I have a January birthday, and it is such a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the beginning of the New Year and one’s Natal Year coincide, making the desire to dream up resolutions irresistible. This is good. On the other hand, restrictive, Calvinistic resolves crash headlong into the inclination to celebrate that’s natural to those of us who have a birthday this month. This is bad.

To create a better balance between the virtuous and the venal, I have decided this year to tear a page from the  legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland’s book and add a “Why Don’t You . . . ” section to my  resolutions list. Now that list  includes some frothy and amusing things to try. My hope is that these positive “proddings” will make the usual self-denying prescriptives—to eat less, buy less, swear less, and the like—more tolerable. So, with a gracious nod to the divine DV, some ideas to inspire for 2012 . . . whether you were born in the doldrums of January or the bright light of July.

“Why Don’t You . . . “

Strut Your Stuff

Write Your Own Mantra

Part Your Hair on the Other Side

Say What Everyone Else Is Afraid to

Be Ready for Anything

Make a Prank Phone Call

Whisper in Someone’s Ear

“Why Don’t You . . . “

Think Big

Give Yourself a Nickname

Turn on the Charm

Rattle Your Own Cage

Trade your Exercycle for a Mountain Bike

Make Yourself Laugh Out Loud

Inspire with Courage and Have the Courage to Inspire


Join the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Christie Mattioda February 2, 2012 at 9:13 am

    What delightful thoughts! I am going to try the “Why don’t you…” approach in many aspects of my 2012.

  • Julie Sullivan January 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    As a Personal Development Coach I often “prod” women to try things outside their comfort zones. Doing so can have amazing results, i.e., restoring long-lost self esteem, building confidence to make and sustain change, and re-discovering that JOY can be found in many places. Thanks for the great suggestions!!

  • MaryAnn January 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Love this idea and will share it with all my women friends as we all tend to be so hard on ourselves and each other. I’m going to go make myself laugh out loud right now!

  • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. January 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Love the suggestions MKS. I wonder what will happen if I start to think bigger? God help us all.


  • Patti January 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Love it!! Kind of goes along with my new favorite saying “At any point in time we all have the ability to say this is not how my story ends!” So much better to focus on what we can or want to do differently that will make us happier than what we feel others want us to change about ourselves. A great article to kick off 2012! Thanks for sharing.

  • Peggy Riley January 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Love the idea of the postive approach rather than the negative. So sorry January is almost over. My new way of thinking will just have to roll over to February!

  • Liz Tutton January 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’m changing all my resolutions to ‘Why don’t I…..’ . Why that’s a terrific idea! Ready for my prank phone call?

    January is a wonderful month!


  • Abigail Congdon January 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for the nudge to forget about thinking small, tight and stingy when more joy And growth could result from thinking big, rattling my own cage and turning on the charm, while possibly following style suggestions of Michele Oka Doner from a few days ago. AHH! That feels SO much better! Abigail

  • Karena January 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I love it! Today I AM going to accomplish several of your suggestions!

    Psst I have a Valentines Giveaway I think you will love!!

    Art by Karena