Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Ditching the Resolutions

By Anytimeyoga @anytimeyoga

No, I’m not giving up on mine. But apparently, January 17 is Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day (though also apparently fairly unauthoritatively).

I can’t help but feel that January 17th — fewer than 3 weeks into the new year — is awfully early to start abandoning resolutions.

Not that I’ve kept all of mine over the years. Even looking back at my resolutions from last year, I’m not sure I made that first one. I definitely did not add running distance beyond 5k. And while I did shave a couple of minutes off of that 5k time, I’m not sure that merits “substantial progress,” especially over the course of a year. Still and all, I don’t think it was a bad resolution for me to have made as I was working on it — yes, with greater and lesser degrees of focus, but working on it — all year. Whether or not I achieved the product, I was continually engaging in the process. While that’s not everything in life, it’s something: process is not without merit.

So I have to wonder, if someone is truly ditching their New Year’s resolution before January is even over, and if this time frame is sufficiently understood that the observance of a “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” can fall on January 17 — Were those even good resolutions, at least for the individuals making them, to begin with?

And I wonder, for people who made or wanted to make resolutions in the first place, if this day might not serve better as a “reflect and reset” day. That is, if it were me, I might first reflect on how the particular resolution I’ve made is currently working for me, and if I’m comfortable having it continue to work in this manner for the entire rest of the year. It might be working fine as is, in which case — yay! It might require a little bit of tweaking, in which case, now is a good time to implement that change. I might realize that my particular resolution is largely unworkable in its current form, in which case, this might be a good time to figure out something that does actually work for me.

I don’t think that anyone should feel pressured to make any resolutions, at New Year’s or ever. But I also think that for people who freely choose to make resolutions, it’s because there’s something specific they want to achieve. And I know that when I want something — especially when I first want something, when I’m just figuring out what it is that I want — what I want and what I think I want are often slightly or starkly different things. And so, it makes sense to adjust.

I mean, I do that when I’m teaching and lesson planning. I do it when I’m cooking and working with a new recipe. I do it when I’m running or hiking a trail or distance I haven’t done in awhile. I do it in yoga poses all the friggin’ time. I’m not sure why New Year’s resolutions should be any different; I’m not sure why New Year’s resolutions should be all or nothing.

Rather than ditch a resolution, I think it makes more sense to reflect, reset, and adjust.

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