In Defense of New Year’s Resolutions

What can I keep from this dumpster fire of a year?

Who among us hasn’t heard someone pooh pooh the idea of New Year’s Resolutions? “Why bother,” they ask. We know from the start resolutions are made inscribed with an expiry date, usually somewhere around the first week of February. I think people find them daunting. It’s always a plan to be more. Do more. Do less. Of something. Anything, sometimes everything. What’s daunting about that?!

Still I always loved New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I’m on a constant mission of personal growth and love starting new things. I don’t limit resolutions to a day, though. I make them well beyond January. There are new resolutions on my birthday in the spring. On the official start of spring. At the start of summer. The beginning of the school year. And so on. It’s always a pivot of something in motion.

Like many of you, the pandemic has forced a pause in my world that’s turned into a nine month self-discovery. I’m looking through a different lens now. At the root of it, we know New Year’s Resolutions are about resolve. It’s asking, what do I resolve to do

But for the first time, the question I hear is, what do I resolve to keep doing

Gratitude

It was impossible not to be grateful in 2020. Grateful my friends and family were healthy. Grateful I had work. That I had toilet paper. Grateful I had cheese and wine in the house if the end was nigh’. The big things I couldn’t do like concerts, restaurants and travel made me even more grateful for the little things, like a phone call or a walk with a friend. Gratitude got a make-under and it’s fabulous. I’ll take it, all the way into 2021. 

Patience

This year tested everyone’s patience as we learned how to respond to the new rules of human interaction. Everything was new, the playing field – levelled. Somewhere in between the Zoom calls and the masks and the grocery store line-ups, I found a new calm – a patient kindness with myself and with others. (And I know I’m not the only one.) Patience is my now virtue – I’m keeping it. 

Resilience

Even if you’ve stayed grounded and positive throughout this all (congratulations, by the way) the dumpster fire of this year’s news headlines absolutely demanded your resilience. There was so much to keep track of, everything felt life or death. And yet, perhaps because we were all forced indoors, we saw a massive renaissance in human ingenuity and creativity. As I toast the New Year, I realize it’s no small feat that we made it through the last nine months. And still, everything is changing. We may not be totally in the clear, but I know we are a resilient bunch.

Wishing you gratitude, patience and resilience in 2021!