New Years Resolution: A month and a half in
Once I hit my 20s, I realized that New Years Resolutions were bullshit.
In my early teens, my brother and I were at a family New Years party. 95% of the adults were drunk. My brother and I made our own fun in the midst of the adults grazing the booze table. Midnight hits and we watched the fireworks outside and on television. I remember thinking on the car ride home, "I don't feel different. It's the New Year. Why do I not feel different?". That confusion lasted into the next day. "Nothing is new except for the calendar page. What as the party about then? Why is New Years celebrated?"
The idea of going to party, getting absolutely hammered, belting out Auld Lang Syne in between sobs and champagne burps while the ball drops in Time Square will magically bring about a new year.
A new year. A new world. A new you.
Grown-ass adults believed that. It's like believing that Santa Clause will turn you into Cinderella even though you are an independent adult with a mortgage.
I stepped back and thought about what New Years really is on a personal level.
I love parties. God, remember when we used to have parties? I miss parties.
I've got a funky kind of insomnia and stay up passed midnight almost every day of the week. I'm here to tell you that midnight does not hold that kind of transformative magic that NYE boasts having.
And New Years is about partying before really buckling down on your work. You'll start making everything about you and the way you live your life better TOMORROW.
After the intense hangover. Maybe your first resolution should be hydration…
Ok. I'll work on that TOMORROW.
*Insert related tangent here*
Disneyland's Tomorrowland has been struggling since opening day. Tomorrowland was born from a futurist mind in hopes to inspire humans to accomplish grand things. Tomorrow is an adventure because it's so unknown. We don't know what will happen tomorrow despite our best efforts.
What brilliant technologies will be invented? Where will we physically be?
Who will be the ones to innovate this new thing called THE FUTURE OF TOMORROW?
How will we navigate this future? How do we prepare?
When will our idea of THE FUTURE be made into reality?
When the hell is TOMORROW?
*Checks watch. Taps watch face. Realizes that she doesn't wear a watch*
Tomorrowland tried to tap into that whimsical wonder.
But Tomorrow in the context of Tomorrowland doesn't just happen.
It takes time to conceptualize Tomorrow.
It takes time to plan Tomorrow.
It take times to build Tomorrow.
And by the time you built your Tomorrowland, Tomorrow has come and gone. Yesterday's version of Tomorrow is no longer valid. Today's Tomorrow is only a few hours away. Tomorrow's version of Tomorrow is still in the planning phase and would be a completed project until 180 Tomorrows from now.
Tomorrow never comes.
NOT a James Bond title, but close.
We can't wait until TOMORROW.
There are some cases where you can't start working on a project until a certain time. You have to wait on a good sale to buy that treadmill and that just so happens to be during those NEW YEAR NEW YOU sales. Or you have to complete a bunch of other projects before you can make another project happen. Absolutely!
But "just one more night of junk food and I will eat all of the salad starting tomorrow" doesn't work.
"I'm going to drink like a freshman tonight and stop drinking as of tomorrow" is a dangerous line to walk.
And how many musicians have we lost to "I'm going to do *drug of choice* tonight and quit tomorrow" declarations only to find out the next day that they died from an overdose?
I know that took a dire turn, but it feels like that tale is super common.
Dialing it back a bit, here's something more relatable.
Right now, I feel like I really want to eat this candy bar.
Okay, the brain comes in with the reminder "You saw your silhouette on the wall and mistook it for the opening of an Alfred Hitchcock film."
You either tell your brain "Piss off. I deserve to be happy and this candy is the KEY TO HAPPINESS"
Or you bargain with your brain "You are absolutely correct, brain. Thank you. How about this: I eat this candy bar NOW and I not eat one tomorrow?"
You try to guilt yourself out of eating this candy bar. Your inner Britta Perry begins to shout
"It's made of subpar chocolate and other ingredients that are not ethically sourced. You bought this corporate candy from another corporate store that refuses to pay their employees a living wage"
And end up stressing yourself out so much that you eat the candy to calm yourself down but get hit in the gut with consumer guilt.
Or you threaten yourself
"Your family is teeming with diabetes. This candy could KILL a person. SERIOUSLY. You are an overweight and inactive couch potato that will literally die if you don't start eating better RIGHT NOW. And let's not forget the condition of your teeth. Those genetics are fucking up your teeth something fierce. This candy will only add to that mountain of a problem"
And either guilt or defiance or "my brain is right. I'm a piece of shit for thinking I deserve this"
The brain replies "I NEVER said that"
The heart says "But you IMPLIED it"
And that's a whole different problem. It's up there with the Feedback Loop From Hell.
So, back to today and the fallacy of tomorrow.
I mean, tomorrow happens. As I write this, I know that tomorrow is Monday.
Yes…this took me a few days to write!
Monday will come when the bell tolls twelve. Monday is a double edged sword - it's a tomorrow and the beginning of the week for most folks. "Next week" and "tomorrow" are strange fuck buddies when you tack "I'll start that____" at the beginning of both terms.
I'll start to better myself tomorrow has good intentions. You wake up and start fresh.
But that's some hefty pressure to put on yourself. It's like dedicating time to learn 1 new skill EVERY DAY. Learning 1 new thing a day doesn't give you time to practice that thing, to hone that thing, to make use of that thing.
I made the mistake countless times that goals need to be worked on everyday. I was trying to teach myself piano. I thought "I will practice everyday for an hour on the piano."
Okay, but add that to the "I will make it a point to read a book for an hour. Everyday"
That's 2 hours taken up by goals.
Oh and "I will walk on the treadmill for 1 hour every day".
3! 3 HOURS OF GOALS. AH AH AH!
But I also want to work on my writing and my therapy tools and my perler bead art and my room renovations and be better at housework and take the time to learn new recipes and…
WHERE THE HELL DID MY DAY GO AND WHY DO I NOT HAVE TIME TO DO THE ACTUAL EVERY DAY THINGS LIKE SLEEP AND SHOWER?
I can't work on every goal every day. I have to spread that shit out. Maybe work on the piano twice a week and see how we do. Walking on a treadmill can be done daily but start focusing on distance AND multitask a little. Treadmill time can be audio book time as well! Or Youtube videos about piano lessons or honing those therapy tools!
You need to eat and drink water every day but you don't have to learn a new skill every day. You totally can, but I know that I can't so I give myself permission to spread these goals out.
Burnout is real. If you start hard n' heavy with the best intentions you may find yourself burnt out by the second week of the year.
It's easy to set a goal.
It take passion and discipline and patience and self love to follow through. Achieving goals takes effort and accountability. All of the above are possible, but struggling with one aspect can domino effect everything else. The lack of self love can turn discipline into self abuse as discussed a few sentences ago.
So, how do you plan your goals?
Fuck if I know…
Okay that's not really true. I think that I can plan my personal goals out in a way that works for me. It might not work for you, but that's the thing about goals of the NYR nature - these are personal goals that require a personal path.
I've typed more than enough to get that point across. This took a few days to type out on-and-off and It's been hard to focus on just one thing lately.
So, what the hell are these goals that I have set for myself?
I WILL TELL YOU
RIGHT AFTER THIS COMMERCIAL BREAK
Thanks for sticking with me this far.
After all of this, I am choosing not to share with you all of my goals.
I'm such a tease.
"Not sharing everything online" is actually one of my goals. There's your freebie.
I hope that you are able to accomplish your goals. I hope that your journey is educational and fulfilling. Failure can be good if you learn from it.
Try to be kind and patient with yourself. <3