New year, new me? Nah…
Yes, it’s that time of year. A holiday season that for many is filled with friends and family, traditional holiday food (hopefully including cookies), time away from the office, travel, movies, laughter, reflection and overindulgence.
Sounds great, right? Yet every year, we follow these joyous times with pressure to improve our lives with the dropping of a random silver disco ball in Times Square.
I understand how people get motivated around the new year to get a fresh start. And I applaud that if it works for them. But I’ve found that making a list of New Year Resolutions doesn’t really stick with me.
Resolutions can imply a dissatisfaction with your current life. And can often lead us to beat ourselves up. I’m just not sure this is a constructive way to start a new year—and if you so choose—a new outlook.
In fact, according to recent research study from the University of Scranton, only 8% of people successfully achieve their resolutions. That just doesn’t sound particularly motivating.
A different approach
So instead, why not make New Year Appreciations?
I have a great life. Like most, it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. My New Year Appreciations are: my health; special people in my life; a job I enjoy; a roof over my head and hot and cold running water. I feel extremely fortunate.
There are so many simple things to appreciate every day. Why beat ourselves up over not making it to the gym three days a week or think we’re a bad person if we give in to a cheeseburger and fries? In fact, I’ll add another to that list of New Year Appreciations…a good burger every once in a while!
Having said all that, one always has room for improvement, so there are a couple of things I hope to do a better job of in 2015:
Bike commute a bit more. I’m not as hardcore as my colleagues, many of whom ride year-round, every day. My bikes tend to grow some cobwebs in my garage during the cold, dark days of winter. I could do better.
Support or become a member of a nonprofit I believe in. Like most everyone I know, I do not have unlimited financial resources, but even a little bit makes a difference. I obviously know this from my job and plan to find at least one additional organization to support this coming year.
Try a new cycling event or ride. There are so many great organized rides to choose from these days. I’ve done several but want to try something new next year. I’m the kind of person who needs to pick an event or goal and commit to it (in other words, pay for it), so I put the training miles in. I’m not sure if I will be trying a different organized ride (I have my eye on one already) or a self-supported touring weekend with a friend, but it’s always exciting to try something new.
As you look ahead to 2015, do you plan to appreciate or resolve? Or both?