Dear Grandparenting: Thought you might enjoy what I’ve gotten myself into with my grandkids. One thing led to another over Thanksgiving a good-natured way. I wound up in a contest with my daughter’s two teenagers about who could keep a New Year’s resolution the longest.
We’ll get together before the stroke of midnight come Jan. 31 to finalize everything. We’re each putting up $20, winner take all. I intend to set a good example and finish what I start. And I’m also hoping my grandkids hit it out of the park and build up some confidence. Got any pointers for we three rookies? Aaron Weber, Seattle, Washington
Dear Aaron: Here we go again with our national annual orgy of resolution making, soon followed by an epidemic of resolution breaking. According to informed estimates, 90% of resolution-makers are found backsliding come February.
Willpower is nice, but recent research likens it to a muscle that tires from too much use. A bigger problem is what psychologists call “affective forecasting,” predicting how we’ll feel about doing something in the future. What sounds like a great idea at the time loses its appeal come Jan. 1.
America’s booming self-improvement industry is standing by. Personal change coaches say the trick is sustaining the motivation needed to achieve lasting change, so heartfelt goals from within stand the best chance of success.
Congratulations on your little family plan — grandparents should leap at the chance to share such experiences with grandchildren. Avoid setting a goal that is too grand or overly ambitious for starters, and don’t spread yourself too thin. One resolution seems all we can handle.
We like the SMART method — setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (personally meaningful) and time-based. Sharing your resolution with others generates a network of supporters to help keep you going — and keep you honest. Good luck!
Grand remark of the week
Sandy Lewis from Kingsport, Tennessee recommends this quote attributed to the late actress Helen Hays: “Age only matters if you’re cheese.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.