I love the New Year. I have loved it since I was very young. Not that there were ever any real celebrations of it (my family doesn’t really celebrate birthdays or the New Year), but I love the sense of newness it brings. I love reflecting on the previous year in terms of what I have done and could do better, and I love making plans for the future. I am the absolute cliché – I write a list of resolutions for the next year and I make a point to check on them from time to time to make sure I’m committing to them. A New Year, it seems to me, is the perfect excuse for self-assessment and motivation.
New Year resolutions get a bad rep. Most people attribute this to the negative outcome from making betterment plans and never accomplishing them, therefore making this attempt a waste of time. The way I see it: if you make unreasonable resolutions, of course you’ll never achieve them. If you make them halfheartedly with no intentions of actually doing them, of course it’s pointless. Never eat sugar again. Of course that’s not going to happen for the most of us. Work out 5 times a week. Yeah, seems pretty steep to me. Remove negativity out of my life. Ok what does that mean? Vague resolutions are not effective either. Over the years I have found that making them specific, attainable and having a committed attitude is what makes them achievable.
This year, of course I have the usual tiny pledges about changing certain habits. I want to wake up 30 minutes earlier than my usual. I want to make sure I move everyday, even for just 10-15 minutes (I can spend hours in front of a laptop and not lift my butt off a chair). I want to eat desserts only twice a week, unless on special occasions such as festivities or my birthday. I want to restrict my social media time to only 30 minutes a day.
But there are also the bigger picture things. This year I am making myself commit to doing at least 3 things that are out of character for me. For me that means trying things that are out of my comfort zone, something I wouldn’t naturally resort to, and something that gives me an opportunity to learn. Maybe a new skill? A new task/project? I’ll figure out what they are this coming week.
I think when you’re in your 30s you tend to easily fall into your own funk. You tend to become a creature of habit, being surrounded by only things and environments you already know and love. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but these circumstances don’t usually create a new learning space. Normality is the opposite of magic. And so as you get older, magic is harder to come by.
So this year, aside from the little things, I want to make space for magic. There will be plans, of course, as I am a sucker for plans, but I will keep it in my conscience to always leave some room for a little magic. Those are definitely things I look forward to in 2023.
What about your plans? Did you write them down? Maybe that’s a good idea, in case you forget about them as we move along. Time has a tendency to do that to you, sometimes.