New Year, New Me… Really? Do I Have To?

Ah, the new year’s resolution.  The time-honoured traditional set-up for failure.  Cynical?  Me?  Maybe, but I’m pretty sure the fitness industry lives for January, with its bought, maintained and never-used gym memberships.  I speak from experience.  My past is littered with abandoned good intentions.

I’m pretty good at looking successful with my resolutions.  Here are three fail-proof ways of doing this:

  1. Make resolutions so vague and unmeasurable that you can claim success and no one will ever be able to prove otherwise. (eg. Oh yeah, I totally met my goal of drinking more water this year than last year.)
  2. Make resolutions so easy to achieve that you’d have to be pretty pathetic not to make them happen.  (eg.  I’m feeling so proud!  I have worn socks that matched each other every day this week.  I really think I’m going to nail this resolution.)
  3. Keep your resolution list blank and hidden.  Any time you do something impressive, add it to the list and pretend it was one of your resolutions.

Today though, I’m actually just feeling pretty good about who I am and what I’m about.  Over the last year, I’ve come to peace with a lot of the things that cause me stress; I’ve tried a lot of new things; I’ve kept a grip on what matters to me and remembered to keep that stuff a priority; I’ve continued my education, both formally and informally; I’ve been assertive about my needs; I’ve started this blog (which was a whim, but has been really rewarding); and I’ve opened my mind to ideas and even people I’ve been closed off to in the past.

I think it’s great to have goals, but I wonder if making a list at the beginning of the year of all the ways you want to be better isn’t really just another way of making a list of all the ways you think you aren’t good enough.  Not a fun list.

I’m not perfect, but who is?  The many ways I’m not aren’t what I want to start the year focused on, really.  I’d rather look at what I’ve done in the past year that I’m proud of and just try to continue with those things and with developing myself.  And if I’m honest, I have a better chance of succeeding this way, while avoiding the let down (and resulting self-torture) of failing at another resolution.

So Happy New Year everyone.  I, for one, think 2011 is going to be pretty great.

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