Resolutions: The Promises We Love To Hate, And Hate To Keep

Happy New Year! I cannot believe that another year has flown by. I know it is cliche to say, but it truly feels like we blinked and the year came to a close. I think it’s because we spent so much time inside, and crossing our fingers that things will improve. Cheers to making it through the past year, and getting ready for the one ahead. I have a lot coming down the pipes. A lot of change is happening this year, and I am looking forward to some amazing opportunities. I can’t wait to share as things unfold.

A new year is synonymous with our resolve to do be and be better. We often talk about our resolutions to make this year the best one yet. Resolutions are a funny kind of magic. Every year, on January 1, we make a promise to ourselves to change something. Whatever it is, it is usually something we have been thinking about for quite some time. Resolutions aren’t decisions we make on a whim. They are the “thing” that we most want to change about our lives: get healthier, work less, find more balance, do yoga, travel… the bucket list goes on and on. These are the things we want to do but are being stopped from doing in some way, shape or form. Maybe the timing is wrong, maybe the motivation just isn’t there, or there are too many work commitments. There is always a reason why it can’t happen in July, October, or December.

And then comes magical January 1st. The shiny date of eternal optimism. The promise of a new year and all the potential that it holds. We can do anything on January 1st! We can accomplish all our goals! Anything we set our minds to! We are SUPER PEOPLE! January 1st makes things easy – we can eat all the kale, do all the push-ups, and dream-board all the vacations.

January 2nd, however… that is a whole other story. This is when our reality sets in, and we realize we are in it for the long haul. Those bright shiny goals and dreams begin to turn into work. We have to hold ourselves accountable to the goals we set just a day before. We cannot give up so soon.

Now before you stop reading and think that this is the most pessimistic blog post ever, hear me out. Where you think this is going is not necessarily where we will end up. Which, ironically, is exactly what happens with resolutions. By designating a specific day for change, and hoping that we will maintain a new mindset for 365 days, we are setting ourselves up to fail. I’m not saying change isn’t possible, or that goal-setting isn’t important, because neither of those things is true. But don’t forget – the definition of insanity Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If, historically, we have trouble keeping our resolutions why do we set them every year? Why do we think that somehow THIS January 1st will be different?

Instead, I propose a different mindset. Do you. Be you. Do what makes you happy. Endeavour to better yourself physically, mentally, socially, or academically. But don’t tie it to a magical date and expect to follow it for 12 months. Instead set short-term goals with attainable timelines. But don’t wait for the beginning of the year. Start any day! Strive to vision-board your long-term goals and do all the things. But don’t set a year-long timeline. Make them any length! Goals are meant to be ever-changing, evolving, and growing with us. We don’t need to put ourselves in the “new years resolution” box. By doing so, we set ourselves up to be disappointed. There is too much pressure tied into these resolutions, and we simply end up waiting until the following year to start again.

So for the next 12 months, in a year that is already setting up to be a doozy, let’s take it day-by-day. Let’s set goals that are meaningful and attainable, and work towards them one day at a time. Let’s be kind to ourselves and give ourselves grace. Will I be doing this all the time? Absolutely not. Is this easier to type than follow through on? You’d better believe it. But I’m trying, just like everyone else.

This is life. Love, Mom.

3 thoughts on “Resolutions: The Promises We Love To Hate, And Hate To Keep

  1. Great advice! And it’s so true – there’s always SO many people out running in January. Now that February’s rolled around it’s calmed down again. 😂. I don’t know if you’ve ever read Atomic Habits. I thought it was a great book with a much more manageable way to start new habits.

    Liked by 1 person

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