New Year's Resolution(s)



Images from To Resolve Project by Aaron Eiland, Eliza Cerdeiros, Chris McAuley, and Chris Stetson.

As we entered the new year, I've been thinking about resolutions- in a nebulous, rambling, and mostly morose way. I think I'm having a kind of seasonal depression, and my musings have probably been affected by my temporary gloom.

The last thing I want is to wind down your excitement for the coming year. If you're feeling all refreshed, energised and excited, ready for sweet surprises in the year to come, I'm so happy for you! I truly am. You're going to make 2013 amazing!

But if the new year brings you stress and anxiety, I hear you.

The major reason why I've been feeling a bit down is that as 2012 closed, I couldn't help but think of the past year. I tried to evaluate what I had accomplished over the year- well, not much. Close to nothing. It hasn't been an awful year, nothing terrible happened. My heart goes out to those who have experienced terrible losses and in no mean am I comparing my year to theirs.

Looking back, I see it this way : the year 2012 began, I had a lot of sluggish days (even when they were hectic), and a few awesome ones. Then before I knew it, the year was gone. Nothing had changed, nothing had happened. I had a few amazing projects I have been wanting to accomplish, I had a lot of thoughts and plans about moving, starting a business, volunteering. But I never turned them into action, and in a blink, they went from pure excitement and hope of change to vacillation, overwhelming doubt, and ultimately, renouncement.

As 2013 started, I thought, back to the pure excitement state: this year is going to be different. This year I'll be better, physically and mentally, I'll be my best self, I'll live my life actively, and I'll enjoy it. I'll read more, eat more healthily, get more organized, work better, travel to a new place, learn something new. I'll finish my studies, get a full time job, move to my own apartment, master my camera, walk shelter dogs every weekend. Promises bound to be broken.

Ive taken some good resolutions throughout the previous year. I've written my goals, I've broken them down into weekly commitments. I've made an action plan for each goal, I've determined strategies to achieve them.

I applaud (oh yes I truly do) those who make goals at the beginning of the year and stick to them all year long, or until they're accomplished. But for me, looking at my "goals" notebook just caused stress, feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and anxiety. If, as I think, the true goal of these resolutions isn't really to organize my desk or master my camera, but to live a happy, meaningful, fulfilling life- they were completely counterproductive.

I believe that I can have what I want (I don't want crazy things: get a job, be able to rent a modest apartment, have a small but decent wardrobe, pay off my bills without help from my family, and have some free time to 1. do what I love (like blogging!) and 2. volunteer at an animal shelter. Since I'm already in my late twenties, I think this is quite reasonable). I can have what I want, I can have it all, but I can't have it all at once.

I've decided to do things differently this year. I've decided to make only one resolution. My resolution is to finish my thesis. If you relate to my rambling thoughts above, and want to try and make only one resolution this year, I suggest you try to find out if there is something you have to accomplish before you can move on to any other goal. Is one resolution already too much? Try to practice acceptance. Try to love your imperfect self- and maybe you'll be the best version of yourself when you're not even trying to.

I wish that for all of you, as I wish that for myself. If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you for reading, from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to the year to come!

16 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! I hear you, I actually never make any new year resolutions. I'd rather go with the flow and see what's in store, even if I have a few goals in my head that I hope I'll accomplish at some point. I've often realized that putting pressure on myself didn't get me anywhere. And what I hoped for always came in time. :)

    I wish you all the best for this new year, I'm sure you'll rock that thesis and fulfill many happy things!

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    1. Thank you, Charlotte! I'll try to follow your example and go with the flow. I wish you a wonderful year!

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  2. I really liked this post. I am one of those people who has set goals for this year, and I think I'll always be a person who does that. I put things on the list that I know are practically unachievable or will be short lived, because sometimes I think the thought of doing something is actually better than actually doing it so I like to try it out to test this theory.
    Anyway, good luck with your thesis and happy 2013! :)

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    1. Ha, I used to do that too. So glad it works for you! Thank you so much and happy 2013 to you too!

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  3. My dear Clemence - happy New Year, and thank you for writing such a personal note to all of us. Loved reading your thoughts and what you're going through. Thesis year it will be :) And who knows, a few more things might happen along the way as you live your one very happy, meaningful and fulfilling life....because, really, you don't need new year's resolution to live that kind of life. Just enjoy the little things that come your way, and before you know it, the bigger dreams will be right there, in front of you. Happy 2013, and many many hugs!

    Audrey - This Little Street

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    1. Oh Audrey, you know how to cheer up a girl! Although my reply is a month late, I truly appreciate your words of hope and encouragement. Hugs back to you!

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  4. I love this post. I really do. It's a very realistic, yet hopeful post. I, also, no longer do a list of resolutions. Instead I choose a single word to carry me through my year, something I started last year and worked very well with me.

    I wish you all the best with your year and wish you all the best in achieving everything you want. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Amielle! I love the idea of a single word as a general guidance. I'll try that next year!

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  5. I love this post so much!! Thank you for the great advice (and linking me to those photos, they look amazing and one of them is now my wallpaper)

    I hope you get to accomplish your resolution and have a great year! :)

    xx
    http://sonicmoonboots.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much Andie! Have a wonderful year too!

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  6. I think you are being very hard on yourself. You brought so much beauty and lovely design into my life in 2012 and I doubt that I am alone in that feeling. As I scrolled down through all your wonderful posts it brought me much joy during a year that was also a bit difficult. I do so appreciate the brightness and joy your blog provided.

    As for the completion of your thesis, if you need cheerleaders I think you may find some here. Why don't you allow us to bring some brightness into your life and to give back for all the good you've given us? I would be happy to cheer on your progress and know you have willing followers to join me.

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    1. SuzyMcQ, I just realized I never replied to you. I hope it doesn't look like I didn't care, because your words mean a lot to me. Hearing that I brought a little bit of joy into your year brightens my world more than I can say. Thank you so, so much for your comment, your kindness and your encouragement.

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  7. check out this post! You are ENOUGH :) http://kerrying-on.blogspot.com/2013/01/on-being-enough_8.html

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    1. Thank you so much for the link! It sounds familiar. It's so easy to feel like you're not good enough, like you have to be fixed. Refreshing read!

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  8. loved it! do you mind if I quote you on my blog? thanks xx

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    1. Oops, I'm replying super late, but no, I don't mind at all. Feel free to quote anything :)

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