I stopped making resolutions 9 years ago and never looked back. Resolutions don't work because they're temporary. They don't work because they don't really get to the heart of the matter. Instead, 9 years ago I decided to abide by a beloved quote by Henry David Thoreau...
"Live the life you have always imagined."
Think about the kind of life you want to have. What does your day look like? Who are you spending your time with? Are there flowers around? What scents linger in the air, what are you wearing, who are you being?
When we make New Year's Resolutions we are making proclamations to become "better than" and while I think we can always strive to become kinder, more understanding, and all around better human beings... we need to examine the deeper meaning behind our resolutions.
Because eventually we fall off the band wagon and then we're disappointed with ourselves. Then we think "Augh, whatever! This is stupid anyway" and throw in the towel and pretend like it's not a big deal, but in reality inside, the disappointment penetrates deeper and there's that nagging voice like "Ha! See! I knew you weren't going to do it!"
And this is why I love abiding by the quote above so much. It wasn't about setting this singular goal or a few goals. It's more of an overall way of being or thinking, it freed me from the "must improve, must get better" cycle. I had never really thought I was deserving of living the life I imagined... let alone really let myself get lost in that dream world of what my life could be and realizing I COULD have that life.
In the past my resolutions were along the lines of:
"I am going to read the news every day and be very informed with the going ons in the world so people don't think I'm a simpleton."
"I am going to lose 10 pounds so I can look chic and gamine in all my clothes just like Audrey Hepburn."
But when I really thought about it... reading the news and looking like Audrey Hepburn were never part of the life I had imagined for myself.
Instead I wanted to have a home with flowers, I wanted to travel a little bit, I wanted to learn a new language, spend more time with friends...
Of course I am who I am now and the life I imagine for myself looks a bit different than 9 years ago, but even then, the themes are generally the same.
To live a life of simple beauty, to enjoy les petits plaisirs, to travel, to be happy, to feel fulfilled, to feel like I am living a life of purpose...and you know, I DO live that life!
So my dear friends, what sort of life do you imagine yourself living starting in 2019? Heck starting TODAY at this very MOMENT!
(The blog post I wrote in 2010 still exists. You can read it here: Live The Life You Have Always Imagined)