So, here it is mid-January, and I'm wondering how many of you have already broken some New Year's resolutions.
New Year's is traditionally the time for us to grab a metaphorical broom and clean house, out with the old and in with the new. We enthusiastically resolve, with eyes bright and drink in hand, that we will accomplish many new things during the coming year - or perhaps to stop doing some things. We'll lose weight, quit smoking, fall in love, tidy the basement, get a new job - whatever. And not necessarily in that order. The common element is that we tend to set these very general goals, some whimsical but many very unrealistic. We usually aim too high with this list, all the further to fall when we fail - and we will. In fact failure has become so much a part of the tradition that it's easy to shrug it off with friends, as it seems we all share that shortcoming. So there we are, with Christmas letdown, a New Years hangover, and the depression of long dark days and SAD - and we decide to beat ourselves up by focusing on the past year's failings and set unrealistic goals for the coming year. Goals that we know deep down inside we'll fail at.
Why do we fail? Maybe it's the timing, or maybe these are the same goals we set every year, and then ignore once the hangover wears off and the post Christmas bills arrive? Maybe we'd be better off to resolve to not make any resolutions that day, and also lower our expectations. Look at the year, do a lesson's learned, first look at what went well - and send that out in a Christmas letter to friends. Better than just a card and reinforces those things to you. Then look at what could be improved, and decide what you want to change. Then set yourself some smaller and reasonable goals and work on some attainable objectives for the next few weeks and months.