Hello! I’m Jehara and Faith’s one of my nearest and dearest. She asked me to guest post on her little blog so here goes.
New Year’s Resolutions.
It’s January and it’s on everyone’s mind. I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately expounding why they are good and others that completely naysay the whole thing. Some people say, why make resolutions? And for that matter, why even make a big deal about the new year? Time is arbitrary and it’s just a turn of the calendar page and remembering a new ending to the year number.
I, myself, am not a big celebrator of New Year’s Eve in the sense that I don’t go out to parties, preferring to stay at home and be cozy and warm in my own home leaving the navigation of roads strewn with drunk drivers for the less faint of heart. I save the hard partying for other times of the year. However, this is not to say that I don’t celebrate New Year’s at all. I do!
First, I get all excited about the blank slate of pages and dates ahead of me. I start to meditate on what would I like to focus on this year. What do I want to accomplish? What does the year hold for me?
Then, I get excited about finding a calendar, which inevitably I procrastinate on and wait until they are half-price and fully picked over.
I have a letter writing tradition with myself that I have been doing for eleven years now and is the most satisfying of my New Year’s observations. I like to get introspective and reflective. So after getting excited and ruminating for a bit, I pull out the previous year’s letter and read. And think. And make mental notes. I may or may not start writing a new letter right away.
In the new letter I like to sum up the previous year, the highlights, the lowlights, lessons learned, any insights gleaned and any other random tidbit I might want to remember that perhaps will elicit a smile during the next year’s reading. Then I recap the goals set from the previous year and depending on that mood’s year I will either check them off or expound on each one. And some years I may even skip that part and go straight to making some new ones. That’s the fun part!
Fun part you say?
And this brings me to the whole crux of the whole new year’s thing that involves resolutions.
Resolutions. It sounds so heavy and imposing and you know if you set one it is just begging to be ignored and stomped over. Say it aloud. Or just think it. I resolve to do x, y or z. That doesn’t sound fun or happy or positive or like anything I remotely want to do. Do you?
The word has like twelve definitions or something, according to dictionary.reference.com but the ones I’m interested in are-to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine, to settle, and my personal favorite-to deal with. That definitely does not sound like fun or something I want to do.
I think the intentions behind New Year’s resolutions are well-meaning, but I think we are looking at it in the wrong way. We should be thinking about goals, things we want to accomplish, things we WANT to do, whether it’s making a silly list of finite things you’d like to try or just making a life list in general, whether you decide you’re going to try a new dish the next time you eat at your favorite restaurant instead of the same tried-and-true or finally sit down and apply for that master’s program you have been wanting to undertake but haven’t had the courage to pursue.
Goals are important to furthering our lives, getting us to where we want to be and teaching us to take it one step at a time. Setting goals and accomplishing them also give us a sense of accomplishment and boosts our self-esteem. And more importantly, thinking about goals, pondering what it is our heart truly desires gives us insight into who we are, where we are going and where we would like to be. We may discover a disconnect. Where we are headed isn’t where we want to end up. Or we may be pleasantly surprised to discover, hey! Wow! I am on the right track!
So while there may be people out there who have a beef with the taking stock thing that occurs just because it’s a new year, I say okay, do it on your birthday or on halloween or any other time of the year that feels right to you. You don’t have to reflect and ponder and strive to be a better you just because the year has turned over , although there is a reason so many people do so. It just feels so fresh! A bright, blank new calendar and a brand new number! What else screams new beginnings more than that?
So go grab that pen and pad. Sit down with a mug of tea or a cup of coffee or a diet soda if that’s your thing, and devote some time to yourself.
And just. . . ponder. Dream. Wonder. Think of the possibilities that lie before you. And then set some goals for yourself.
I dare you.