(And other lies we tell ourselves)
The countdown begins, Midnight strikes, “Auld Lang Syne” is sung, and a new year is under way. As tradition goes, people make resolutions for the coming year with the promise of changes to improve their lives. Of course, by the week’s end we’ve already reneged on those promises. So why do we make them?
Every year we make the same resolutions: I’m going on a diet, I’m going to travel more, I will be more outgoing, I won’t judge people quickly. And yet, just a few days later, we come to the realization that we were rash in our decisions and immediately fall back into routine. The diet is ruined by that extra piece of pie, traveling is out because of a dwindling bank account, being outgoing means having to be bold towards others, and I wouldn’t judge so quickly but did you see what she was wearing?
Why do we do this to ourselves? Part of the problem is a lack of self-control or discipline of the body. The other part is that sometimes we strive for lofty goals when smaller ones are easier to obtain. There’s nothing wrong with aiming a little lower than usual.
Instead of dieting: how about eating smaller meals, or making more healthy choices of food. Skip seconds or don’t have dessert as often as you used to do.
Instead of travel more in terms of long trips, why not explore the city you live in. Pretend you’re a tourist from another state or country and visit museums and other attractions as if you were seeing it through their eyes.
In regards to being more outgoing try starting your own blog or join a social media site you’re not familiar with. Talk to people at work you normally don’t talk to; like someone from a different department. Maybe take them out to lunch.
In regards to judging too quickly, well…I’m guilty of that myself and I haven’t found an alternative yet. But try not to judge someone by their attire or speech pattern. Who knows? That very person could become important in your life.
New Year, Better You
The old phrase “New Year, New You” is pretty well worn out. Besides if you think about it, you’ve worked hard to being the person you currently are and more often than not, people want to change simply for change’s sake. That is one of the other issues that people deal with as the New Year begins. Articles, commercials, and television programs convince people that they need to change themselves as the year changes. Instead of changing yourself to someone or something new, improve upon what you currently have. Make it a “better” you instead of new. Improve your wardrobe by adding accessories; a scarf, some jewelry, a handbag, or a blazer. Improve your home by adding something different; fake plants, abstract art, knick-knacks, or simply a fresh coat of paint.
What about us Writers?
Ah yes! You noticed that this is not the typical kind of article that I write. Maybe that’s something a writer can resolve to do in the New Year; write something that they don’t normally write: A “How To” article, a travel article for your local paper or a blog, poetry, a short story on a subject you know little about. In other words, slide out of your comfort zone for a bit and try something different. You’ll notice I said, “for a bit”. As writers, we tend to be creatures of habit and prefer the comfort of solitude as compared to a party or gathering.
Here are some suggestions though, to try something new or different: Make an attempt to write somewhere new; if a coffee shop or restaurant won’t work, try the local library or bookshop. Your local mall might have areas for hotspots for the internet. Sit there and “people watch” for a while. New character or characteristics will pop up by viewing real life. Rent a movie or TV show that isn’t your favorite genre and see how the characters interact with one another. Go to one of your favorite hangouts or places to eat and view it as fugitive from the law, a royal dignitary, a homeless person, or a foreigner from another country (or planet).
Contrary to tradition, change doesn’t have to be big. This year resolve to do something you don’t normally do. It doesn’t have to be an actual change; just get out of your comfort zone for a bit and see things with a fresh pair of eyes.
Do you have any resolutions that you’ve tried in the past? Have they worked or failed miserably? Share them with us in the comments section below.