Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
I don’t recall making a New Year’s resolution until I was probably a teenager. It seemed rather bogus to me at the time — I have to resolve to do something better? Sounds like I’m not trying hard enough in all aspects of my life, not a good feeling — and being forced to remember that at the beginning of each year, even worse. Instead of being excited for the New Year, I started to dread it. Great, it’s a new year, now I get to remind myself how much weight I should lose, how much more productive I should be, or how much I need to change about who I am. It’s already a blue time coming off the holidays, do we really need to add to it?
Thankfully, I came to my senses in my 30s and realized New Year’s doesn’t have to be about beating myself up in hopes of reaching perfection. Instead it’s an opportunity for me to figure out where I am in life, what I still want to get out of it (for me and my family), and what I think will be most helpful to make that happen.
I don’t think of them as resolutions, but as annual restarts. Just like I let my kids starting everyday anew (which is really helpful, particularly when one of them has a tough day), I look at the New Year as an opportunity to start with a clean slate. With that said, here are some of my restart challenges I give myself:
- Try one (or more) of the following during the upcoming year: a new approach, conquer a fear, explore a new job field, try something new, make a new friend, see a new place.
- Remind yourself periodically to be easy on yourself, you’re probably doing better than you think
- Be more present, this life is short (even if you’re fortunate enough to live a long and healthy one). Always be asking yourself, what do you want to still do that you haven’t yet?
Lists like this make me excited and motivated. I’m not shamed, but inspired.
How do you want to restart the New Year?