Another year is drawing to an end. Time to review the plans and resolutions made exactly 12 months ago. Do you also have this strange feeling that nothing has changed and you’re stuck exactly in the same place as last New Year’s Eve? Not richer, not thinner, no professional success, no boyfriend… As if you wasted 365 days of your life…
I used to get this feeling every year. Even find pieces of paper with notes, lists of resolutions, tasks, goals to achieve. Most of them still valid, meaning I have accomplished absolutely nothing in a field that for some reason must be important to me if it ends up on the list basically every year. But is this really so?
A few weeks ago I saw a Facebook post by a friend of mine. It was a summary of this year but there was something different about it. It was really honest and personal and there was not even one word of complaint, even though this was not a blissful year for her. But it was life changing in a way and she wrote how thankful she was for all the experiences (the good and the not so good ones), for the courage to make changes and for all the amazing people she got to know and new things that she tried. WOW, I thought – this is inspiring!
So I decided to change my attitude and look at this last year from a different perspective. Instead of comparing and crying over what I didn’t manage to accomplish. I decided to write down all the stuff that I did, even though it was not an original plan or resolution. And you know what? It’s a pretty long and impressive list! And I should celebrate it today with a glass of champagne instead of feeling depressed.
So here’s why you shouldn’t give a shit about New Year’s Resolutions:
You’re not the same person that you were a year ago. You have 12 months of new experience, hopefully you’re wiser too 😉 Anyway, things that seemed important at the time of making those plans, might not be a priority anymore. Probably you did a lot of stuff that turned out to be more important, try to figure out what it was and be happy about it!
Rome was not built in a day
Some things take time to accomplish, more than mere 12 months. This might be the case for some of your goals and maybe you did start realizing them and you’re on the right path but you just need more time and the stupid calendar and superstitions like New Year, new me, shouldn’t mess with it!
You’re as good as you think you are
“The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Simple example, if you think that you can’t do something then you’re absolutely right! However, not because you’re not capable of doing it but because you don’t believe in yourself. So instead of feeling bad about your last year’s performance, try to feel excited about rocking it in the next year.
No use worrying over stuff you have no control over
Some things do not depend upon us. If that is the case with one (or more) of your resolutions, then you didn’t do a good job classifying them as such. They should go to the “Wishes” drawer, not the one with “Plans” or “Goals” on it. However, it’s still good to have those and appreciate it when we manage to make them true!
Who said 31 December is a deadline for anything?
Why should you even care about this specific date? The Chinese celebrate their New Year sometime in January or February. And in the past practically every part of the world had their own different calendar. Who said that this is a deadline for achieving anything or the best time for starting a new life? Any day is a good day for that!
Try to appreciate what you do have
Funny how we always notice and concentrate on what we don’t have rather than what we actually do. Try to compare what you have gained during this past year. The new things that you tried, places that you visited, the new friends that you made…. Instead of feeling down that you still haven’t found your significant other, be thankful for the new great friend that wasn’t in your life just a few months ago!
Don’t demand too much from yourself
Sometimes our resolutions are simply too ambitious or there are too many of them. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t aim high, but don’t push too hard or you will be discouraged soon enough. For example if you plan on going to the gym regularly, start with maybe twice a week instead of going everyday the first week and then dropping it because you can’t do this anymore. Try baby steps instead of jumping off a plane without a parachute 😉
It’s the journey that matters
Would you really like to be in a situation that you have accomplished everything you want. I can’t think of a more tragic thing that when there are no more dreams, no more plans, no more wishes for the future. That would mean that my life would have no purpose anymore. So be thankful for the dreams that have not come true yet. They make you want to live!
All this doesn’t mean that you should stop writing down your New Year’s resolutions. On the contrary! By all means continue doing it, just don’t worry too much about them being still valid the next year and maybe even 10 years after that. Instead, make a list of all the good things that happened but had not been featured in your goals for the New Year!!!