Holidays

Resolution Week: New Year’s Resolutions Are Limiting, Try Improving All Year Long Instead

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thinking woman

It’s Resolution Week here at Mommyish! Check out all our other posts here.

This will probably be met with eye rolls and jeers, but I’m going to say it anyway. New Year’s resolutions are limiting and kind of pointless. Why pause your plans for self-improvement until the start of the New Year? I am so very far from being perfect. In fact, I kind of suck. That said, I have ways to make myself better floating through my head every day and it has never occurred to me to shelve plans to improve my life to an arbitrary date on the calendar. As the old adage goes, there is no time like the present and I feel that applies strongly in the case of New Year’s resolutions.

My husband has teased me over the last few years that I am never happy with anything. It’s not that I am a miserable person, quite the opposite- I am cheerful overall. What he means by that is that I am never satisfied. It’s part of my nature. When I accomplish or achieve one thing, my next thought is how I can make it even better or do even more. It is always on my mind. I guess it’s part of my competitive nature and I realize not everyone is like this. However, there are a lot of things in life that I need help with and I think this is an area where I might be able to help others.

So, here goes- my advice, for what it’s worth. If you want something better, don’t wait. If you want to be a kinder person or drink more water or play with your phone less, just do it. Don’t wait for January to come around. Don’t wait for things to be done by a certain date. If it is something you can immediately amend and it’s in your heart and mind, just make it happen.

I can say that this frame of mind is relatively recent for me. When I was in my twenties, I was not as ambitious and was content to stew over things before taking action. The last few years of my life have shown me that we should not take our time on this planet for granted. I have seen a young relative go through a scary illness. I have seen another family member endure several surgeries. I have seen my kids grow up in the blink of an eye. Time is tricky and it flies. We only have so long and I hate the idea of wasting hours, days or weeks being anything less than my best self. If it is something I can reasonably achieve, or at least get started achieving, I see no reason to wait.

The moral of this story? If you want to lose weight, I don’t think you need to run out to the gym this very minute. If you want to learn a few words of Mandarin, you don’t need to go out right now and buy Rosetta Stone CD’s. What I do think is that you needn’t assign a particular date for your goals. Put it on your mental list and get it done as soon as you have time. You will feel better about yourself knowing you are continuously improving and checking things off your list rather than spending December hemming and hawing about how you will be better at this and that….next month. There’s no time like the present and if you want to become your best self, just make it happen. I’m still trying to get there but without the pressure of starting big things on January 1st, it’s just another day in my life where I will try to be someone I am proud of. No one needs a deadline for that.

(Image: kurhan/Shutterstock)