As yet another year draws to close, the age-old question rolls around once more.
What are your New Year’s Resolutions?
Like a lot of people, I make resolutions every year. And like a lot of people, I promptly forget about them. By the time I remember that actually, I wasn’t supposed to be eating chocolate for the month of January, I’m eight segments into a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and feeling like a huge failure. And then I just give up, and finish the rest of the Chocolate Orange. Damn you, Terry.
This week, I thought a lot about whether I even wanted to make any resolutions. If my track record has proven time and again that I never manage to keep them up, why should I bother setting myself up for failure? I had all but committed to the idea of abandoning resolutions in 2017 when a new thought entered my head.
What if I’ve been making the wrong resolutions?
A simple enough question, with a pretty obvious answer. Yes. Of course I’ve been making the wrong resolutions. Each and every year, I promise myself that I will renew my gym membership and go three times a week, drink a specific amount of water per day, commit myself to writing two blog posts a week, and not allow even a milligram of chocolate past my lips for a month. The usual shit, you know?
These resolutions might suit somebody else perfectly, but I’ve realised that there not for me. I don’t like to be restricted by when and how often to do things. I like to do things in my own time, at my own pace. And by setting myself such measured resolutions, it becomes incredibly easy to mark yourself as a failure.
For 2017, I’ve decided to change it up a bit. I don’t want to focus on losing a certain amount of weight – I want to focus on being healthier. I don’t want to focus on writing a certain amount of posts a week, no matter what – I want to focus on writing things that are clever and important and that bring me joy. To put it simply: my new resolutions can’t be measured. There’s no way to say that I’ve passed or failed – as long as I try to make positive changes, then I’m doing a good job.
And so, here they are. My eight resolutions for making 2017 a good one.
1. Make the most out of my time. I’ll be travelling around Australia quite a bit this year, and I want to make sure that I don’t take my time away for granted. I want to see things. I want to do things. I want to make sure I’m living my life.
2. Cherish friends. Put more effort into keeping in contact and starting conversations. Be thoughtful toward the friends that I have. Make plans with them – as many as possible – but above all, make memories.
3. Volunteer. For far too long I have been talking about taking action, but never actually taking action. This year, I want to stop saying things and start doing things to make a change.
4. Write more. Like I said above, I’ve always been terrible at sticking to a schedule. This year, I want to write more, but without the pressure. I want to push my creativity, and do it for the sheer joy of being creative.
5. Cherish family. Having a family divided between the UK and Australia makes talking hard, but it’s not impossible. I want to pick up the phone more, and pay more visits to the grandparents and cousins and aunties that surround me. I want to enjoy all the time with them that I can.
6. Work hard to find my passion. This is something I’ve struggled with for a while, and I think it’s my most concrete resolution for 2017. I don’t need to be in my perfect job by the end of the year, but I want to broaden my horizons in search of my passion.
7. Be clever. Not in the brainy way, though I’m sure knowing a bit more couldn’t hurt me, but in life. I want to save money and eat well and think about my future. I want to make solid goals and plan how I’m going to reach them. (This might also be called regular common sense – but I’ve never had much of that!)
8. Be as happy as possible. Sometimes, it’s not always possible, but sometimes, lighting more candles and getting a big dose of fresh air can lift your spirits just enough to make you crack a smile, and sometimes, that’s enough.
A Happy New Year to my lovely followers – I’d love to hear about your own resolutions for 2017.