‘On The Couch’ With Jasminda


Dear Jasminda,

Last week my husband and I set our New Year’s Resolutions. Mine was to do at least 10,000 steps a day and eat more fruit; his was to try to be happy in his body and drink more alcohol. I just can’t see this working.

Mrs Miriam H.

Dear Miriam,

Your resolutions are admirable if not a tad boring, and I write this eating a banana and waving one arm in the air so I can trick my Fitbit into thinking I’m doing something physical. My husband is in the garden and he thinks I’m waving him in for lunch, poor misguided soul that he is.

Given the very low statistics of people actually sticking to their resolutions, I wonder why so many of us start them (with good intentions) each and every year, only to fail miserably on around January 15 and crash and burn entirely by March.

I think we all have expectations that are just a bit outside the realm of reality, particularly at the moment with mask mandates in Greater Sydney, the insular peninsular now having no choice but to stick to themselves, and major traffic jams as states once again shut their borders.

Okay, I’m going to take one of your husband’s resolutions and see if it stands up to the tried and true SMART goalsetting formula.

S – Specific – Yes, his goal is specific, to him anyway, since only he truly knows how much alcohol he drinks. Maybe he could have made it more specific by quantifying it a bit better: ‘I will drink three more beers each week, up from my current quota of 21.’

M – Measurable – He will most certainly be able to measure his increase unless he gets rolling drunk and fails to keep an adequate tally.

Achievable – I think it goes without saying that your husband has set an achievable goal. So far so good.

Realistic – Yes, unless the bottle shops close (and given the current priority list with bottle shops a close second to medical centres in the old ‘essential services checklist’, that’s unlikely).

Time framed – This needs a bit of tweaking. Is he drinking more for the entire year? For a couple of months? Until Parched March or Papal April or Light-of-day May or Immune June or Dry July or Sober October or Remember November?

Overall, I feel he is on the way to success with this resolution. In fact, I reckon while you are achieving less than 5000 steps, he’ll be slugging away on a longneck like a champion, glowing with a sense of achievement (or a bad case of Rhinophyma).

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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