I’m pretty sure if you are a blogger on New Year’s, you are almost required to write about your New Year’s Resolutions. Or about how to best stick to your resolutions, or why you should NOT make resolutions, or something resolution-y. I don’t want to rock the Blogging boat, so I’m going to….. write about my New Year’s Resolutions… which I am deciding to call my New Year’s Reflections instead.
Why I am abandoning the word “Resolution”:
I make a resolution to not make a resolution this year. For me, a “Resolution” is too formal, too much of a rule, too much intimidation. I find it hard to start out the year resolving to do (or not do) anything. I am, to my very core, a rule-follower. This personality trait baffles my husband, but there’s nothing I can do to change it. So if I make a resolution, I’m going to drive myself bonkers trying to follow the rule I set for myself. But how am I supposed to know what’s in store for me in the next year?! I might make a fitness goal, and then break my leg. I might make a parenting goal, and then four weeks into the year realize it is ineffective. You get the point. Those scenarios would drive me bonkers. Not only would I kick myself for breaking my resolution, I would also be disappointed that I made a lame resolution. In the words (sort of) of the Soup Nazi…. “No Resolution For You!”
If not “Resolution,” then what?
I’ve read my fair share of blogs and articles about starting the New Year off on the right foot. From a little bit of this one and a little bit of that one, I’m deciding to have “Reflections” this year. I’ve spent the last week (see, there’s an excuse for why I’m late to this blog topic) trying to decide what I want out of this year. I don’t need to write “rules” for myself to follow, but more generalized goals. Spending a few days reflecting on the upcoming year has left me with the following thoughts:
1. I love to write and I don’t do it nearly enough.
2. I reached some fitness goals in 2013 that I didn’t know I could reach… I’d like to keep that up for the next year.
3. I have gotten in the habit of losing my temper with my children. I don’t like me when I do that.
4. I have the most amazing husband in the whole wide world (sorry all you other married ladies) and I want to make sure he knows I know it.
5. I love keeping in touch with friends and have gotten out of habit of sending hand-written cards. Falling out of touch with people hurts my heart, so if for no other reason than selfishness, it’s time for some cute cute stationary.
What I hope comes of my reflections:
At the end of 2014, I would like to see that I have spent my year bettering myself. That I was purposeful with my days and have become a more authentic Betsy. If I had made “Resolutions” I would be looking to see if I completed a check-list of Things To Do. I would like to take my “Reflections” deeper than a list. I want to see growth, challenges, failures, and successes. I want to see my year filled with moments spent on my personal priorities that are unique to me; not a year spent doing things that I thought I “should” be doing.
Steps to take in the right direction:
As a writer, the most important thing for me is to put my ideas in writing. Fuzzy and floating around in my brain at first, as soon as pen hits the paper or fingers hit the keyboard my thoughts solidify into something I can see. So in order for me to spend 2014 going in the right direction, I need to write out my plan. Remember, these are not “Resolutions” or a checklist I need to do every day, it’s more like a map with many different routes to take.
* Before sitting down in front of Real Housewives or any other terrible television show, I need to ask myself if I did something to make me a better me.
* When it comes to writing, I need to stop being fearful of what other people think of my writing. I will own it… the good and the bad. I will write because I love to write and not because it’s fun to get good feedback.
* When it comes to fitness goals, I’m not sure where I will end up at the end of 2014. I had to take some time off from the gym, so I’m way behind. I’d like to get back to where I was, strength and cardio-wise, but I don’t know when that will happen. For now I will just go to the gym and work as hard as I can. Whatever happens, happens. I know something will happen if I keep going.
* When it comes to the kids, I will see them for what they are: kids. I won’t hold it against them and I won’t allow myself to get angry when they behave like kids. When I fail at that, and actually do get angry, I will speak to them like I would speak to my best friends’ kids. I will try to teach them through example and through patience and hopefully through grace too.
* When it comes to my husband, I will verbalize the kind thoughts I have for him. Or maybe I will write them down since that comes easiest to me. I won’t forget to do the little things that show him I appreciate him and I will try to make his days a little happier. I am so thankful to be married to such a great guy, I surely need to find new ways to let him know.
* When it comes to keeping in touch with friends, birthday cards would be easiest. Everyone has a birthday. Or maybe just keep a stack of fun stationary handy and start with an addressed AND stamped envelope so it actually gets in the mail. This priority coincides with my writing goal so that’s an extra bonus!
I’m not planning on doing all five of those things every day. I’m not planning on doing any of them perfectly. However, I am planning on these priorities guiding my choices throughout the year. On December 31st, 2014, I plan on my year reflecting these intentions back to me.
Cheers to You!
Whether you made your Resolutions or chose to reflect on what you want to do in 2014, or maybe did neither one at all, I wish you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for taking the time to read my silly thoughts and thank you EVER so much for leaving comments. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2014. I can’t promise it will be good-reading every time, remember, I’m just working on writing more frequently… maybe quality will improve with time too?! Anyway, I hope each and every one of you has the best year yet.