Whip out your steno pads, fresh 2017 calendars, journals, and any other surface with which you can scribble down your New Year’s Resolutions! Diet? YES! Organization? YES! Exercise? YES! Be less of a bitch? Meh, maybe not. What incredible and outlandish goal will you create for yourself come January 1? How do you even begin to choose? If you’re like me, you just don’t. Plain and simple.
People make extravagant, ridiculous goals and resolutions for themselves, only to fail and ultimately feel like shit. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve said that I was going to diet starting January 1, only to find myself crying over a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on January 7; I’ve signed up for gym memberships and cancelled them six months later; I’ve created lists of 30 books to read by the end of the year and found myself scrambling to finish book number four come December. Why was I setting myself up to lose? How was this added pressure in my life making it any better? And WHY did I have to put a timeframe on it? I was getting nowhere, up until a few years ago.
I could say it was a “chilly afternoon in mid-December” when I came to this realization, but in reality it was probably just some random day when I was bored AF, just trying to find things to think of that would provoke a panic attack. Classic me.
During that time, I decided that I would make goals for myself whenever I felt it necessary with no dead-set timeline (you will always need some sort of timeline or nothing will get done).
Consider a few weeks ago: A friend of mine let me borrow a book of hers that I had to read. Well, it’s been sitting on my dresser ever since, with piles of shitty jewelry covering the title. I saw it there as I was cleaning my room (a simple weekend goal I set for myself) and remembered I had an unfinished book on my kindle, along with three others that I NEEDED to buy during the Amazon Kindle sale (don’t ask). I told myself, “yo, read the damn book.” I paused my desire to read this new book, to go back to an old desire to finish the other book. So I picked up my Kindle and placed it on my coffee table. Granted, it’s been there a few days, it’s there and it crosses my mind every time I walk by. Actually, I’m looking at it right now and thinking I should probably get to it once I’m done writing.
Most importantly, I’m not putting any unnecessary pressure on myself. I’ve already had a glass of wine, so I’m kind of tired, but I’m also not too tired to pick it up and read a few pages (clicks? I don’t know the proper wording for the use of a Kindle). Sure, I may make another excuse not to read the book tonight, but I’ll forgive myself. I didn’t say my plan was fool-proof. But sometimes life happens. Why didn’t I read the original book in the first place? Because life happened. I purchased the book right before I had three crazy work projects due and two vacations coming up. Naturally I forgot about it. But at this moment in my life, work has died down a tiny bit and (unfortunately) I don’t have any upcoming trips.
The whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing might work for some people. More power to you! But if you’re like me and struggle to complete the simple task of reading a damn book, consider making smaller goals as you move throughout life. Things change and you should be able to change with them.
As I always say, to each his or her own. But sometimes, my way is better.
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