We’ll replace our old, slothful habits with shiny, new diet and exercise regimens. We’ll be kinder, calmer, more generous and patient. We’ll work harder, or work less, depending on our situations and motivations. We’ll see new places and learn new things.
In short, we’ll be far more fabulous in 2019 than we were in 2018.
It’s an appealing fantasy, and I’ll admit, in past years I’ve made long lists of goals that ranged from personal improvement (find positive ways to deal with conflict; let go of resistance and cultivate lightness) to artistic (make a dozen new collages; take a dance class; write a poem every day) to niggling tasks (keep up on paperwork and email; sell or donate excess stuff).
The trouble was, year after year, I grossly overestimated the amount of free time and energy I’d have to devote to all my aspirations and underestimated the time that would be taken up with doing the same old, necessary things week after week. I also tended not to take into account how little enthusiasm I'm able to generate for such tedious tasks as the aforementioned paperwork and email.
Reviewing my list at the end of each year became an exercise in frustration. While I made progress on a number of projects and even finished some, I found myself carrying many of my goals forward onto the next year’s list, year after year after year.
So just as I scrapped my bucket list, I resolved to stop making resolutions.
Still, a new year seems to warrant some kind of intention-setting ritual, even if it’s nothing more than a mental exercise. In that spirit, I’m making a new kind of list, a modest tally of five things I want to carry forward with me from last year into this year and five things I want to let go because they no longer serve me (if they ever did).
Here goes . . .
FIVE THINGS I WANT TO BRING WITH ME FROM 2018:
FIVE THINGS I WANT TO LET GO OF:
What do you want to hold onto and get rid of in 2019?
Do you have your own year-end or year-beginning rituals?
All images used with this post are free-use stock images.
Diane K Sack
1/2/2019 07:17:17 am
And on we go into 2019....thanks, Nan, for another great article!
Yes, why is it a turn of the page on the calendar will turn our lives around and we WILL become a better person, healthier, organized, and smarter? Well maybe not smarter! Who started this crazy idea of renovating our lives on Jan 1 anyway? Guess that's a topic for Google. Why can't we make changes in April and August also? School teachers have a great opportunity because they have 2 new years--January as well as September when they start with a new school year with a new group of kids and new opportunities for teaching. Wishing you all the best in your new re-thinking of new year goals. I'll check back in 2020 for the report!! Happy 2019!!!
Happy 2019 to you, too, JQ. In previous years, when I was still doing more formal resolutions, I started doing a resolution reboot several times a year -- checking in on my progress, deciding which resolutions I still wanted to pursue and which ones I might as well ditch. It did help keep me on track.
1/2/2019 03:58:46 pm
ya got me thinkin' thanks Nan! well written!
1/3/2019 05:24:17 am
I'd love to hear what you're thinkin'!
1/3/2019 05:25:08 am
Nice way to sum it up, Camille.
1/2/2019 09:44:16 pm
I like your expeditions and impatience ideas. I think I’m going to run with those. And I can’t give up my yoga either.
1/3/2019 05:27:32 am
You have been a great writing friend (and friend in general), too, Susan. We'll meet up again, I promise!
1/5/2019 07:35:12 am
Your Resolutions Reconfigured sure resonated with me even more today, Jan. 6th as I read it again in my "office" amidst the piles of papers, files, and another conglomerate of papers, files and articles I stashed in a laundry basket back in Nov. and stuck on a book shelf to sort in the New Year! I just scraped that plan; I think it's all going to recycling! Loved the 5 Things you want to bring from 2018! Thanks for sharing your wonderful gift of writing! Happy New Year!
1/10/2019 09:34:39 am
Thanks, Gloria! Let me know how that paper purge goes. I am looking at a pile that somehow appeared on my desk. Just put part of it through the shredder, but the rest still nags at me.
1/24/2019 04:57:19 pm
I am focusing on enjoying the moment and not letting those niggling projects eat up time that could be better spent in conversation with a three year old, for example! I am enjoying the indoor time instead of wanting spring to hurry up and get here--I can read, knit, and enjoy sorting and organizing old photos, even though not much organization is taking place. Enjoy the moment, appreciate my health and focus on the good things!
1/30/2019 01:20:12 pm
Bravo, Katherine! I'm enjoying the indoor time, too. I actually look forward to this time of year as a time to focus on projects and leisurely pleasures that get pushed aside in better weather.
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Written from the heart,
from the heart of the woods
Read the introduction to HeartWood here.
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.