Don't Pick a New Year's Resolution

Instead of looking forward with a New Year's resolution, look back at what you accidentally accomplished.

by Kate Dries
Jan 1 2019, 5:28pm

Images via Casper, Jenny & Francois, and Nike.

A New Year's resolution is not for me. Too much to live up to, with a near-guarantee you will fail. Science aka the World Wide Web backs me up on this one. I much prefer making minute tweaks to my life, all while downplaying the degree to which I'm changing anything about it; change, after all, will kill you, and while death is a certainty, best not encourage it along.

This past year, I went the closest to forming a New Year's resolution I ever have and decided I would make a list of all the books I read, in the hopes that it would get me back on the path to being someone who read a lot of books not related to work. I won't check the log because I don't need more shame than already fills my body and brain, but at some point around the six month mark, it petered out. By the time I realized what had happened, I had forgotten the books that should have been on there, and what is the point of making a list that is incomplete and no one will see but you? Anyway, I can generally deduce that I read more this year, and that's what I'm running with.

Gratitude in any large form is also not typically for me; I prefer to give my thanks regularly and in small doses. Thank you to the bodybuilding man who did not harass me at the gym but instead very politely asked me what foam-rolling was in order to relax his clearly in need of relaxing quads; thank you to the Foodtown on Fulton for stocking almond paste for my rainbow cookies experiment; thank you to whoever is responsible for the fact that I have almost run into two people today in my office because I barrel around corners, but did not actually physically make contact with them, and therefore did not pour water all over a stranger. It is with this attitude of acceptance of who you are and what you can accomplish that I suggest that this year, you do not make a plan to change yourself, but remember the things that somehow naturally shifted in your life the year prior. It is change you can take credit for, regardless as to whether chance was all that was involved.

Once you think of one, it's easy. I'll go first.

1. Small socks that (mostly) stay on my feet and don't peak out above my low-top Vans. Through a trip to the Rehoboth Beach Nike outlet, I discovered that these Nike no-shows are quite good.

2. A King-sized bed. If you have the space, or even if this size of bed would take up your entire room, do it. What else do you keep in your bedroom anyway?

3. Wine in a keg. It's a thing, and it rocks.

There we go: a sense of accomplishment, and no actual action required. Now all I have to do is roll into 2019 with the awareness that my future self will do the work. Something will change for me. I just don't know what it is yet.

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new year's resolutions