New year’s resolutions are odd to me. No one ever seems to follow through on them, and they’re often forgotten within a few weeks of making them. Often they look like preening or attention-grabbing. However I do think that it’s a good idea to periodically take a good long look at your life and structure some goals or ideas to aim towards. Things have been a bit on the change-heavy side in my life lately, so this feels like a good time to assess and to try to understand why I set the goals that I do and how those goals fit into my values.
As I was working on writing my resolutions for this year, I really found myself struggling with what I felt were the resolutions I “should” be writing. It’s been obvious to me for a while that many times resolutions are a way for people to beat up on themselves about not doing enough, but in this case it felt more like a conflict of what my values were: did I really want to resolve to work harder to overcome my eating disorder this year, or did I want to resolve to lose some weight this year? This, in my mind is the important thing about resolutions: they force you to take stock of your values and then ask you how you can actually live out those values in concrete ways. I’ve had a very hard time with values, with identifying my own values, with truly committing to any set of values, for a long time, so this year for my resolutions I’m going to start each resolution with a value that I am choosing to commit to this year.
- Family: run a 5k with my dad for his birthday.
- Social justice and animal welfare: be better about my vegetarianism. No meat that is not produced ethically. Do not seek out meat.
- Intelligence/knowledge/curiosity: read more. This means taking some time out of each day to read a real book, not just blogs.
- Purpose and commitment: make a decision about what I’m going to do after I finish AmeriCorps. Commit fully to it. Actively work not to feel guilty or to continue revisiting the options I did not choose.
- Community/friends: be more social. Get to know more people. Actively reach out to the friends I do have.
- Self-reflection and creation: finish a draft of my book.
- Work, self-improvement: learn to accept criticisms without tailspinning emotionally. Work to incorporate criticisms actively into work.
- Life (yes life is a value that I have to commit to and it’s one I find difficult): find things that make me happy and excited. Engage in them often.
- Humility: spend some real time thinking about what it actually means to be humble in a positive way. Rethink the idea that self-flagellation is humility.
- Self-care: eat more cake. Both metaphorically and literally.