I never really used to bother with things like New Year’s resolutions. They seemed pointless, inevitably made to break or forget about. For the most part, they are. There is proof of that too.
But then last year, I worked my first year of full-time freelancing. And it was tough. But it was also good. I learnt a lot, about work and writing and ideas and editors and stuff, but also, crucially, about myself. Things I didn’t know about me before. And it made me want to try harder and be better and not worry so much. So yesterday, I made New Year’s resolutions for the first time ever.
On the first day of 2013, I sat down and made my resolutions to the soundtrack of Jessie Ware, armed with a bit of self-help (cringing slightly at typing that) on how to set goals and stick to them. I’ve made a list of three things to work on for the year. They are promises to myself mostly related to work and also beyond. Be kinder to myself; be a brilliant writer; make the most of those days when it feels like I’m not getting anywhere.
I’ve written my resolutions down in an Orla Kiely notebook that would otherwise not get used and now sits prettily on my desk. In the notebook, there is other stuff – like how to get over that feeling like you are faking it that we might all sometimes feel but don’t ever talk about (thanks, Psychologies). I have set myself yearly goals and monthly ones too. Hell, maybe I’ll do little daily ones as I go along just for the extra ride and the thrill of crossing it off my list! (I’m actually serious).
I draw the line at a vision board, even though my best friend does one every year. I’ll admit I may have scoffed at her, albeit adoringly, for doing this in the past (sorry, K). But that was before I tried this whole-resolution thing for myself and I completely get that idea of how sitting down and thinking about what you want to do and how you’re going to get there makes you feel better, hopeful. It just does.
Apparently if you declare your resolutions in some way you are more likely to stick to them. So my declaration has been made. I won’t beat myself up if things don’t work out the way I’d hoped. I will wake up early. I won’t force myself to sit in front of my computer screen when it’s totally futile because the words or the ideas just aren’t there. I won’t worry so much. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and so on.
I may sound naive, and by all means, check in with me this time next year, but I think my resolutions will stick. Or at least I hope they will. It’s exciting stuff, this New Year business. I hope your year is, and stays, brilliant.