Why I won’t be making New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time again. Some of us get really excited about it and others dread it. It can be a reminder of all we didn’t accomplish or a way to start from scratch.

New Year’s Resolutions.

Love them or hate them, everyone thinks about them. At least, I do. You see, I’m an ambitious person by nature. I have enormous goals. I’ve always been one to dream about all that’s possible for my future. So, it follows that making new year’s resolutions would be fun for me, right?

Wrong. I love the dreaming aspect, don’t get me wrong. Imagining and daydreaming about ways to improve my life is one of my favorite pastimes. But the execution…

I don’t think I’ve ever accomplished one resolution I’ve written down on paper. Not in the span of one year, anyways. Thinking about that makes me never want to set another resolution again. Especially not to lose weight.

But the intensely hopeful part of myself still has them going on in the back of my mind. For instance, this year I want to write one article for every week of the year. It’s an ambitious goal. One I intend to accomplish.

Buuuuuut can I really? Am I capable? What about the other five goals I want to set for myself?

I believe this problem goes deeper than just learning how to make a SMART goal. That’s why I won’t be talking about that in this post. It’s just not encouraging. If you’re anything like me, you want to push yourself to succeed but the endless torrent of advice on how to reach your goals is just that….an endless, overwhelming torrent.

So what can you do instead?

Be gentle with yourself.

If there’s anything these past two years have taught me, it’s that taking a break or going slower isn’t as bad as we make it out to be. It’s true that the days are long and the years are short but the constant rush rush rush of our society being stopped by a pandemic taught me a lot about myself.

  1. I don’t enjoy the moment.

Once something that I’ve been looking forward to happens, I’m already mentally focusing on what I have planned next. It’s robbed me of enjoying my final vacation with my dad before he passed away. It’s robbed me of feeling accomplished when I complete difficult projects at work. It’s robbed me of enjoying who I am. No more.

2. I have insanely high expectations for myself.

This year, I birthed a human. I was cut open to give life. And in those first two weeks of my little miracle’s life, I beat myself up so hard mentally because I was on bed rest. I couldn’t lift anything by myself. I could hardly get out of bed. And yet I expected the superhuman of myself. Why?

3. I’m always thinking about what others think of me.

Ooh, they made a face when I said I wanted to do it this way. They must hate me. They didn’t react when I did this. I must be a horrible person. They think I’m rude. Selfish. Boring. It goes on and on in my head.

All of this pressure I was feeling to go, do, or be made my inner life toxic. So putting even more pressure on myself to meet a goal for this year seems counterintuitive.

Instead, I’m going to set intentions.

Instead of pressuring myself to meet or beat my previous self, whatever that means, I’m going to gently encourage her to always look on the bright side. To keep writing because it’s what brings me joy. To keep believing that I have what it takes. To believe that the people that are in my life love me and are not out to get me. To know that I’m smarter than I think I am.

So If thinking about 2022 makes you want to spiral, take a deep breath with me. We will be okay, without any major goals. Set your intention and take the next step.

Happy New Year



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