New Year’s Resolutions: The Non-List

My oldest daughter is heading back to college to finish out her junior year in just a few days. There are many things to be done. She is a list maker. Lately, as her personal stress begins to mount, she’s taken to vocalizing these lists. I find it interesting to note, that she repeatedly mentions two things. She reminds us all, that we still have to do our White Elephant Gift Exchange. (No, we haven’t done that yet. It’s been tough to get everyone together the last few days.) My daughter is also insistent upon creating her New Year’s Resolutions for 2012. This year, I just don’t share her enthusiasm.

I’m impressed with my daughter’s determination. She’s a goal setter. If she sets the goal, writes it down, she usually achieves it. She comes by this self-motivated behavior honestly. I used to be very much this way. In fact, looking back over lists of resolutions, I can see goals set and prioritized, re-prioritized, some of them abandoned. Some of them partially realized. Some would still be on a list today, if I were making a list.

Last year, at this time, I had one goal in mind. I wanted to lose weight. It turned out that within a week into the New Year, my only goal was going to be getting through the year. So, this year, I’m taking a different approach. I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions. Okay, sure. I have goals. I have the same goal I’ve had for the last 10 years: drop the last few pounds. I have new goals born of having recently turned a certain age and realizing that I won’t be able to work forever, and asking myself how am I going to support myself in those days when I can no longer physically report to work. Financial recovery and progress has got to be a priority.

But I’m hesitant to officially make New Year’s Resolutions, because if I don’t make progress on them, it is at best discouraging, demoralizing, demotivating. Last year, try as I might, I made some progress on the weight loss, but not nearly enough to be considered real progress. My efforts and energy and time were forced into focusing on other priorities. I think, instead, of making a list that might look something like this:

1. Lose 50 pounds.
2. Save money.

I’d just as soon wait and see what the year has in store. I mean, sure, these will be my priorities in 2013. But, I make these goals cautiously, knowing that life sometimes has a way of taking you places you weren’t planning on going.

If it’s all the same, I’m hoping for a pretty drama-free year (what are the odds this will ever happen for me?). Maybe then I can, for the first time in decades, actually stick to and achieve the New Year’s Resolutions, which I am not making this year.

But I am curious. Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? If so, what are they? If you could only make two resolutions, what would they be and why?

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About Miz Insomniac

Usually, it's the kids who grow up and leave home, but Miz Insomniac switched it up. When her kids grew up she decided to make her dreams come true so she flew the nest. After making 12 trips across the pond and back to Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in 2014-15, Miz Insomniac now qualifies as a world traveler. She hasn't quite mastered the fine art of traveling light, but she knows how to manipulate travel plans to avoid missed flights and jet lag. A former hopeless romantic turned realist, she's stateside now reinventing her life in a new city, with new opportunities, and all the challenges that come with leaving a career, traveling abroad for a year, and then returning to a world that's nothing like she left it. Her overseas travel is by no means over, it's just not as frequent. She's different now, but remains a night owl. She writes when she should be sleeping...and while you probably are.

Posted on January 1, 2013, in Holidays, The Future and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I constantly make and revise goals (and, yes, I have many lists:) ). As such, I don’t make resolutions at the new year. I make them daily.

  2. I don’t make new year’s resolutions; it’s kind of my protest against the misplaced New Year. The New Year, as we celebrate is, it simply not where it’s supposed to be.

    • I agree that the New Year, as we celebrate it, is “simply not where it’s supposed to be.” But, I’m curious. Where would you place it?

      • I like the spring equinox. Spring is a good time to start the New Year. A good time for resolutions.

      • You know, I hadn’t thought of that, but I think I must agree. I’ve been so entrenched in the school year calendar , first as a student, then a bit longer as a student, then as a parent, and then some more as a student, that I kind of think the New Year really begins when school starts. I wondered if you might suggest that…but Spring Equinox…very nice thinking. Spring is a good time to start many things.

      • How can we go about getting this changed?

      • I don’t know! There are no longer any Roman Emperors or popes with the power to just say, ‘Make it so!’ I guess it’s just wishful thinking. Then again,we could start popular movements to celebrate the equinoxes or solstices, making them rivals for New Year’s festivities. I’ll get busy here in my hometown . . .

      • Well, if I make it so then it must be so! There. Done.
        Okay, okay, a popular movement is probably a bit more diplomatic.

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