New Year’s resolutions are so hard.
It’s freaking hard to come up with realistic ones, it’s hard to keep to them, and for me, personally, it’s hard to think of this one day a year as a new leaf. What makes today any different from tomorrow? I think it’s really easy to say that ‘this year I’ll be different, things will be different’, but a year is a long time – and how many of us have found ourselves, at the end of the year, lamenting the resolutions we put off and never achieved? I’m not saying this in a pessimistic way, or to be bleak – I’m saying this for the simple reason that I believe we owe ourselves more than just creating resolutions once a year.
It is easy, for instance, for me to say I’m going to start yoga this year, both for fitness and mental well-being, but what makes tomorrow any different from today? I think it’s setting an unrealistic expectation, that life will just magically alter at the stroke of midnight, when one year comes to a close and the next begins. I also think it is this very mentality that has a lot of people giving up on their new year’s resolutions so soon after making them. I won’t magically become a Yogi by tomorrow morning. I shouldn’t expect myself to.
I would much rather live my life knowing that every single day is a new beginning. Every single day, regardless of the time of year, or cultural celebration, is the potential for a fresh start; and that being said – every single day is one where I must work hard towards my life goals.
So set your goals – but don’t make them New Year’s resolutions – make them your life goals. Draw up that vision board, collage the hell out of your push pin board, visualize where you want to be – but for the love of god don’t put an unrealistic time limit on it. Don’t expect to wake up tomorrow and be a different person.
We are our harshest critics, and discouragement is plentiful when that timeline ticks closer, and you find that you have yet to meet that goal you’ve set. I find that is when people often give up: ‘well If I’m nowhere near where I want to be, I might as well just give up and try again next year’.
I find this to be particularly true of myself as a parent, and as someone suffering from an anxiety disorder. I work better with a schedule, yes, but I also know that my personality is a very ‘go, go, go’ personality. That means, if something is on the to-do list, I’m not splitting it up to get done over the course of a week in order to make it more manageable; no, I’m hammering that thing out in one day. Them I’m exhausted, frustrated, and lack the patience and kindness that my family needs and deserves.
So, this year, in order to survive as a busy working mom, and as someone with a hyper-active sense of anxiety, it is incredibly important for me to remind myself that I will get to where my goals are in due time. I need to remind myself that it’s okay if come February I haven’t achieved every single goal I’ve set.
My solution is this: I’d much rather forego the resolutions, and set up some life goals instead. I’d rather take the time to remind myself to be grateful every morning, to remind myself every night that tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity, a new chance to grow as a person. I would rather take the time to enjoy what I’ve worked so hard to gain thus far, and to let myself slowly attain those goals that I find myself striving for.
I would much rather set a positive intention going into the new year, put all the happiness and positivity that I can into that moment, rather than write up a list of arbitrary New Year’s resolutions, that I may never resolve. I want to wake up the next morning, and know that I will have to work, and work hard, to achieve the life that I want, and I want to remember to enjoy that work, that I’m striving for something that’s for me. I want to remember to enjoy and take pride in the journey towards those goals, not simply struggle in my attempts to achieve them. It won’t magically happen at the stroke of midnight, so I’m not going to put that kind of pressure, or that kind of timeline on it.
So, basically what I’m saying is that my resolution this year – is not to make any resolution. Maybe you should try it to.