My New Year’s resolution is to never make another New Year’s Resolution again.
Everyone knows the joke about resolutions. You promise yourself you are going to eat healthier this year. Get that gym membership and finally get in better shape. Take the time to travel and see the world. At the close of each year, as the calendar flips suddenly into a fresh cycle, the possibility of a better version of your current life seems tangible, and that possibility is what drives people to make resolutions.
It starts out well, with lots of salads and treadmills and mapping out that road trip you’ve been meaning to take since college. But a couple weeks in, you let yourself slack. You eat those donuts at the office, because you didn’t get a chance to make breakfast. You don’t go to the gym, because you had a long day at work. You let the idea of that road trip once again slip silently to the backburner of your mind. Everything goes back to normal, and this New Year, with all of it’s potential, is once again just another year.
Personally, it is because I am a procrastinator. If I don’t have a hard deadline, I can’t get anything done, and an entire year is a pretty good chunk of time in which to put things off. So I have decided to stop making New Year’s Resolutions altogether, because according to Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
But this isn’t to say that I am not going to change things. Promises of a better version of my life and myself call to me just like they always do around this time. It’s just that this year, I am going about it a bit differently. Recently, when I asked about her resolution, a dear friend of mine coolly replied, “I don’t need one special day to make me decide that I want to improve myself.” I took what she said to heart and realized what I have to do.
This year, at the start of each day, I will make a choice to do something – something for myself or something for others – that will make a difference. I will promise to fuel myself with nutritious food. I will promise to share kindness and compassion with those around me. I will promise to do research and make plans to travel and explore. I will promise to be kind to myself and cherish what makes me beautiful. Each day, I can do one small thing that will improve my life and hopefully the lives around me, and the hard deadline of a 24-hour day will hopefully help me do it.
The guilt of feeling like a year has been wasted is a heavy burden, but often we do not consider a wasted day with the same weight. The dawning of each new day should be experienced in the same way as each New Year – full of excitement, promise, and endless possibility.