The Dreaded New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! (Or if you find this article months later, um, Happy New Day!) Another New Year has started and with that comes the inevitable New Year’s resolution. What is yours this year? Get in shape? Start a new creative venture? Save the world?

I’ll tell you why I HATE New Year’s resolutions. I never complete them. Not even a little bit. Statistically no one does. OK I didn’t actually look up any facts about this but come on, unless your resolution was brush your teeth every day, most people conveniently forget about their resolutions after the first 30 days. Or 5. And then that failure leaves me frustrated and ringing in another New Year crying while listening to Ed Sheeran and singing to my cat. Just kidding. I was crying because his love songs are so beautiful. And I didn’t sing to my cat. I danced with him.

In all seriousness what do New Year’s resolutions really do? They are supposed to motivate us. But they end up serving the same purpose our moms did in high school. When feeling pressured we often just shut down. Or stamp our feet and slam the door to our bedrooms.  And while resolutions can motivate us at first, I think it’s just human nature to eventually resent anything you “HAVE” to do. Like cleaning my bathroom. Screw you toilet!

This year my New Year’s resolution is to book what I consider a real credit, meaning lines on a TV show or feature film, and to get paid for my writing. This is for real something I HAVE to make happen or I’ll be forced to get another serving job which I promised myself I wouldn’t do. It’s something I know is extremely important to me and something I should work on consistently every day. But on another level it paralyzes me because my brain goes straight to, “Uhhh, but what if that DOESN’T happen? Didn’t you make that same resolution for the last 5 years???” And next thing you know I’m in the fetal position listening to Ed Sheeran again, or lying on my couch starting a nine hour Netflix marathon.

So MAYBE our resolutions need to sound a little less threatening and a little more FUN. When we were kids we didn’t say, “I MUST” do anything. We just had fun. We lived in the moment. So maybe my real resolution should be to stop worrying. Wait. See the wording there? When I say the word worrying to my mind, even with the word stop in front of it, all I do is worry. And I definitely don’t need any more crazy chatter in this brain. It’s like the ticker tape in Time Square. It never stops spouting out crappy news.

Here are some possible resolutions that may serve better:

1- Do something that makes you smile every day- And if doing absolutely nothing one day makes you smile then double score.

2- Learn to trust your relationship with God and just let go- I mean clearly my own plan hasn’t been working so why not put the pressure on someone else for a change?

3- Love yourself- It’s fun to hug yourself or tell yourself good job. And it literally takes 5 seconds a day.

4- Start telling yourself every time fearful thoughts creep in that you WILL be OK- And I’m sorry, this one may actually be harder than saving the world because you have to work on your own self talk. But I thought it was a challenge worth mentioning!

Or DON’T MAKE A RESOLUTION AT ALL. You don’t have to. And if that makes you feel better than go for it! I think all of our goals this year should be to have more fun, more love, more art, more dancing, maybe even more cat videos because I don’t care who you are those things bring joy. When life gives you lemons, throw them out the window and go buy orange juice if you want. Just find a way to create more joy this year. Because that’s what life is all about.

And so it is.

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