For some reason, New Years always makes me think of the ocean. Resolutions make me think of messages in bottles, cast out into the waves like a wish. Just hopes whispered to the sea.
This year, I made a very pointed decision not to make resolutions for 2016. I usually don't as a general rule, but this time around I knew it would be in my best interest to eschew the tradition entirely. Resolutions come pre-built with disappointment. Their very nature, being so loaded by expectation and peer pressure, all but assures failure. I don't have it in me to chase after lofty goals and empty promises made to myself, not after the year I had. I'm trying self-preservation on for size right now, after all.
Instead of resolutions, I've decided to take some emotional inventory of where I was in 2015, and decide where I want to be by the end of 2016. These are not big things. They're not particularly exciting things, either. But they are things I want to prioritize for myself, in order to continue getting right with myself. These are my messages to myself for the beginning of 2017, kept on my shelf rather than lost to the sea. Let's see how this goes.
Set My Goals, Not Somebody Else's.
I have to stop worrying about what my father wants. Stop worrying about what strangers want. Stop worrying about the narrative construction of my life. I have to just try to meet my own goals -- be they big or small -- in my own time, at a pace that is healthy and sustainable for me.
Stop Downplaying My Strengths.
I'm a good writer. I'm an intelligent person. I excel in academic settings. I really need to work on being okay with that, rather than hiding from it, or denying it outright.
Be Proud of My Work. Accept My Successes. No Matter How Small.
People respect me. People enjoy my work. People think I'm worthwhile. People think I deserve to be here, and don't judge me nearly as harshly as I judge myself. It would be nice to be able to feel as though that were the case, and not shrink away. I know I need to find a way to feel that my thoughts, my voice, and my work is strong enough to stand on its own, without apology.
Set My Boundaries. Stick to Them.
I have a nasty habit staying involved in friendships long beyond the point of reason. It comes of being isolated as a child, and being so often abandoned by friends as a teenager and young adult. So I cling to those who come under the guise of friendship, even when I'm miserable. Even when my own feelings are being ignored. Even when I'm being dragged around by people who in no way have my best interest in mind. I'm going to try to stick to my guns more often. To set boundaries, and cut that dead weight out of my life.
Be Okay with What I Want.
It's hard for my to do things for myself. Years of being told what I want doesn't matter, or is inconvenient for those around me, has made it difficult to take stock of my own goals. That kind of conditioning doesn't go away overnight, and I know that. I'm just trying to learn how to be okay with the things that I want, even when they conflict with the wants of others. Right now I'm in a place where people are trying to help and support me in my goals; I want to learn to accept their help, and not feel guilty for thinking of myself sometimes.
What are some of your anti-New Year's Resolutions?