What if there was never a New Year? What if time was a continuous moment? Where the days passed, each day the same as the other? Would we have the necessity for resolutions? Would we still set goals on an annual basis if there were no days to count or months to look ahead for?
This time of the year is often characterized by the joy of the holiday season. But let’s be honest, the holidays are tough. On top of the seasonal depression, there’s the impending stress of family Christmas. The anxiousness of counting down the days till vacay. Along with the end-of-year planning and the resolutions that come with it.
This time of year is also a time of reflection.
While we reflect on the current year, we set lofty goals in the form of resolutions. Before we create resolutions for the year ahead, it’s important to recognize the progress we’ve made in ourselves. This is a process of accepting who we are before we can invest in becoming our ideal versions of self. As self-awareness, and self-acceptance, are both the truest form of attainment.
New Year’s resolutions have formed into a ritual with repeated failings. Which tends to drive unsatisfactory levels of happiness in the year ahead.
Our future accomplishments depend on who we are in the present. According to Tim Pychyl, a psychologist at Carleton University, “Neurologically speaking, we think about our future selves as strangers.” Before we set goals for our future self, we must be mindful that our future self is the result of our current daily habits.
We create unrealistic versions of who we strive to be instead of ensuring that the person who we are, right now, is taken care of.
This is how I’m feeling as I see continuous Tweets and Instagram posts on how 2018 was a killer year for many of peers and strangers alike. That isn’t to say my 2018 didn’t have any ups. I started a new job for one. But as I reflect, as we do during this time of the year, there’s something deep inside of me that feels like I could’ve done more or done better. However true that may or may not be, it isn’t rooted in the right place.
This sense of inadequacy originated from my December 2017 self. Just like the December 2018 versions of ourselves, we muse on what was and what can be ahead. We look back on the goals that we failed and based on our failure we set high hopes and expectations for the year ahead. Because of course, we deserve to better ourselves but also for the feeling of achievement and checking boxes.
To be honest, I haven’t felt like myself lately and I’ve felt like I’ve let my December 2017 self down. When the reality is, we’ve all had a hell of a year. Goals set aside, we’ve grown in our own way and in different areas of life that can never be achieved as a means of artificial goals.
Before we plan for what can be, we first have to recognize and cherish what is and what has been. I’m telling myself this at the moment as an affirmation that I can carry this over into the new year. That’s my new form of resolution for 2019. Instead of creating a resolution, I am going to create an affirmation. That I am and will be accomplished. There is no will to achieve a goal as we are the goal. In 2019, it’s nothing but affirmations and manifestations instead of goals and resolutions.