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