It’s New Year’s Resolution time, and I’ve been thinking about what change or improvement in myself I most want to make this year. It’s a tough choice, as I’ve got a lot of material to work with. Should I focus on getting rid of the extra pounds that I invariably add on over the holidays? Or tackle unfinished projects from the recent – or ancient – past? I could work at developing a good habit in some area of my life, or getting rid of a bad one. Or maybe I should pay attention to something that will help me in my business.

I finally decided to sleep on it.

By that I don’t mean I’m putting off making a decision on my resolution. I mean that getting more sleep every night IS my resolution.

Every so often I get a little careless in the “Self Care” category of life, and proper rest is included in that. I wouldn’t call myself seriously sleep deprived, but I know I don’t always get the amount of sleep I’m supposed to get every night. I haven’t noticed any detrimental effects on my state of mind or physical condition, but it could be that what feels normal to me really isn’t. And getting a little more sleep every night would probably cause a noticeable difference – the kind people always report when they give up sugar or soft drinks. Or when they’ve been squinting for years, and finally get glasses.

As New Year’s Resolutions go, getting more sleep probably seems like a lazy one, especially compared to resolutions like losing 20 pounds, quitting smoking, or cleaning out and organizing all the closets and cabinets in the house. But it won’t be as easy as it seems. It’s not simply a matter of turning off the alarm every morning, then rolling over and going back to sleep. My schedule wouldn’t allow that, and even if it did, I usually can’t fall back asleep past a certain time in the morning. So my challenge will be in getting to bed at a decent hour the night before, in spite of the fact that there are always a few more things I want or need to do before calling it a night. Or the fact that I’m simply not sleepy yet.

It’s a matter of training and discipline, though, so my main effort will be on developing new routines at night – forcing myself to turn off the computer and the TV by a certain time, and taking care of “must do” chores and tasks earlier in the evening. Maybe I’ll also develop the practice of reading for half an hour right before bedtime – which would be a good New Year’s Resolution in itself.

If I’m successful at keeping my New Year’s Resolution – and I intend to be – I should notice subtle improvements in my mood, concentration, productivity, and who knows what else. If this sounds like something you might benefit from as well, feel free to make this your New Year’s Resolution, too. And if you’re not sure, don’t worry. You don’t have to decide right now. You can always sleep on it first.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on January 1, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions, or set any new goals for 2015? I’d love to hear what they are! Feel free to leave a comment, but please be aware that all comments will be moderated and approved before appearing on this blog, in order to protect all of us from unwanted spam.