My Tennis Resolutions

There are two types of people. Those who like New Year’s resolutions and those who don’t.

I’m firmly in the camp of resolvers. I love envisioning a new and improved version of me, one in which I’m flossing religiously and filing all my paperwork away and running 10Ks and drinking juiced kale for breakfast. That me is friggin’ awesome.

About a decade ago, in the days leading up to New Year’s, I made twenty-six resolutions. I had to write them down just to remember them all. I had all the bases covered—weight loss, housework, writing, exercise, learning a new language. I drew up a giant chart with colored markers and stocked up on shiny gold stars. It was all so exciting and promising…

…until January 1st came and I had to execute this monstrous self-improvement plan. I spent all my waking hours trying to keep on top of my chart, constantly checking to see which tasks were still uncompleted and feeling inadequate every single minute of the day. It was exhausting and dispiriting, and the chart was in the trash by the end of the week.

The key, of course, is to shoot for small changes—and not too many of them. Every year my resolutions shrink in size and number. Two years ago, I resolved to never leave a hair appointment without setting up the next one. Not exactly inspiring, is it? Nevertheless, that small change has stuck and has made my life marginally more manageable. That’s probably all we can reasonably expect from a resolution.

By now I feel like I’ve mastered this resolution business, which is why I was surprised to see that I didn’t make any tennis-related resolutions on this blog this time last year. How can that be? It surely isn’t because I have nothing to improve. I could have resolved to poach more, or learn a drop shot, or play more singles. I could have resolved to upgrade my tennis wardrobe. (Yes, you can steal that last resolution, if you want.)

This year, setting a tennis resolution is trickier since my shoulder is still frozen and I don’t know when I’ll be able to play again. But after a little reflection, I’ve come up with these three:

Resolution 1. Do my physical therapy twice a day, every day. Is it cheating if I’m already doing this? I don’t care. I’m including it anyway.

Resolution 2. Write a blog post at least three times a month. That’s a pretty low bar. Remember when I was churning out three posts a week? I must have been on crack.

Resolution 3. Be kind to myself when I play. When I get back on the court, I’m going to suck—and when I suck, I get negative. But what I’ve learned over the past couple of months is that sucking on the court still beats not sucking on the sidelines. Going forward, I resolve to just be grateful that I’m playing and enjoy.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Do you have any resolutions, tennis-themed or otherwise? What do you hope to achieve in 2020?

11 thoughts on “My Tennis Resolutions

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  1. Brilliant: The key, of course, is to shoot for small changes—and not too many of them.
    Great post, great wisdom, and I look forward to your eventual resuming of a great game. When you do, you will have a renewed appreciation for what it means to you to be on court.

  2. Great Blog! Just praying your shoulder unfreezes soon! You have too much time on you hands to think.. need to get playing soon.

    1. Too much time on my hands? Why, I have a jam-packed day ahead, starting with rolling coins at 9, followed by alphabetizing my spice rack at 10:30. I also have to shower and eat and pet the cat. I’m not even sure where I would fit tennis in.

  3. Deb, I LOVE this. I am also a resolver. Over the past couple of years, in the spirit of breaking off small chunks, I have committed to a resolution a month and the improvements kind of build up throughout the year. Good stuff. And given that I’m ALSO dealing with the damn frozen shoulder, I will be cribbing a bit from your list! Hoping to meet you back on the courts soon. xoxo

    1. A resolution a month sounds much more sensible than 26 at one time. Lol.

      Maybe you and I can start our own frozen shoulder league. We’ll call it Tin Man Tennis.

  4. Excellent advice. If I can be so bold, I’ll suggest one more resolution – write more and share with the world. You have such an incredible talent! <3

  5. I don’t use the word “Resolution” anymore…it’s to associated with the idea of “broken” and kind of an all or nothing concept.

    I think of my goals for this year as Aspirations. In that way I can take some pride and pleasure as I move towards achievement, even if I slip now and then.

    One current aspiration — though it may sound picayune — is to eat less chocolate. That should help my tennis game, yes?

    1. “Aspire” is too wishy-washy for me. It’s all dreamy and fuzzy with not enough conviction behind it. I already lack discipline, so I need the rigor of a word like “resolution.” But if aspiring works for you, go for it.

      Why would anyone aspire to less chocolate? That’s just weird.

  6. Weird, yes maybe a little. But if I eat less chocolate, I can eat MORE Ice Cream!
    Mmm, J.P. Licks rum raisin…
    Mmm, Haagen Daz vanilla…
    (My list is endless)

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