream straight from the tub. But this isn’t an either or situation. I can’t flip a switch overnight and become exactly who I want to be.
There’s a reason I think this way, and it’s because I watch too many chick flicks. In the movies, a character makes exactly one decision, often an arbitrary one, and all of a sudden there’s an uplifting song and a montage of that character completely changing her life. In Legally Blonde, Elle buys a laptop, gets a montage that just involves carrying books and reading while on the StairMaster, and then, BOOM, awesome legal internship. In The Devil Wears Prada, Andy asks for a makeover, and then, BOOM, gets an awesome fashion montage and then magically starts killing it at her job. It’s no wonder I assumed that finally giving in and getting an iPhone would change my life. (It did not. Turns out, it’s just a phone. Who knew?)
Fortunately, this week’s episode of The Mindy Project was my entertainment voice of reason. The show is terrifyingly relatable at times. (That episode where Mindy finds that a chunk of her hair has turned into a dreadlock? I get warned about that every time I go to the hair salon, which is why I have stopped going to hair salons.) This week was no exception; Mindy resolves to meet a new guy, get a new look and get into shape, and instead meets a psychopath, buys an old man suit and demonstrates exactly why I am afraid to go to a Zumba class. Despite all this, I have faith that things are going to work out for her, and if Mindy can persevere, so can I. (I will not, on the other hand, be participating in any rap battles anytime soon.)
The moral of the story is that life isn’t a movie, it’s a TV show. (I know it’s neither, but for the purposes of this analogy, let’s pretend.) Change doesn’t happen overnight or set to a zippy soundtrack. Writing down resolutions and trying to have accountability is great, but it’s just the first in a long series of baby steps to permanent improvement. Real problems can’t be solved in 90 minutes, they’re called new year’s resolutions for a reason. The real life self improvement montage is going to have to be set to a lengthy playlist, not just one song. I’m looking forward to seeing the changes the new year will bring, even if they take awhile. If it’s instant gratification you’re looking for, I recommend a hot stone massage.