Themes > resolutions for the New Year
Resolutions are set up for us to fail. They tend to be either narrowly specific or wildly vague. I must go to the gym three times a week, or I’m going to eat healthy.
Resolutions also seem to be based on the idea of perfectionism, not growth.
Historically, I too am guilty of creating strict, unrealistic goals for myself, and then beating myself up for them mid-January after I’ve abandoned all hope.
Yet, I’m still a firm believer that continual growth is essential. If we compare ourselves to the previous year and we haven’t changed at all, we’re selling ourselves short. There’s so much to see, to learn, to read, and do…
We all have different metrics for success, and there’s no way traditional resolutions will work for all of us. Instead, maybe we should determine a metric that suits how we define success in the new year.
For those wanting to set goals for growth when the calendar page turns, I propose that instead of setting resolutions to check off a list, that you choose a theme or word to guide your new year.
What’s that look like?
For 2018, the word that defined my year was stance. I finally took a stance on things that were important to me. I took a stance on how I wanted to spend my time and how I didn’t. I explored the different possibilities and perspectives of how I wanted to live my life – some of which I’ve kept, some of which I nixed. I took chances with my career and am still settling into what that looks like. Even if I didn’t have a particular stance on a topic, I learned more about it until I could have an opinion.
As for 2019, I again chose not a specific list of things I want to accomplish, but another word that will help guide me throughout the year – brave. I spent 2018 taking a stance on things, now it is time to go after those ideas. To be brave enough to pitch magazines that I want to write for, to be brave enough to learn from criticism, to be brave enough to always try new things, to be brave enough to admit when I’m wrong, and to be brave enough to stand up for others and myself.
It might not be a traditional checklist, but if I can manage to do those things throughout the coming year in some form or another, that’s a type of success, is it not?
Some of my dear friends gathered at our home last week, and we all discussed words of 2018 and 2019 – among them were themes like purpose, rebirth, intention, and guts – each holding a unique perspective and filter for thought for the new year.
Nobody talked about how he or she failed to go to the gym three times a week.
At the end of the day, we are all messy and complicated creatures. I already know that some days ahead will be less than perfect. Other days I will most certainly not be brave, and I’ll want to retreat to my bed and cover up with my duvet.
But while resolutions are infallible, themes are not. They present themselves in different forms throughout the year, and they reset every day. We can always try again tomorrow.
When we set themes, what we are striving for is growth, not perfection.
To all that was, and all that will be - cheers.