Friday, December 18, 2009

Bridget Jones's resolutions, an analysis

The wonderful book Bridget Jones’s Diary famously starts with a short chapter titled "New Year’s Resolutions" and two lists: “I Will Not” and “I Will.” Bridget is sometimes motivated by the negative list and sometimes the positive. To hedge her bets, she puts some things on both, as in “I will not smoke,” and “I will stop smoking.” Some of the items are vague, and she’d benefit from being more specific about actionable steps that could get her to her goals. For instance, she writes, “I will make better use of time,” without detailing what constitutes a better use. In other areas, she’s more specific, such as detailing the sorts of men she will not fall for, including “alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives…etc.” Some of her resolutions are so grand as to evoke a smile even among the most ambitious, such as “I will form functional relationship with responsible adult.” And of course, she has several, as many people do, that relate to organizing her life, such as “I will not allow in-tray to rage out of control,” “I will purge flat of all extraneous matter,” “I will give all clothes which have not worn for two years or more to homeless,” and, of course, “I will put photographs in photo albums. “ That last one is on my list as well!

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Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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