It’s a trap I’ve fallen into many, many times. I think my resolutions should be all firmed up and ready to go by January 1st, and when I haven’t thought of any good ones by then, I simply give up and decide I’ll just live a resolution-free life this year. I’ve set myself a deadline, and when I don’t hold myself accountable to meet that deadline, I just shrug my shoulders and think “better luck next year!” But the reality is that I can set goals and resolutions for myself any day of the year, not just on January 1st.
This year, my resolution (which I absolutely did not come up with by the January 1st deadline) is to be more open to possibilities.
Instead of letting my introverted self turn me into a lonely hermit, I will say yes to being around people more often. No, this does not mean that I will do things I don’t want to do, or attend parties I know I don’t have the energy for. This means that I will spend more time considering the opportunities available to me, rather than immediately saying no because my bed is too comfy. This means that I will actively try to spend more time with the people who matter to me, rather than cancelling plans.
Sometimes self-care means listening to your body when it wants to stay in bed. Sometimes self-care means realizing that you’ve already spent way too much time in bed, and it’s time to do something with your life.
It’s all about balance.
This past semester, I spent most mornings sleeping in, then getting up and slowly enjoying breakfast and a book. I rarely got anything productive done before noon, because I had mostly afternoon classes. There was nothing in particular that I HAD to wake up for, so I just didn’t.
This new year, I am going to make an effort to get myself up at a reasonable hour, no matter when my classes start. How can I be more open to possibilities if I sleep through them? Even though sleeping in feels good while I’m still in bed, I feel groggy and sluggish all day when I oversleep, and then I have to load myself up on caffeine to function like a normal person. Caffeine overload? Not self-care.
But no matter how late you make your resolutions, or what they are, the important thing is that you stick to them. Too many people try to make resolutions to change their whole lives all at once, and they burn out before the end of January. If you are going to make a resolution, make sure your resolution is attainable. Start small. Maybe try to make one new resolution this month, and add one new simple change each month. Start January by drinking more water, then add eating more whole foods in February. Resolve to exercise more in March. That sort of thing. Once your simple resolutions become habits, it will be much easier to add on another simple change on top of what you are already doing.
It’s never to late to make a resolution, but be smart about what you are resolving to do.
Be happy. Be healthy.