My History with New YEar’s Resolutions:
I’ve always loved new year’s resolutions. Turning over a new leaf is something I still get super excited by. I’m very into making myself a better person and then being super excited about it.
There is something about the gluttony and not doing things as normal that happens between Thanksgiving and New YEar’s really beautifully sets up the Fruitless Ambitions Making of New years Resolutions. You go to any holiday party and random people there are eating things that are on the Bad list, and doing things they will not do as soon as the holidays have been enjoyed or survived.
Coming out of that overspending, overeating, Overeating Bad Foods,over gifting, and overdriniking, binge tv watching, makes most people set up to clean up their act as soon as New YEar’s Eve is over. Just pick up any fashion or lifestyle magazine, look at their November and December issues. There are lots of articles about how to manage your binging in the holiday season and how to set yourself up to really adopt a good habit and stop doing the bad one. So I like having company making all these grand resolutions and failing for once not being alone at failing at it.
As with most things, I used to be super extra enthusiastic about New Year’s resolutions. I’d write them down, definitely have a huge impossible list of resolutions and get super pumped about all the BIG Changes I was going to do to make myself a Super Better version of myself. In true form I’d quickly forget where I put the paper I wrote them on and by the end of the year vaguely remember a few and get into it all over again. I’ve mellowed over the years and had to admit the reality that most people make resolutions and keep them for a few weeks in January. Never wanting to be “Most People”, I was quite disappointed in myself. Over the last bunch of years I’ve tried other kinds of versions of new years resolutions that feel a bit different. I’ve also noticed that some people now think New year’s resolutions are arbitrary and there seems to be a growing number of people who don’t do them for these reasons, which makes me a bit sad. At the small gathering I went to last night I was the only one who had a written down list of resolutions and the only person who was interested in talking about them. I quickly put away my notebook and decided to have my own private Yay I Have a Great List of Resolutions This Year. I guess I’m having that party on this blog!
One way to approach new years resolutions is to resolve to do something sort of new that isn’t very hard and nobody tends to make as a resolutions. With this one you accomplish being original and different and being more able to keep up the behavior. I’ve known people who have resolved to drink more alcohol, as they never liked drinking but have started to like it a little. A few years ago, I resolved to wear more makeup, really meaning wear makeup at all. Surprisingly, while I didn’t remember to do it much then, about a year ago, I started doing it and getting into it, and now I wear eye makeup and lipstick more often. I get the added pleasure that every time I bother to put on makeup I’m celebrating that I’m still doing something I resolved to do!
Another approach its to take something you recently enjoyed doing and thought, “wow this is fun. It would be great to do this once a week.” Last year it was ice-skating, which I had started doing the year before and loved it. So last year I wrote that I would ice skate more. I probably ice skated less than the year before but I did ice skate a few times. This kind of resolution is best phrased as ” I will do _____ more.” That way you are set up to probably succeed. This year, I decided to do this with bowling. I never bowled or even went to bowling places until just a few years ago. Every time I go, I like it more. I went once over vacation last week and had a great time. I’m terrible at it, but for some reason it seems really compelling. My bowling fantasy is to have tons of extra money and get my own bowling alley, and get to bowl almost every day and at any time of day. Since I still have to go to a bowling place and pay a significant amount, I won’t be bowling super often but I can still resolve to do it “more” and succeeded.
In recent years, I’ve also got into the “Spiritual” category of Resolutions because they seem fun and you can’t fail at them, which is almost impossible to believe. I’m talking about things that you would’d want to read out loud to someone but you want to do, like “Deepen My Yoga Practice”. You can’t fail at depending something if you are doing it regularly already and have gotten over that challenge. Since I manage to do yoga on an almost daily basis (about 20 minutes most of the time), and can do it late at night, I can say that in 2015 I accomplished that Intention! You can come up with a few resolutions like that, such as, “I want to be a kinder person.”, “I want to be more mindful.”, “I want to be less negative.” (Being less negative than you are does not mean you have to be more positive, which makes it more compelling.) “I want to stop yelling.”
The last category are the “Abundance” Resolutions that are a bit like the Doing Some Fun thing more but about other kinds of abundance. “I want to read more books.” is on my list for this year and is more about doing something that is guaranteed to generate something else, in my case, writing. When I read more books, I write more. It’s happening today. This blog post exists because today, I’m resolutely reading my library book from a month ago. The cool thing about an abundance type of resolution is that it adds abundance to other areas of your life, like the above with reading and writing.
SO that’s it about New yEars resolutions. Don’t make them if you have decided they are usedess and ridiculous and you don’t want to make them. I think they are ridiculous in quite a lovely way, so I am going to keep doing them every year and changing it up each year.