How common is it to make a new year’s resolution with little intention to see it through throughout the entire 365 days to follow or simply fail at our own intentions to become better?
Speaking for myself, I always fail at my own resolutions.
I do like the idea of being intentional and carving out space and hope to become a better version of ourselves, but a few years ago I stopped making resolutions for myself altogether. I know myself well enough to know that unless I have someone forcing me to do the things my mind wants to do but my body doesn’t, like eating healthier, working out more, etc., It just won’t happen. Not for me. And that’s okay.
I’m not perfect and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Where are my imperfect peeps?!
Instead of having one or two grand new years resolutions, I’ve practiced adopting small habits peppered throughout the year. Some say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Others say it takes 66 days. I say it takes as long as I need it to take because I know I will fall off the wagon a few times along the way.
For example, some habits I set myself up to form last year were:
No Instagram/social media in bed.
Don’t use my phone for the first hour of the day.
Work out more and just be more mindful of my eating habits.
It’s December 31st and I’ve still not perfected any of these. But I have gotten better. Slightly and surely, one little step at a time.
Some habits I have gotten better at this year that weren’t on that original list but came in throughout the year were: meditating more, practicing more yoga, walking/running daily, and reading constantly. Reading is always on the list and I usually do decently at that one, but again I don’t give myself a number of books to be read by the end of each year because something about a deadline or a number I should be meeting just adds a heavy layer of burden to my life. I’ve got enough of those already.
Regardless of the lack of a “number” or a specific goal I am to meet, I am still conscious of my performance and try to recognize where I am slacking as well as take time to reflect on why I have been slacking in an effort to mitigate the issue.
THIS NEW YEAR
This year I scaled back a bit on habit forming. Mainly because I still haven’t perfected the previous habits I’ve set for myself last year and I feel they are foundational for a lot of other things/habits I want to improve throughout my life. No need to add more habits to my plate just yet. So, I’m back to resolutions. Simpler, less physically tangible resolutions.
Last year, I did a lot. I overbooked myself with friends and family and said yes to new work opportunities that left me doing a lot less in any one specific area. I canceled with friends a lot because I didn’t account for how tired I would feel after overbooking and overworking myself. I took up a lot of new projects and side jobs that left my typical work schedule bouncing all over the place and leaving me feeling like a jumbled mess; not grounded or stable even in my day-to-day schedule. It changed every day, every week, for months! The flexibility of my own schedule fooled me into saying yes to friends and family gatherings because I could technically just move my schedule around and still make it all work. But again, not accounting for all the emotional and physical toll this would bring left me feeling exhausted, canceling a lot of events along the way, stressed, and frustrated with no one else but myself, which in turn influenced my mental health and how I dealt with day-to-day situations and life complications.
So, I’ve decided to scale back, a lot, and say “no” more. This is a natural challenge for me, given how much I love to say yes, join in on the fun, and be dependable. And it’s not so much FOMO (fear of missing out) influencing me to say yes all the time. When I don’t want to go somewhere, no matter how fun I believe it will be, I am completely comfortable staying home and not mulling over the thought of missing out on the fun. I love being home and I enjoy being alone. My problem is everything sounds fun and I want to be a part of it! I love to say yes because I genuinely love socializing and being in company. The challenge comes with saying no on days I already have something booked, whether earlier or later on the same day this new invitation has presented itself. My fault is in booking multiple things in one day, leaving little to no room for rest in between events and resulting in being emotionally and physically exhausted by the middle of the day while still having another event to attend to. Some days I end up canceling and just going home to rest. However, I don’t like canceling, either. It leaves me feeling worse than what saying no, in the beginning, would make me feel like, even if I do want to go. This is where my resolution stems from.
This year, I will say no in an effort to not overbook myself. Scale it back a bit Natalie, you’re not in your early 20s anymore. Fun is still possible, but it’s no longer fun if you’re tired all the time.
Last year in 2022 I was gifted a decent amount of workbooks to help mitigate a few of the issues I’ve been struggling with. Boundary workbooks, writing idea journals, self-care journals, goal-setting planners, daily stoic reflection books, and such. These are some of the things I plan to pay more attention to during this year, and I think the scaling back will gift me the time and energy I need to devote to self-soothing practices as I continue going to therapy and polishing the rough sides my tumultuous 20’s have brought me. It’s time to clean up my mess.
Add in some soulful picnics and hikes along with that and you’ve got a well-rounded Nat. I only hope to be writing about it in little bits and blogs along the way and welcome you into my journey.
I’m cleaning up my act, and so should you. Let’s be impeccable human beings in 2023, especially to ourselves.
Happy New Year!