New Year's Resolutions

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So it’s that time of year again where everyone makes New Year’s resolutions. This will be the year I get skinny. This will be the year I quit smoking. This will be the year I become a millionaire and get a multi-media book deal. I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. While I believe it can be a great time to think about what you want in life, I feel like the hype of New Year’s resolutions will only last for a few weeks and then fall quietly into death. I could be wrong. There are probably lots of people who make resolutions and stick to them, but I don’t see the point of centering goals around one time of year. Or rather I do, but I think if you have a desire to change, you shouldn’t have to wait for a specific time to make that change.

I’m all for goal setting, even if I haven’t had that much experience with it. But the thing with goals is that if you want them to work you really have to truly want them. It’s very easy to justify not doing them by thinking I’m too busy for this, or I’m too tired or I’ll do it tomorrow. I know this because I’ve done it myself. I’ve both followed through on goals and failed at following them through.

Two examples from my life are finishing the first draft of the novel I’m working on, and writing in a journal every day. The journal I followed through on, and am still doing it. It’s become part of my routine now. But with the novel, I’m not anywhere near to where I planned to be by the end of December/early January. Was I busy this past month? Yes. Could I have spent more time on the novel anyway? Yes. It’s not that I don’t want to work on the novel, it’s that I let myself justify not working on it. So what does all this have to do with New Year’s resolutions?

Well I think the idea of New Year’s resolutions are a wee bit romanticized. It’s all too easy to say that I’ll make this resolution for the New Year, when the New Year seems far away and you have no idea how much work said goal is going to involve. It’s easy to think New Year, New You, but it doesn’t work that way. Envisioning a goal is different from actually working toward a goal. And you don’t need the New Year to set a goal.

Now even though I’ve said all this I do like the idea behind New Year’s resolutions. I like the idea of looking at your life and thinking about what you could do to improve it. In fact, I’m even considering doing a 30 day blog challenge myself in the New Year, as I’ve really been slacking on my blog lately. I just think that if you’re going to make a resolution, it should be important, and you should have an actual plan. It shouldn’t be flip or romanticized or you might as well not even make it because it won’t happen. And what’s the point of making a goal you know you won’t follow through on?

Do you make New Year’s resolutions, and have they ever worked for you in the past? Oh, and I do hope you have a Happy New Year :)

Photo Credit: Frankieleon  Happy New Year via photopin (license)