Down with Resolutions! Rachael Berkey

It’s about the time for resolutions again. Last year, I was sitting in an airport bar, jotting down 10-15 things on a napkin and telling myself this year would be different.

But let’s be honest. This year wasn’t terribly different from the year before. I did not become the obsessed gym rat I promise myself I will every January. I did not lose 40 lbs – another thing that I promise myself every year.

I did manage to read more books. I really think that the only reason I actually succeeded at this one is because I didn’t put a number on how many books I wanted to read. I just set out with the goal to “read more” and I really do feel like I managed to get a few more books into my brain than I did last year. And I have continued to tackle, climb, wrestle – whatever adjective sounds the most strenuous really – with my Everest, aka 1Q84 by Murakami. It’s wonderful, but it’s nearly 950 pages long. My brain is tired. I have been reading it for years, basically since the day it was published. I still have about 280 pages left to go but I AM DETERMINED. I will plant my flag on the peak and that planting will happen sooner rather than later! I am in the home stretch!

So what is with this fixation on resolutions? I’ve decided that I’m going to approach 2014 differently. It’s not going to be about hard goals, the things that are only measurable in black and white or in a spreadsheet. Do I want to be healthier? Sure. Do I want to spend less money? Sure. But at 31 I’m finding that resolving to do everything better in nearly impossible, and I just end up angrier at myself than I was when I was a year younger.

Why do we put ourselves through this every year? Do you know anyone who actually keeps all their resolutions? It’s something human beings have apparently been doing for eons. I like the idea of promising to return things and be better because the gods will smite you if you don’t follow through. Maybe that’s what I need – a little healthy fear of the cosmos. I’m distinctly lacking in that area on most days.

Anyways. This year I’m bucking the trend. NO RESOLUTIONS for this girl. This year, I’m just going to make one goal: be happier. I’m hopeful that in the process of seeking happiness I will do things like eat healthier, spend more time outside and read more books. Because really my be-all and end-all is to read so many books that my eyeballs fall out of my head. That’s all of our goals, right?

RIGHT?

So yes, it would be great to lose that pesky weight that makes my jeans tight and read everything in the TBR pile that’s threatening to murder me in my sleep by collapsing on me, and to finally learn to budget my income so I never spend a week eating nothing but lentil soup because I have $10 until Friday, but I’m done making myself feel like crap for the last week of December because once again I failed to come through on my promises to myself. Maybe I’ll be single. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll still be in New York City. Maybe I’ll be in Paris. Maybe I’ll be a shadow of my former self. Maybe I’ll be exactly the same…but happier.

Regardless, if I’m in a happier place in December 2014 than I am today, I will consider my year a success. How about you?

Featured image via ShutterStock

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