For years I loved the start of the new year. The chance to start anew with a fresh calendar meant the chance to wipe the slate clean and become a new person. Or so I thought.
The more I think on the concept of New Year’s resolutions the more I think they set us up for failure by implying high expectations. We create our lists and share them with family and friends determined that this year is going to be our year! We will do more than we ever have – lose weight, save lots of money, find our dream job, take on the world! Never mind the fact that statistically most resolutions are abandoned by February.
Now I’m not saying that goal setting isn’t a good concept. I just think creating a year’s worth of goals to begin on one particular day of the year is futile. Every month, every week and every day we have a chance to tackle a new goal. Whenever people ‘fall off the wagon’ instead of thinking “Oh well, maybe next year” they need to think “Tomorrow is a new day.”
This year alone without ever having made a formal New Year’s resolution for any of them, I have accomplished several goals. In August I decided to keep a log of my workouts to ensure that I never skip working out more than two days in a row. To date it has worked. I wanted to explore new subjects as I missed learning, and I signed up and completed two Coursera classes. I’ve also watched several documentaries on a wide range of topics and in doing so have developed a passion for certain causes. I’ve donated more money to charities than I have any other year. I didn’t hold off and wait for 2017 to begin. I simply made internal goals and picked my own date to start.
Every year I formally or informally create a resolution to write more. This is made with the underlying hope that somehow that will be what starts me on a path to writing a novel. I fail. Every year. Some could argue it’s because I don’t set out an actual plan. Much like running though I cannot force myself to stick to a regiment of writing. The passion has to be there or else it will feel like a chore that I will grow to loathe rather than love.
This year I’m not going to make that resolution. I’m not going to make any. I am just going to trust that when the time, energy and motivation are right for a certain goal then I will undertake it. I don’t need to wipe any slates clean. I’m not striving to become a “new” or “better” person. I’m content to enjoy my life as it is and who I am as a person. Life doesn’t always need to be a checklist of goals we need to achieve.
Here is to 2017 becoming whatever it is meant to be for all of us, with or without New Year’s resolutions.