“I hate New Year’s resolutions,” a friend said to me. “Just another promise to myself that I won’t keep. Another way to let myself down.”
I found that interesting. I don’t think of resolutions that way – as a pass or fail endeavor. Oh sure, who hasn’t said, I’m going to lose 15 lbs. this year, only to lose interest by January 10 and gain an additional five by April. But I like to think of them as opportunities, or a new beginning. I love a new, empty notebook waiting to be filled, and I feel much the same way about a clean, fresh calendar.
According to my friend, Google, New Year’s resolutions (NYR) have a religious origin. That seems logical. Who hasn’t promised, “Oh God, if you just get me through this, I’ll be a better person.” Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. I like it. I’ve always had an interest in NYR and those are pretty much two of the best I’ve heard. Sort of timeless. I imagine that NYR today differ quite a bit from that of the ancient Babylonians, or even of those made by our parents/grandparents.
I don’t imagine “Focus on self-care” or “Make new friends” was very high on my grandmother’s NYR list.
My past resolutions have been all over the place, both figuratively and literally. I don’t have a good accounting of them. To be successful, I should probably not only write them down, but remember where I wrote them down and refer to them on occasion. This past year, I adopted a visualization board and though it optimally should be in a more prominent location, (the never ending compromise of living with another individual) I feel like I’ve had some success with it. I no longer need to put “write more” on my NYR list. I’m doing it.
Historically, I’ve tried to include some enjoyable things in the mix. My usual suspects include lose weight, read more, pay off my credit cards and play the piano. But I’ve also tried some new and “not typically me” things, like purging EVERYTHING in my refrigerator on New Year’s Eve – who knows how old some of those salad dressings and condiments are?!
But whether it is January 1 or November 13, I love the spirit of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” The power of positive thinking. I’ll be filling up my Facebook page with happy, kick-ass, Badass quotes for the month of January and probably beyond. The wanting it, wishing for it, and keeping it top of mind will make it happen.
My 2019 NYR list looks something like this.
- When someone asks me how I’ve been or what I’ve been doing, replace my go to “I’m busy” with “I’m enjoying life.”
- Compliment a stranger.
- Tell my friends and family how much they mean to me.
- Help someone in need.
- Be part of an inclusive group, not an exclusive group. (Thank you, Dad.)
Oh, and clean out a closet.