Here we all are: a week into the brand new shiny 2017. There’s nothing quite as exciting as the beginning of a new year; slates seem clean, starts seem fresh, and everyone is filled with a unique and beautiful anticipation of things to come. We all get a nice new reason to revisit and reboot the things we had otherwise been putting off.
However, over the past couple of days, I have come across a lot of folks vehemently opposed to the idea of “New Year’s Resolutions”. The general consensus among these naysayers has been that the time for deciding to better yourself shouldn’t have to have a specific occasion. They’re big fans of the idea that we should constantly be setting goals for ourselves and be motivated to achieve them. That’s all well and good, but personally, I am a big fan of Resolutions.
Although I absolutely see the merit in adopting an attitude that fosters constant growth, and I completely agree that we should always be challenging ourselves to improve, I think that having an occasion that gives us that little (and often, much needed) push to start checking things off of our ‘Lists Of Things We’d Like To Do & Be’ isn’t a bad thing, and it certainly doesn’t merit ridicule. We like starting things at beginnings and finishing things at ends. It’s very human of us. Man, I remember when I finished filling up a journal right at the end of a major chapter in my life - it was the best thing ever. A New Year is the ultimate new beginning, and I am a big proponent of using that bookend as a starting point for changing the things that we’d like to change.
Plus, what is the harm in people taking the time to be a better human? Honestly. It’s exciting! All the haters out there should sincerely consider re-evaluating the reason they are being so needlessly negative. Let the Resolvers live. Apart from the possibility that already regular gym-goers may need to work around a new fullness in their workout facilities, another person making the effort to be better hardly has anything to do with anyone but themselves. Similarly, the argument that people don't stick to their resolutions anyway is completely beyond the point. Right now, they are trying. Calm your jets. Their stick-to-it-iveness is irrelevant, and regardless, some potential ending shouldn't be the major deterrent to making a legitimate start. The world deserves less of this cynicism and more of folks deciding to hold themselves accountable for bringing about positive things.
For me, the beginning of twenty-seventeen is bringing with it a whole slew of new changes: I’m going to be teaching music for the first time, I’m driving a manual car, and, like many people around me, I’m going to be starting a new term of classes at university (one which I’ll be graduating from in the spring – what’s up with that nonsense?). A new year is indicative, for lots and lots of folks, of a major switch in routine, and it’s so much easier to add and subtract things from your day to day when you’re already maneuvering around a new schedule anyway. Along with your fresh calendars, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to take the time to try to institute some nuggets of newness.
So, you don't have to list out yours, but I’m taking the time to think about mine. Here are my resolutions for the year, folks. All of you on the internet can help hold me accountable. Deal?
- Spend more time reading books
- Spend less time reading the internet
- Stop putting things off until last minute
- Manage your coffee consumption. For real
- Be tenacious in seeking out opportunities
- Make time to get to know people you’d like to get to know
- Resist the urge to always eat licorice
- Replace time spent idling with tasks more productive
- Be less afraid of putting yourself out there
- Create more things more often
I’m excited about this. Don’t hate me for it.