If you’re like me, you’ve already long parted ways with that new years resolution. Every December 31st, I make a strict vow to myself only to let it die out by February. So this week, I decided to reclaim those lost promises and reinvigorate my resolution. After all, there are still 9 months ahead in 2015.
In the past I have made grand promises in my resolutions, “never again carbs and dairy”, “track every penny of spending”, one year it was just “change your life!” Needless to say, I love a good baguette and cheese (which I don’t track the cost of) and my ‘day-to-day’ hasn’t fluctuated that much. But this year I thought I was keeping it simple: wake-up half an hour earlier, run, eat broccoli. Every day. Still, by January 4th, I had just bailed on the whole thing. I might just be a serial ‘resolution breaker’.
Let me tell you a little bit about my intentions behind each seemingly simple resolution:
Firstly, all things being ideal, I’m good in the morning. I like to have my coffee quietly and read as the sun is coming up. Getting an early start on my day helps me beat a pesky anxiety issue as well. The earlier I rise, the better I feel.
Second on the list: running. I love to run and I do this activity already. However, I have dropped my previous fervor. In my post-secondary days, I would rise at 5:30 a.m. for a good 8K before class. I reasoned that reclaiming this passion would bring me closer to my youthful glory days.
Lastly: broccoli. Here’s the thing, I HATE broccoli. It tastes like the inside of a garbage bag. But it’s time to be an adult and sometimes that means eating things that taste disgusting but are good for you, rather than living off of caffeine fumes and boxed cereal.
One might think those should be easy enough to keep, but what is deceptive about this simple list is that I have a time quantifier for each: daily!
It’s hard to do anything daily, and if you don’t believe me, just reflect on the last time you flossed.
At the beginning of this week, I set out to write an article demonstrating the strength of the human spirit and will power. I had failed at my resolutions in the first three months but I was coming back with passion to kick my life into Optimum Mode. Alas, I did not stick to my resolutions. In fact I did quite the opposite.
My week was full of spontaneity. As a freelancer I have more flexibility than most, but still work primarily at night. My morning wake-ups weren’t as early as I’d hoped. A friend needed a hand with her toddler so instead of running the track, I was running around the park chasing after a very fast 2-year-old.
Mid week, I had a chance to slow down and eat some vegetables on a lunch date. (Although I washed it down with some Sauvignon Blanc, so I’m not sure if that still counts.) Other unexpected events included: helping a friend run auditions for her latest play; having my mother over for coffee; rearranging some furniture; bringing an otherwise dormant project to life; plus getting all my regular assignments done.
In short, it was an incredible week full of extraordinary activities, but most were unscheduled and definitely not part of my plan.
Every December, I look for ways to clamp down on my life and constrain it with daily rigour and rules, rather than open it to possibilities. My resolutions try to eliminate spontaneity. As my personality goes, I attack life with militant force. The better choice for resolutions would be to encourage cracks in the ‘defense against the unplanned’. Instead of beating life down into sizable daily portions, it would be better to embrace more of the unscheduled messiness.
And why am I forcing myself to eat broccoli?! There are other vegetables! Being an adult certainly doesn’t mean living joylessly. This year, I can pursue curiosities and capitalize on spontaneity, rather than seeking banish it. And perhaps I can replace my mandate on broccoli for, say, asparagus.