I’m an anti-resolutionist. I’ve always been sceptical about the value of New Year’s resolutions. Occasionally I’d humour my sister when she wanted to be accountability buddies – I’d scribble down some random objectives and then conveniently lose that piece of paper.

After all, New Year’s resolutions are something I don’t need.

Why should I buy into this lame tradition?
(I don’t get why this is a thing)

Why should I commit to ditching bad habits I totally don’t have?
(I don’t smoke and I’m not in debt. What habits could you possibly be referring to?!)

Why should I commit to achieving things that are not really that important?
(I could do more exercise, I could write that novel … But I don’t really need to …)

And even if there were things I wanted to change about my life, why should self-improvement be put on hold until January 1?
(In the second half of 2015, I decided to blog at least once a fortnight and floss weekly, and I didn’t need to wait till today to do either of those things)

Basically, resolutions cramp my style.

I mean, this is the only resolution I need. Ever. Image credit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/happytownusa.
I mean, this is the only resolution I need. Ever. Right?
Image credit: https://www.HappyTownUSA.etsy.com.

The thing is, I struggle with goals because goals set expectations. I am expectation-averse because expectation sets you up for disappointment. I hate being disappointed in others, and so I try never to be. By not having high expectations of anyone.

Being disappointed in myself is even worse: it’s called failure and involves guilt, both of which are dastardly things I’d rather avoid.

As a result, I often feel like I’ve been cruising through life, making decisions casually as they arise. I’m quite capable of making hard decisions; I’m just no good at creating a challenging plan with medium to long -term goals, and making all subsequent decisions further that plan.

Without goals, I can be more flexible and spontaneous. After all, life is unpredictable and circumstances can change. That’s part of the beauty of it.

Without goals, I am free to enjoy and appreciate life as it comes without putting unnecessary pressure on myself.

For the most part, everything’s worked out well so far – minimal disappointment, lots of nice surprises and victories. Because I have no expectations for anything or anyone to live up to.

So actually, you could say my aversion to goals and expectations makes me a coward.

Ouch.

And not setting goals could mean I’m laid back to the point of being lazy.

Ouch.

I’m probably being a little harsh on myself, but the point is that my very resistance to expectations is a good reason for me to get down some resolutions for 2016. The actual content of the resolutions is almost irrelevant – it’s the fact of making and sticking to them that counts for me.

I’m going to fight the cowardice and laziness in me. Risk failure. Push myself to try harder. And today, January 1, is as good a time as any.

Starting today, I’m going to resolve my anti-resolutionism.


The funny thing is that the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever made and stuck with is the one that brought me to faith. On January 1, 2000, I committed to reading the Bible from cover to cover, Genesis through to Revelation. Without skipping any of the “boring” bits. This not only changed my life, this defined my life.

I haven’t made a real New Year’s resolution since then. Until now.

 

Get new posts via email

Not a newsletter - just my blog posts on identity, culture and everyday life in your inbox 1-2 times a month.

............

.

Get new posts in your inbox

I'm not here to make money - I promise not to give or sell your data to anyone. You'll get 1-2 emails from me at most and you can unsubscribe at any time.

share
tweet
email
share
share
5 comments

Join the conversation - let me know what you think

You May Also Like
Keep reading >

Made to wonder: string theory and the resurrection

What does string theory have to do with the Resurrection? What's the difference between wanderlust and "wonderlust" (is that even a thing?)? Why do adverb particles matter? This Easter I really went down the rabbit hole ... String theory and the Resurrection I was listening to a podcast the other day, an interview with a physicist who was explaining the holographic principle. Based on string theory, one of the concepts is that our lived reality is two-dimensional data expressed in three dimensions. In other words, reality is a hologram. It made me think about dimensions in general. If two dimensions can express three, and it's generally accepted that we inhabit four dimensions (the fourth being time), what would 5D* projection mean? Because I'm convinced the material world isn't all there is to existence. As a person of faith, I believe we exist in more than four dimensions. But for most people - Christians, followers of other faiths and those of no faith alike - our active engagement in the fifth is limited. This Easter I was reminded that the Resurrection invites us to walk beyond the four dimensions and live a bigger, richer reality.