How do you feel about New Year's Resolutions?
From my experience, most of you will be lamenting your failed promises right around now. 10-15 days after the commencement of the new year (or sometimes more like 5-10).
I made some pretty hefty resolutions last year, and (shocking) I didn't keep up with any of them.
Not to be a downer or anything -- maybe some of you will actually stay true to your resolutions! But oftentimes I find them to be rather empty, which is why I usually don't participate in the whole charade. I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure -- making big promises of change that I know deep down I won't keep.
This past year I found myself feeling overwhelmed and bogged down by all of things I had set in front of myself, including things that I love, like reading, blogging and crafting.
In 2013, I only read 17 of the 36 books I wanted to read. I all but abandoned my Etsy shop - I didn't make any of the big milestone achievements I was hoping to.
|Top (shop!) / Coated Pants (shop!): Ruche|
(trying out the coated jeans I mentioned here!)
You know what I did do, though?
I completely changed my style. I started a fashion blog. I went to London and Paris, and walked on Abbey Road. I bought a painting in front of the Notre Dame. I wrote a daily love journal to my husband. I became a life group leader for our church. I dyed the tips of my hair red. I got way better at playing volleyball, thanks to an incredible summer. I met Needtobreathe. I lost ten pounds. I made new friends. I conquered fears. I made countless road trips to the mountains, to historical sites, to new cities. I stopped biting my nails. I discovered new music. I turned 25.
Wouldn't it be awesome if we celebrated the end of each year for everything we accomplished, or even the things we failed at but learned from?
Maybe on December 31st, instead of saying "I will get to my goal weight," "I am totally going to give up soda", or "I am going to read 100 books this year!", we could write out a list of all the things we already did without even realizing they were important to us. The unspoken resolutions.
Because the bottom line is, people do what's most important to them. Every time. You can say you want to lose ten pounds, but when you have a choice between working out and watching TV, and you choose the TV, the TV is your priority. If you wanted to work out that badly, you'd do it.
If you wanted to go on a trip that badly, you'd save your money for it -- you'd give up spending it on coffee, clothes, movies, eating out, and you would make it happen.
I think oftentimes the best change comes from looking to the past, to the historical patterns of your life, and rectifying those mistakes and celebrating those successes. The future is built on those things.
I don't think New Year's Resolutions are bad or evil, but I think most people set themselves up for failure by feeling this renewed sense of self in the party moment -- convincing themselves they will change when they've never even really figured out why they've never succeeded in the past.
So here's to 2013 -- to all of the times I said yes, to all of the adventures, for the books I did read, for the creative moments and the spontaneous moments.
And here's to 2014 -- to all of the things I will do, most of which are still a beautiful mystery.