A reflection on resolutions
What should a new year’s resolution accomplish?
I’ve never been a fan of traditional new year’s resolutions. I think they tend to be overambitious or unrealistic, setting us up for disappointment rather than success. By mid-January, when we’re back at work or school and life is getting busy again, keeping on track for resolutions can become just another chore on an over-stuffed to-do list.
When I was with my family over the winter break, my brother showed me another way of setting priorities that I’ve decided to take with me into the year ahead. Rather than starting out with a list of things I want to get done, I made a “wouldn’t it be nice if” list for 2020 – that is, what are the things that would make this year awesome?
Some items on my list are financial goals. I want to make sure I can pay my bills, of course, but I’m also thinking about a few small things I could add that would make my life a little more convenient and less stressful than it was in 2019 – putting a few more dollars in my grocery budget and saving up a small emergency fund. So, when I calculated what exactly I would have to earn every month to make those “nice” things possible, that number went on the list.
I also put down some professional goals – some very plausible, and others more ambitious. Because this is a “wouldn’t it be nice if” list, I don’t feel as though I will be letting myself down if I don’t accomplish everything on it this year, so I feel empowered to shoot for targets I may not hit. And, when I look over my list, I’m reminded of what I’m aiming for, so I don’t lose sight of my late-December thoughts.
I also used this structure to think about my friendships – how I want to get to know more people in this city, as well as strengthen my relationships with my friends and mentors far away. I only moved to Regina this fall, and with my loved ones scattered across North America, it can be too easy for the people I care about to become “out of sight, out of mind” when life gets busy. By making a point to say that staying in touch is an important part of what having a great year looks like for me, I’m hoping to keep it at the forefront of my mind.
And beyond all that, a “wouldn’t it be nice if” list is fun! Some other thoughts I have on there are writing a children’s book for my niece’s eighth birthday this summer, finding a few new sewing projects, and tackling a few new recipes. Plans and dreams don’t have to be particularly daunting to be nice, after all.
Two weeks into the new year, I can honestly say that deliberately prioritizing the factors that would make my 2020 a great one had already started paying off for me, and I’m looking forward to another 11 months and two weeks of more of the same. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a great, fun, fulfilling year?