Every December, I would sit down and make a list of resolutions for the new year. I’m a fan of goal-setting, and I once read that you are much more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down, so I figured a list would only increase my odds of success. Plus, I love to write, so everything about resolutions SCREAMED, “Laura!” to me. But here was the issue – I would be all hype about my list in January, maybe even February, but by March the list of resolutions got replaced by a list of errands, and that would be the end of that.
And it wasn’t because my goals were unrealistic (Ok, maybe the year I resolved to stop cursing was a stretch), or because they didn’t matter to me; they did! But life happens. What was important in January (i.e. cursing less) may not be so paramount in March (“Why the f*ck is it taking so long for Spring Break to get here?”)
It doesn’t need to be January for you to re-evaluate your situation and resolve to make some changes where you see fit, just be flexible. Recognize that every month, every week (in my life, every HOUR) brings its’ own set of challenges and you have to adjust accordingly. I’ve personally let go of resolutions and replaced them with mantras, little sayings that I can repeat to myself (or read off a post-it note on my desk or mirror) to bring myself back to my center in times of stress. Two of my favorites are:
“Don’t be upset about things you can’t control.”
“Say only what you mean.”
(My latest is “one day at a time,” but more on that in another post).
Resolutions are calls to action that usually have very specific deadlines, which if not met can leave you feeling like you’ve failed. There’s no need to go through the “new year, new me” cycle every January 1st. The current you is just fine. Just strive to be better today than you were yesterday, and you’ll see that you’ll end everyday feeling accomplished. Now that is a good way to start the year.