lose 20 pounds.
earn more money.
stop stressing out.
what do the ambitions above have in common? they're all doomed New Year’s resolutions. i'm not being pessimistic. it's the truth. here's why:
- they’re arbitrary. since it’s January first we need to revamp our lives? what if the year actually begins on March 24th? or July 22nd? Orthodox Christians haven’t even celebrated Christmas yet. the Chinese New Year isn’t until February 8. all measures of time are relative.
- they’re vague and broad. how much money is more? what will you do to lose weight?
- they’re aggressive. their win-or-lose nature creates extreme highs and lows, spelling disaster for your self-worth.
solutions to resolutions:
- change your life as needed, not as dictated. through consistent re-evaluation, a willingness to do what it takes and change what it takes. i harp because this is my big problem. i’m good at rolling along, upholding new habits, but weak at stepping back for the wide angle. when you reconsider your actions from the 10,000 foot view and as though you were looking back at it from the future, you'll catch and avoid pitfalls. this is year-round and life-long. a method for staying nimble and steady:
- get specific and tiny. change one daily task. repeat it indefinitely. for example, ease yourself into reading War and Peace by tackling 10 pages per day. smoke one fewer cigarette per day.
- patience and persistence instead of anger and self-loathing. the race is long and kindness--towards yourself or others--is how you get what you want.
a word of warning: don’t obsess, over any of it-- how you're doing or what you choose to accomplish. writing and re-writing lists, organizing and re-organizing supplies, documenting and re-documenting ideas become just as futile as doing nothing at all.
did you make "resolutions"? what are they? how do you plan on keeping them? tell me in the comments!
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