Reset Your Resolutions

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

 

Around this time every year, I reflect. I start to look back on my decisions, the achievements I gained, and the goals that I set the year before. Some years, it’s a happy time of remembering success and happiness. Other years, it’s a battle to even force myself to open up and think about what happened throughout those 365 days.

 

Most of the time, it’s bittersweet to look back and think about the goals that I set for myself the previous year. To be honest, I rarely even remember them through the year, much less stick to them. I’ll find them in a journal from years before on accident while flipping through. Then I feel like a failure. I hold myself to a high standard of some sort that requires I cling on to the ideas and hopes I had the year before and get upset that present me failed them.

 

I believe that if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. No good movie has a character arc with no change. No good book starts and ends with the character deciding they’re better off with things being just the way they are. For some reason, when we consume that kind of material, we want the characters to learn and grow through the story. If they didn’t, then it’s a waste.

 

Why don’t we treat ourselves the same?

 

If I were the same person right now that I was at the end of last year, would I be okay with that? If I forever had the same hopes, dreams, and goals, would my life ever move? No. Clearly, if you’re not able to change your goals and move your life, nothing has changed around you.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

 

I’m not saying it is bad to attain a goal set before you. I’m saying we shouldn’t punish ourselves for dropping, changing, or rearranging goals on our priority lists. I’m not saying you need to make some drastic change in your life every year. It could be as simple as realizing a quality about yourself that you love and trying to operate in that more often throughout the year. It could be a monumental moment in your life, or it could be the goal to stay settled and live a rooted life. Whatever the goal, it’s okay if you’re not hitting it 100% in a year. I have had several goals that I got close to and realized I didn’t want anymore. Or a goal that I focused on for longer than usual and realized it wasn’t what I thought. There is something to be said for a consistently evolving life that doesn’t allow monotony.

 

This year I’m going to set one, year long goal and maybe some seasonal ones that I can go after in short-term seasons. But the guilt that I’ve felt in years past won’t be allowed to be a part of those goals. If I decide that I actually don’t want to attain something that I thought I wanted from afar, that’s okay. If I achieve every goal that I set, great. But the whole idea behind resolutions in the New Year is to better yourself. You can’t do that if you’re sitting under the weight of guilt from yourself.