In defense of skipping New Year's resolutions this year
New Year, New Me? Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll pass this year. I’ve just upgraded to a new me and I would like to enjoy it for a while longer before we attempt any more self-improvement. Why the assumption that I want to upgrade myself on January 1 anyway? It seems that the opportunity to start again, hit the refresh button on the last year that may have gone dismally wrong has become more of an expectation than an opportunity. There is an assumption that you must want to improve something about yourself in the New Year. My resistance to making a New Years resolution for 2015 has been met with raised eyebrows. ‘So you’re perfect then?’ they ask. No, I’m far from perfect, but I’m happy as I am now and as my mother would say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
A recap on 2014 will show that it was a big year for me. I quit my job, quit smoking, moved house, started writing and learned how to take care of myself with a completely different lifestyle than I had at the start of the year. It was a big year. So if it’s okay with everybody, I’m just going to sit and contemplate these changes for a while longer before I shake up my life anymore. It’s going to be a New Year but the same me in 2015.
In this constant need to upgrade ourselves, I think we forget to reflect on what we have achieved. Why use the start of the New Year to implement change, and reflect on the negative, when we can use it to celebrate what we achieved in the past 12 months? I would like to invite everyone to do this with me. Do not think about what you need to change, concentrate on congratulating yourself and those around you, with a reflection of why you want to do resist making a New Years resolution for 2015 and embrace the positive in what you have achieved, how far you have come and your successes over the past year.
So how do we do this? December is a notoriously busy time and not ideal for self-reflection. The question of what you achieved in 2014 need not be one you meditate on for days, I’m sure a quick scroll through your Facebook photos or wall, your Instagram feed or phone will show you how much you have packed into the past 12 months. Reflect on where you were living, working, which projects you were focused on in January 2014 and where those projects are at now.
Has the primary object of your focus shifted since January 2014? Did you have a baby, get married, move houses, change jobs, get a promotion, move cities, start a new hobby or exercise regime, handle a major life change or loss, help a friend through a crisis or any other significant experience? What did your 2014 look like and do you want to change anything drastically, or are you happy with your choices, actions and resulting lifestyle? If so, then use this closing of 2014 and opening of 2015 to reiterate the fact that you are happy, and looking forward to moving into the New Year as the same you.
So lets get positive, reflective and nostalgic this December, use #NewYearSameMe to spread the love and message. Lets do away with the need to constantly find ways to improve ourselves, (then feel awful by the second week of January, when we’ve already broken our New Year’s resolutions). Feeling shy about all this shameless self-promotion? You shouldn’t.
I guarantee that if you take a pen and paper, and take a walk on your lunch break today, or sit on the couch when you get home tonight and resist turning on the TV for half a hour, you will come up with a list of at least 10 things you should be proud to tell the world about, that you accomplished this year. For me the first five or six came easily, but getting to 10 took about half an hour. It was well worth the time spent and now I feel like I’m walking into 2015 with clarity of mind, a positive outset and a realistic evaluation of what happened, why it happened and how I feel about what happened in 2014.
Still not sure, okay I’ll start:
Today I am 260 days smoke-free. I plan to keep up the good work in 2015 #NewYearSameMe
Now it’s your turn. Celebrate 2014 and celebrate yourself.