A New Year’s Resolution … Or Not?

{Photo Credit :: techjost.com}

{Photo Credit :: techjost.com}

So, it’s New Year’s Day and I have been appreciating reading the many blog posts that are popping up about people’s new year’s resolutions, intentions for 2013, and the like. In fact, today has been a good day: I enjoyed a soul detoxifying yoga class this morning, a long walk, some good music, and the company of people I care about. On some level I recognize that today signifies the start of something new, a new year, new opportunities, a fresh perspective …… but the problem is that, really, today just feels like any other day (a particularly good one, but ordinary nonetheless).

Last Year (2012) 

Historically I have been terrible with New Year’s Resolutions. (I mean really, most of us are, right?) I would get super ambitious and draft a loooong list of “important self-improvement goals” for the new year, and then predictably spend the year feeling bad about the fact that I was not living up to any of those completely unrealistic expectations… it was a vicious cycle!

Last year was different. I got inspired to keep it simple and set a single New Year’s Resolution. I figured that if I could manage to narrow it down to one thing I hoped to accomplish in 2012, I *might* realistically be able to keep it up. My one 2012 resolution: to keep a journal.

Now over the years I have purchased and written in many journals, but the thing is that I have never managed to move from sporadically starting a journal into a consistent journaling habit. Yet I sensed that journaling was something I would enjoy, something that would add value to my life, something realistic I could do to care for myself. So in 2012 journaling became my one and only new year’s resolution.

Somewhere around mid January, I bought a simple black sketchbook. It had sturdy pages (my favorite pens are fine tipped sharpies) and no lines. I told myself that:

  • It doesn’t matter how often I write.
  • It doesn’t matter what I write.
  • It doesn’t matter how well I write.
  • All I had to do was put pen to paper when the mood struck me throughout 2012 … and see what happened.

At first I wrote tentatively. Sometimes I drew or doodled, or wrote out my to-do list. Occasionally I would write down a meaningful quote. But more than anything else, I wrote about me and my life. My journal became a safe space where I could be brutally honest, lame, silly, rude – whatever I needed to be – and it was a-okay.

Somewhere around summertime, writing in my journal became something I actually looked forward to doing. I started noticing that writing in my journal had a grounding effect – it was like pausing to take a deep breath in the middle of a busy day – and the time I spent writing became an important piece of my personal self-care puzzle. Then, in early November, I reached two milestones I had never before reached: the last page of my journal (in case you were wondering, yes, I purchased a new one immediately and have continued writing!) and the feeling that I had succeeded at keeping a new year’s resolution.

This Year (2013)

But, here we are again, at the start of another new year and I am simply not feeling inspired to be resolute! I have been agonizing all week, trying to come up with my “one all-important new year’s resolution for 2013” – but here we are, the moment of truth, and I’ve got nothing.  That said, I do have one general intention for 2013 in mind. Sure it’s a carryover from how I spent 2012, but it’s an important one and worth remembering … My intention for 2013 is to live courageously. What do I mean by that? Some things I have in mind include:

  • Trying new things and going to new places (let me know if you’ve got any suggestions!)
  • Continuing to blog
  • Saying no when I need to say no, and yes when I want to say yes
  • Continuing to do it scared
  • Being open to adding to/removing from this list as it feels right

Well, ready or not, 2013 – here we go ….. !

6 comments

  1. theitaliangirlblog · · Reply

    Nice post!
    I agree with you, having a notebook is a great thing! You can free your mind everytime you want and afert a while when you read again your memories you can understand better what was going on in your brain in that moment.

  2. I also wanted to create some resolutions I could stick to.. figured I’d start small, so I’ve made a list of new things to try which you can see on my blog if you need inspiration. If I actually manage to achieve all these things I’ll definitely go bigger next year, I agree with your idea of “doing it scared” so I’m building up to throwing myself completely outside my comfort zone (quit job, travel central & south america, train to become a yoga teacher) but despite how much it shouldn’t be, money really is an obstacle! Good luck with the new experiences!!

  3. Like you, I’ve been very thoughtful about the beginning of the New Year. The time I spent writing in 2012 “became an important piece of my personal self-care puzzle” too. (Love that!) Best of luck with your journey throughout 2013.

  4. I like your blog very much and you have a good attitude to resolutions!

  5. This is really great! Good for you for coming up with one resolution and breaking it down for yourself. I came up with ten resolutions and now I think I’m crazy, haha! Good luck with living courageously! What a great goal :)

  6. Nice thing to add only one resolution.

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