I love making New Year’s resolutions. It resonates with my desire for order and planning. I also love the opportunity for self-reflection. Looking back on a year of success and failures, examining why things happened and my role in their outcome, and using this to shape my intentions for the year is immensely interesting to me. It’s part of my nature, as an inquisitive (some say critical) person, and my nurture, because of my many years of training as a health researcher.
I’m also fascinated by other people’s resolutions. What they choose to focus on, and why? Do you write down your goals? Where? Do they change from year to year? Do you celebrate your successes? It’s the emotional equivalent of peeking into your medicine cabinet.
Amidst all the “New Year, New You, Go The Extra Mile, Chase Butterflies” headlines, I happened upon a gem of an article that I think is genius in its simplicity and clarity. Unsurprisingly, it was printed in the New York Times. The author describes two simple questions before contemplating a resolution:
“Why don’t I do this already?” and,
“Why do I feel the need to do this now?”
The first question is practical; it seeks the barrier. The second is emotional; it seeks the motivation necessary to sustain an effort to remove the barrier. Without those, the resolution is doomed from the start.
A refreshing approach, don’t you think? It made me shift my perception on goal setting. One of my resolutions is to eat vegetables every day. I’ve been irregular with my vegetable eating because I often wait until we are out of vegetables before replacing them. Also, it’s winter and gnocchi is my spirit food. The barrier to eating vegetables every day is that I do not have fresh vegetables to eat. Why do I feel the need to do this now? Because the alternative is disgusting. #carblyfe is funny when it isn’t you. And unfortunately it IS me. And it’s starting to get a teeny bit gross.
Since everybody knows the Monday after January 1st is the REAL first day of the New Year, my resolution starts tomorrow. And I’m going to CRUSH it. Literally. I’m literally going to crush some vegetables up into an omelet.
What are you resolving to change in 2016?