With every New Year is the hopeful promise that things can be better. That I can be better. Sure. Nothing wrong about that. I’d long given up, however, on the notion of setting real goals specifically to participate in New Year’s resolution-making. Timing-wise, it creeps up on me pretty fast (after a sometimes-hectic holiday season, mind you), and there’s not really enough time to firm up some resolutions I think are realistic and, actually, kind. What a way to start improving myself — shoot right to citing my shortcomings and what I don’t do well enough. They usually come as lightening-fast self-criticisms, like, “You’re starting to look old,” “You have no self-control when it comes to sweets,” or “You eat a lot of red meat for someone who doesn’t exercise regularly.” Yes, one can start from here and come up with some positive, productive resolutions in time for that NYE countdown. But it just doesn’t feel like a sincerely positive place to come from in order to do it. Also, I like myself a little better than that. I don’t want to start the year all negateevo about what I don’t like in myself and my life. Instead, the New Year is more of like, “Alright, I can start thinking about these things and figure out how I want to move forward.” No cold turkey. No hard-drawn lines. No declarations.
So, as I’ve been blanking since NYE on anything I might really be able to form into a resolution… and we’re now mostly through the first week of 2017… I’m going to give myself a break, and give myself points for at least thinking of thinking of resolutions.
An old mentor of mine used to say something like, “Don’t just have a New Year’s resolution — start a New Year’s evolution” (That’s actually not what she said at all… just similar… and I kind of punned it and rephrased it to make it work. It’s certainly a thinker, all the same. And I still credit her for the basic framework of the notion). It’s difficult to grasp the concept of a resolution not being just something of a finish-line. But what about growth, development, and how someone really makes a change? What about time, stride and space? The old cliche about “the journey” still holds true, if you can stop wincing at how cheesy it is long enough to appreciate it. Start somewhere. Plant the seeds for real growth. Remember to work with the good stuff you’ve got, and enjoy the process. It’s the process you’ll remember most, anyhow. Like a movie montage of all the progressive actions you took on different days, wearing different outfits, showing a little improvement with each clip!
That being said, and the thought-process rolling, I’m starting to come up with a few New Year’s evolution-like ideas. This notion is already going around that instead of having solid resolutions to change your life, you can just do more of the things you like to do, and things will be better. That sounds like a pretty good deal to set yourself up for success, if you ask me — watch out, 2017!
If you do have some New Year resolutions on deck for yourself, kudos! Are you excited about what you’re setting out to do? Are you looking forward to getting things done and changing things up? Just remember that if, come March, you suddenly realize that you’ve completely flaked on your resolutions, you can just start again from there. Constantly starting over is better than quitting, altogether. Things take time, so just make some time. Go, have fun. Do stuff you like this year.