I have always been a person who loves making New Year’s resolutions. During that odd week between Christmas and the New Year that seems suspended in time, I would spend hours dreaming about the life I wanted, the kind of person I wanted to be, and I’d make a list of resolutions that I thought would bring me closer to that fantasy. For most of my life, losing weight was at the top of the list. I’d break out a calendar and a calculator and day dream about what number I could expect to see on the scale at the end of January and the beginning of Summer, and by this time next year I will finally be perfect. Like most people, I would make some positive changes and then mostly revert back to old habits. But even though I would rarely hit my goals, I think the yearly effort did help me make slower progress over time. Even though I understand the peril of resolutions and the likelihood of falling short, I still think it’s helpful for me to make them. I guess I’m a dreamer.
I understand the arguments against resolutions. You should constantly be trying to improve, not waiting until arbitrary points in the calendar. They have a low success rate probably because making the resolution itself often gives you a sense of accomplishment and you don’t feel the need to follow through. But, I still think it is good to take stock of your life and habits and think about where you can improve. And it may be arbitrary but the new year seems as good a time as any to do that. I think when it comes to resolutions there are generally two ways to go. Small, manageable goals, or big drastic changes. Obviously the more manageable goals will have a larger success rate but sometimes if you feel like your life is in a real rut or you need a major shift, a drastic goal might be helpful. Even if you don’t completely succeed, you will probably be better off.
This year I think I am going to go with a smaller goal. I’m very happy with the general trajectory of my life so far. I also think I could benefit from not focusing on my weight or issues with food for a while so I am going to leave that alone. My main issue is a habit I have had for as long as I can remember and have talked about extensively on this blog—I’d like to tackle my procrastination. I leave tasks to the last possible minute. Whether it’s work projects, household chores, or social interactions, I always seem to put it off until it starts to cause me so much stress it becomes unbearable. The stress makes me want to ignore it even more, and it causes so many unnecessary problems. The biggest area where my issue manifests itself is with email. My inbox fills up and as I avoid answering the more difficult emails, I let everything pile up. To help tackle this issue, my resolution this year is to take care of any email that will require less than five minutes of my time immediately. And to answer all other emails within 24 hours. This is a pretty small resolution, but it’s manageable and will have a positive impact on my life.
Are you making any resolutions? Do you favor smaller, more manageable goals or big sweeping changes? Feel free to share your thoughts or resolutions below!