I don’t do resolutions. I haven’t for a while. I love the idea of them, certainly; it appeals to my perfectionist streak. The new year is a fresh start; this time I’ll start exercising/floss/learn Farsi. I’ll change. No, really.
But invariably, the breakdown of New Year’s resolutions is as much of a tradition as making them in the first place, and the guilt follows. It wasn’t that hard! Are you really that lazy? Well, it’s no good; you’ve already wrecked it, so we’ll just try again next year.
Naturally, this stopped being appealing after a while, and so I’ve given up resolutions. Not that there aren’t things I want to accomplish. I want to sit the Foreign Service Exam in February. I want to do better about keeping up with this blog, and find a job for next year, and stay active. And I really do need to get better about flossing.
But the thing is, these are things I can do any time of the year (except for the Foreign Service Exam; that’s only offered three times a year). It’s important to just do whatever the thing is, instead of making myself wait for this hyped-up, high-pressure time of year where failure is basically expected. Remember that cheesy aphorism, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? It’s true. It’s kind of banal, but it’s true. You can just start something, no external timelines required.
So, as we all clear up the remains of last night’s festivities, let’s give ourselves a break. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, it doesn’t need to be a big deal because it’s January 1st. It’s a big deal because you want to do it.