Happy First Monday of the New Year!
Is everyone starting on their New Year’s resolution today? Because it’s Monday, and we always wait until Monday….
I have a confession.
I love New Years Resolutions. In all their cheesy, it’s a new start, glory. I don’t think resolutions have to occur at new years specifically, but there is something about the new year, or the new school year or the changing of the season that always feels like a good time for a fresh start.
I used to make very traditional goals; lose weight, get in better shape, just make myself “a better person” (though my goals weren’t often focused on being more compassionate, listen more or things that really might improve humanity – go figure). The goals I used to make on New Years would make any S.M.A.R.T goal planner proud; they’d always be specific, measurable, achievable (in my mind), realistic and timely. Of course they were always very outcome oriented; to lose ten pounds, to run a sub 1:50 half marathon. And if I never quite reached that exact outcome it would mean I failed, and the feeling I’d hoped to have with that goal would never surface, instead I’d be left feeling angry, and disappointed in myself. (this is my perfectionist shining through, being a couple pounds from a goal or being a couple minutes off your goal time should not be reasons to feel like a failure) This is the kind of goal making I broke up with a while ago, you can read about why in this post. In fact, those outcome oriented goals seem to be what a lot of experts are telling us to stop resolving to do. Here’s an interesting article on a similar idea.
For the last couple years as I avoided goal making in general, which I needed, I began to have a more balanced approach to what it really means to succeed or fail. So moving forward into this year I’ve come to accept that I have to make some specific tangible, action oriented goals. Having done my share of soul searching in the past year I’ve realized certain areas of my life aren’t satisfying in general. And no amount of wishing for them to improve will. So while I’m avoiding getting attached to the outcome, I am trying to take action in those areas of my life, to hopefully lead to long term changes, without sacrificing happiness in the short term. After all goals can be very motivating, and actually a great source of happiness in and of themselves.
So this year I have some goals again, and I can say that if I had a theme it would probably be “action”.
What are your new years resolutions, if any?