21 for 2021. Because New Year’s Resolutions Are Dumb

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
Do you stick to them?
Are you making resolutions for 2021?
Do they work for anyone?

20 for 2021 instead of Resolutions

I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution.
I stopped making them altogether about 5 years ago, and haven’t looked back.

This isn’t to say that I don’t spend time thinking of my year, and my life, and my future.
I actually really like making little lists that hold me accountable.

I also actually really like the idea of New Year’s.
I know it’s an arbitrary date, and whatever ever else, but I like a new beginning.
It’s a new chance at a clean slate.
And time to reflect and plan, and have hope.
And I like starting the countdown to spring when I’m stuck in the middle of a Canadian winter.

Point is, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do have New Year’s… ‘rituals‘.
I do think it is important to mark the time passing and to use the New Year as a sort of reset.
For me anyway.
I use it as a chance to critically examine my life, and figure out what I want, and make plans to live intentionally to get what I want.

So, instead of making a list of resolutions, I make a list of fun and rewarding tasks to complete in the year.
Tasks that will make me happy, or further a goal, or make my life better in some way, or just even because I want to do them.
The one rule is, the items on the list have to be really small and somewhat easily achievable.
Not to say you can’t stretch a bit, but the point is to bring joy to your life, not guilt.

Because the new year is 2021, I’m making a list of 21 things I want to do this year.
Here are a few from my list:

1. Swim in a lake
2. Build a sandcastle
7. Spend 15 minutes outside everyday
14. Read 50 books (I would do this anyway, I just like the credit)
17.  Make a long neon beaded necklace
20. Purge the indoor plants (too many)
21. Cook/bake three new recipes

As you can see, the things on the list are not really about ambition or reaching large goals in my life.
I guess, its just a reminder for me to spend some time doing the simple things that bring me joy.
All I can say is that I’ve done this for 4 years now and I really do feel that this simple exercise adds a richness that wasn’t there before.

To add to the joy, I put the list in a little bright yellow journal (the same one I used last year for my 20 for 2020 list, amongst other things), and use a pen I like to write with (very important hahahahaha).
I also put little checkboxes next to each item (or like 50 checkboxes for the books one) because checking off little boxes with a cool colored, fine line sharpie makes me happy (I know).

Oh, and I don’t always get the entire list completed.
But who cares?
Obviously I still experience the joy of doing each one, regardless of how many I do.

Do you still make New Year’s resolutions?
Is it making you happy?
Would you ever try this instead?

P.S.  This is not my concept.  See the Happier Podcast.

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