I’m big in making lists and such so for years - many, many years actually - I’d try to sneak an hour to myself on December 31st, to go a coffee shop or a bookstore, and write down my New Year’s resolutions. I’d print them in neatly in a journal or my organizer and feel a wave of energy come over me, a sense of renewal and excitement to tackle them in the new year.
My resolutions would vary from year to year but things like “lose some weight”, “stop being so stressed out”, and “quit (insert biting my nails, or playing with my hair, or biting my lip)” would invariably get on the list. I think they are worthy goals but the thing is, when it got to the end of that next year and I looked through my list the same thing would happen, over and over, like I was stuck in Groundhog Day: Most of my lofty, big resolutions remained unresolved and undone.
I felt like crap, like a failure of some kind. And eventually I decided that feeling like crap wasn’t a good outcome of making New Year’s resolutions. So I stopped. Not making resolutions entirely, but making resolutions that were:
-To NOT do something (e.g. biting my nails). I wanted my resolutions to be positive (e.g. keep my nails looking nice), vs. negative.
-Related to how I look. I made this rule for myself and I have to say, it’s one of the best things I’ve done and I wish I had the wisdom to do it sooner. No resolutions about my weight or how my abs should look or where the fat on my butt should shift to. I get enough pressure to look amazing and thin and in shape from every magazine or TV show I glance at as a woman - no need to pressure myself.
-Not immediately obvious in terms of how I’d achieve them. “I want to stress less” is a really general (although great, I admit) goal that doesn’t have any specific solutions in it. “I am going to go for a daily 20 minute walk” or “I am going to meet a friend for coffee when I am feeling stressed out and anxious” are specific solutions to the stress problem. So they get to go on the list.
-Trying to fix something that I am pretty sure is not fixable. This is related to #2, but I am fairly certain that I will never have a flat stomach so after 33 years of life I’ve stopped making this a goal.
I am sticking with my self-made rules this year. Really, I am. And I’ll prove it to you by sharing what resolutions I AM making in a follow-up post.
But in the meantime, tell me: Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you write them down? Do you share them with others?