I know it’s January 23 and I know that writing about resolutions at the beginning of a new year is a bit of a cliché, but…
This is not the type of post where I write down my resolutions for the next year. I don’t think anyone cares about them and I also don’t think they’re anyone’s business. This is a post where I explain why I think it’s important to make resolutions – not necessarily on New Year – and how I will try to keep mine.
Time is a construct of human perception. We are also the ones who divided it into centuries, decades, years and so on. The whole New Year concept is something that we came up with. It is a way for us to look back over the last chunk of time that has passed and analyze our lives – good decisions, bad decisions, accomplishments, failures, habits, relationships and many, many other aspects. After we’re done analyzing and scolding ourselves, we make resolutions for the next chunk of time that’s unfolding in front of us, which is usually a new year, because we still feel the need for “new beginnings”. The thing is, in most cases, we give almost all of them up by the end of January.
Making resolutions is a good thing. It means we are consciously making the decision to work on ourselves towards improvement. Where we go wrong is the way we approach the whole thing. Conscious change requires not only effort and determination, but also purpose, calm and patience. We are often too eager, too harsh and way too critical. By doing that, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better, to do better, to meet those resolutions to the point where they become chores, daily obligations, making it easier for us to ditch them. We also want to work on all aspects at once. We promise ourselves to work on everything, every day; we get overwhelmed. Skip a day and we give up.
Let’s try something different, milder.
Was last year a good year? Could it have been better? What areas could use improvement? What can I change in order to do better this year? It’s not going to be perfect, nothing ever is. So what do I keep? What do I let go of? What are my goals? What do I want to accomplish? Change occurs gradually, so I won’t stress about it. I will make a conscious effort to change little by little. I screwed up today. It’s okay, I’ll be back at it tomorrow. Baby steps.
It is important to set goals, and make plans, and want to be a better you, but don’t forget that you are human and be kind to yourself in the process.
Happy New Year!