It’s that time of year again: the time when, after days of indulging in yummy, but not always healthy, treats, we are bombarded by images of flat abs and happy looking people on treadmills. Ads stating variations of “Make THIS year YOUR year” abound. This can only mean one thing: It’s resolution time.
I can’t say I like New Year’s resolutions. I especially don’t like New Year’s resolutions that are fuelled by guilt and self-loathing. If we had a list of all resolutions made, and next December we checked it, how many would have been kept? Not many. What’s useful about that?
So why do we do it? I think we are motivated by food. We are FULL in January. We need some unplanned, free evenings. We don’t want to go to another social event revolving around food for a long while. Then there’s the weather. There is snow, and it’s lovely and white. The air is crisp. January is a clean month. And, well, the days are short and the nights are long, leaving us with lots of time to make lists...
As I said, I don’t really like New Year’s resolutions, but I do like resolutions in general. One year I made October resolutions. Another year, I tried to incorporate a new habit each month (a wise friend once told me she had learned that if you can be consistent for 30 days in a row, a new routine is likely to stick). Other monthly resolutions included trying recipes from 12 different countries and doing 12 new volunteer activities. This year I made some resolutions in August, after learning I would be spending the next 5 months in Germany (I resolved to blog – check; to learn German – check; to keep our house junk food and chemical free – check, check; and to explore my new hometown – check).
For now I think I’m done with checklists. Instead, I am going to focus on a word (upon reflection, I can sum up 2010 in one word: change. I went from high school teacher in Spain to private art collection manager in Ontario and Maine to tourist extraordinaire in Europe to chatelaine in Germany. I lived in five different houses in three countries. My god sister was granted permission to move to the U.S.A., my mom remarried, my dad got engaged, and three dear friends got married. And, and, and. The change goes on.).
My word, and by extension, my resolution, for 2011 is explore. I have an entire year to explore a new country and meet new people. I also plan on some self-exploration: I can try out different jobs, join new clubs and take new classes.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Watch for posts from England before the end of the month!
*thanks to Sarah at Pink of Perfection for posting a link to the word for the year exercise.