Sunday, December 26, 2010

My anti-New Year's Resolution Resolution

This time of year people think a lot about how next year will be different, maybe even make New Year's Resolutions.

As I mentioned last year, I don't do New Year's Resolutions per se and here is why:

I had an experience in the 80s that kind of cured me of that. What happened is that I was making the adjustment from student to worker bee and there were some rough parts to that. I found myself each year spending more and more time at the end of the year saying "well next year..." Then I'd made New Year's Resolutions about how it was going to be better but I wouldn't keep them. Sometimes I wouldn't keep them after a month or two of trying but often I'd never even start keeping them. They weren't resolutions so much as wishful thinking. Stuff I felt I should be doing (losing weight, managing my money better) but had no true desire at that point to change.

This pattern went on for a few years. First I'd start doing that in December. I'd basically blow off the entire month of December, putting off dealing with my life saying "Next year I'll..." to any basic "life housekeeping" issue. Then it started in Nov. and every year the date I'd start putting of making changes kept creeping up. Until the year I ended up saying "Next year I'll..." starting in Aug. or Sept.

When January rolled around and it was time make my (fake) New Year's Resolutions, I had an epiphany. I had wasted almost half a year not living my life, putting off dealing with crap I had to deal with, waiting for the new year to make a fresh start instead of dealing with my crap right then and there. So I made a New Year's Resolution to never do that again. I was not going to make New Year's Resolutions any more. Instead, I would make my resolution on whatever day I had the revelation that I needed to change something in my life.

Or to put it more poetically:

"I made no resolutions for the New Year.  The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me."
   ~Ana├»s Nin

And, unlike all the resolutions I made in my life up until that point, I pretty much kept that one. I have backslide a bit in the past couple of years in that I do find myself making lists of goals around this time now. But I also make those lists all year round. Plus, if you are in a sport whose season is Feb. through Nov. this is the best time to make your plans and goals for next season so it's silly to fight that over a technicality.

As I was typing this, I was also reading Facebook and found the quote above. Then, as I finished up this article, I went back and read the blog post this quote was part of. (I like to sit on my posts for a bit -- when I come back to them to actually post them, it's easier to spot the typos and unclear phrasing.) It turns out it was an Anti-New Year's Resolution post as well! Not only that, but because I wrote this post, all I have to do is add the link to the post in question and post about it on that blog and I'm entered into a kick-ass contest.

See what not having New Year's Resolutions can do for you!
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