Along with the cheeriness of Christmas holidays, the joy of plentiful cakes and brightly colored Christmas trees, comes New Year’s celebratory partying. While the night in question is fast approaching everyone seems to be in a hurry. In a hurry to get their party gear on, to bring at least one small token at the dinner table, and in a hurry to come up with an end of the year balance sheet.

Statistics show that not even 10% of those who do commit to making New Year’s resolutions actually manage to get to that finish line – if we consider the finish line to be a one year mark.”

 

That dreaded balance sheet… It seems that many have a disapproving look when confronted with the numbers. How many of your last year’s resolutions have you managed to complete by now? If not all, then at least one? Chances are, that list, be it a mental one or a properly penned one, is gathering dust somewhere in some forgotten corner of your already overworked mind.

Statistics show that not even 10% of those who do commit to making New Year’s resolutions actually manage to get to that finish line – if we consider the finish line to be a one year mark. Perhaps you might also be wondering what the number one priority on people’s list is. Well, for the Americans who responded to the above survey, the year 2016 should have been the losing weight year. For others, it should have been the one they magically turn into more organized, life-loving, dream-building people. Now that we get the chance to look back on 2016, what is it that we wish for 2017?

But therein lies the problem.

“The booziest night of the year isn’t necessarily the best time to start evaluating your life up until that point.”

 

               It’s all about committing to a lifestyle or committing to your dreams

First of all, the booziest day/night of the year isn’t necessarily the best time to start evaluating your life up until that point, nor to promise yourself accomplishing this small dream here, that bigger dream since childhood there and all other larger than life wishful thoughts.

Now that’s not to say that wanting or thinking about those dreams is wrong in itself, but it is simply not in your best interest to set such large goals to be done in such a short span of time, coming from a place where you’re not properly analyzing the whats and hows that are truly in your best interest and that truly represent who you are and what you want. So, compiling an exhausting list in between grabbing a finger-sandwich and a glass of champagne isn’t your best bet.

“Instead of focusing on how to cram in as many impossible ideas as you can in one fell-swoop, it might be better to simply think about the small, doable goals, tiny steps you can take now, tomorrow and New Year’s as well, on your way to whichever task you’ve envisioned yourself doing.”

 

               A larger-than-life to-do list

Where do you stand on the issue of to-do lists? It is the main question to ask yourself because when you get to break it down, aren’t New Year’s resolutions just more pretentious to-do lists? If you’re good at handling your achievable goals on a day-to-day to basis, then you are already far ahead of the pack and might be onto something. But if you’re not necessarily counting yourself among the most motivated or energetic of the pack, which is only so very human of you, well let’s face it, all of us, then maybe we should reassess this idea.

Instead of focusing on how to cram in as many impossible ideas as you can in one fell-swoop, it might be better to simply think about the small, doable goals, tiny steps you can take now, tomorrow and New Year’s as well, on your way to whichever task you’ve envisioned yourself doing. But other than that, it would perhaps serve you best to just enjoy the party of parties and go wherever the flow of the champagne river might take you.

“There’s always something to want to dream about, to want to aspire to, that’s going to amount to being your fuel for a whole new year waiting ahead.”

 

               It’s likely that you’re not being mindful of the present

Worrying about New Year’s resolutions by focusing on every little thing you didn’t get to do all year round, and to then focus on all the extra plans to add on your next year’s list is in essence madness. It is probably making you unhappy and worrisome instead of looking dashing and enjoying yourself on this day of feasts.

Basically, you’re not giving yourself enough credit for all the things you did get to achieve the past year, you are not paying attention to the complexity of making one’s work, social and family life all come together in our daily existence. Then, by shifting your focus onto the distant future in a less than positive way, concentrating on piling up as many things as you can without really paying attention to your current and what will likely be your future needs, you are removing yourself from the mindfulness of the present moment.

“Think of all the wonderful things you did get to achieve that you are merely overlooking for the sake of not having been on your official yearly to-do list.”

 

You are distancing yourself from the wonderful things and opportunities you are currently enjoying, even the mere fact of attending a New-Year’s party with your lovely crazy friends, which is in itself an accomplishment on its own (just think of the hassle you’ve overcome in trying to make x number of people all agreeing on doing something, at a designated time and place). Enjoy the present moment in its entirely exciting and fleeting way, without worrying too much about the past that’s already gone or the future that is yet to have happened.

               The weight of the world does not rest on your shoulders

Lastly, maybe the most important thing to remember is that asking for help, maybe even most specifically asking for it to achieve your most desired dreams is something not to be so easily forgotten. We already put enough pressure on ourselves that results in making us feel inadequate and stressed out of our minds. Becoming comfortable in reminding yourself that a helping hand might just lend itself to you if you dare speak up, could in fact be the missing key you’ve been looking for all along.

It doesn’t necessarily matter you didn’t get to lose those pounds, or that last year’s plans didn’t go strictly the way you’ve envisioned it. It’s alright. There’s always something to want to dream about, to want to aspire to, that’s going to amount to being your fuel for a whole new year waiting ahead. And think of all the wonderful things you did get to achieve that you are merely overlooking for the sake of not having been on your official yearly to-do list. So what, anyway? Life’s beauty lies in it being unexpected. Maybe this time you’ll just trust yourself to let things come your way.

 

O.P.

December 30, 2016

Sources: “New Year’s resolutions” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535950/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wired-success/201412/why-people-cant-keep-their-new-years-resolutions

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/12/28/the-psychology-of-new-years-resolutions/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx