Been giving a lot of thought to the concept of New Year Resolutions - and how successful, not only my own have been, but those of others I know. I often set a resolution with great intentions and motivation to achieve it only to have this slowly die off as we crawl into February and March. I’ve noticed this pattern with others I know personally, and also, more generally, with the crowds at my gym.
I think the concept of goal setting in the new year is, at the core, a pretty good idea - it can help focus us on positive improvement, something in life that we’re wanting to pay closer attention to, something to work toward. New Year resolutions also focus us forward - into the future - in anticipation of something that in the past, hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to. We set ourselves up in preparation; perhaps buy a new item to help- a planner, a new pair of running shoes, an app to help with that - and forward we go. My goal for 2019 is to not do this, to challenge myself to be more in the moment.
As someone who (hopefully, lovingly) is described by those closest to me as “type A”, “a planner”, “consistent AF” (courtesy of my best friend for over 15 years) this goes against most of what comes natural to me. Like most, I think about the New Year as a brand new start. The clock rolls back to ZERO and everything is a clean, fresh and new. DBT therapy has taught me so much about being more balanced (or trying to) and the thought that - this is a huge challenge for me. My anxiety desperately hates being in the moment; it gets bored and it pulls, hard, into the future, turning my thoughts to what could possibly be, and then flinging them back into what has already been and is unchangeable.
I’ve made a lot of changes in the way I, well, basically function each day. Mainly just being more aware of what is going on internally as I’m moving through my day. Through this, I realized how much I often am just floating from one thing to another - mindlessly going through the motions, thinking about what’s next, what I didn’t get to today - and giving my anxiety the workout it craves. Everyday it’s a challenge. Someday’s being more mindful feels impossible, and that pull into anticipating the future bests me - but there’s the balance.
For me, at least for 2019, a New Years resolution (or resolutions) would just pull me away from just being present in everyday. Hokey? Perhaps. I’m probably not going to be a throw caution to the wind kind of person anytime soon. And I’m definitely not saying future thinking and planning has no place in our lives, so just leave it in 2018. I hope this post simply encourages you to look at your daily practices, and spend more time there vs. living in anticipation of what’s coming in the next day, week or year.