I think it is important at least to me to sit down and reflect on the prior year. I personally do this so that I do not take anything for granted. You should never take the good stuff for granted, we all know that but I do not want to take the bad stuff for granted either. For anything bad that has happened in my life I have learned more than I have from all the good stuff. What was my last year like: I traveled to 3 continents, spent Christmas and New Year’s Day surfing and swimming. I got to have one of the most amazing New Year’s eves with complete stranger who have since because friends. I traveled to a music festival to appease my wife and came out the other end with a new-found respect and love for music and festivals in general. If you are at all a music fan you must go to SXSW! I incorporated my photography business, started and closed a photography forum. I failed stats once and passed it once, being .500 means I had a better year than the Cubs did. I was promoted at work. I took up cycling and meet 90% of my personal goals. I got to spend amazing times with friends and laughed until it hurt on a number of occasions. But for all that good there is bad. I had to say good-bye to a friend that changed my life for the better in the short 10 years I knew her. At some point I will talk more about that. I just don’t have it in me to do right now. So that’s my year in review.
Now that is covered onto New Year’s resolutions. So by this time into the New Year most people have already abandoned their new year’s resolutions. Part of me is very grateful for that since I no longer have to wait in the gym to use the equipment. I find the act of making New Year’s resolutions completely and underlay stupid. I feel the same about Bucket lists which is yet another topic I am sure I will rant about in the future. Every year people come up with a list of stuff they want to do different and every year the majority of them make a half ass effort to accomplish the action they want. Than 3 weeks into the year they give up or forget about it and chalk it up to “hey at least I tried” Well that’s bull shit if you ask me. I do not make New Year’s resolutions. Why? it’s not because I think I am above them or anything or that I feel that I have nothing I need to improve in my life. It is actually just the opposite. I have a metric shit ton of things I need to improve in my life and if I tried to tackle all of them once a year I would also fail just like the majority of other people. For years I came up with a list of resolutions and I failed, than I would put off what I wanted to change about myself for the next year. This repeated itself year after year after year. The next thing I knew I was 10 years older and had improved next to nothing in my life. I think I actually tried to quit smoking 5 years in a row. You know when I ended up quitting smoking for the last time? September 11th 2008. It had absolutely nothing to do with New Years. It had everything to do with not waiting to make a change.
I think most people fail at New Year’s resolutions because it is acceptable to fail at them. Or because they make a huge list of things they want to change and in the end it is so daunting that they give up on all of it. So how do you go about changing the things in your life that need to be changed? That’s different for everybody and up to you to figure out. I am in no position to tell people how to change their lives I can only speak to what seems to be working for me. What has worked for me over the last few years is; I just do it! Every month I try to find something in my life that I feel needs to be changed. Lately it is using the proper words in their proper form. This has come to make a lot of my friends very happy! In conjunction to that I wanted to read more books and be better husband. By working each thing into a daily routine I find I tend to accomplish more. The next thing I know I am reading two books a month (or in my case I listen to them) I come off more intelligent because I tend to know when to use their, there and they’re and my wife hasn’t left so I must be doing something right there (see what I is just did there).
More so than making resolutions I think people should take the time to look back on the previous year and be honest with themselves on how it went. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? What did you do that was OK but you could do better in the future. I had a lot of great things happen in the past year. But I also made a huge amount of mistakes and took a lot of great things for granted. I failed a class in School which pushed off my graduation greatly; I spoke out too much at work and didn’t conform to corporate life properly which gave me the stigma of being and angry person. I noticed these things and decided to make the changes I needed to make sooner than the New Year. I buckled down in school and passed that shit class. I evaluated how I fit into my current companies culture and decided I cared less about how my current boss viewed more and more about being true to who I was and what I wanted out of life than how my current boss or team viewed me. That doesn’t mean I haven’t toned some things down at work. I like getting paid and all. It just means I will not let the corporate bull shit and lack of desire crush my passion for certain aspects of my job that I enjoy. I make conscious efforts to make positive changes to different aspects of my life throughout the year. I do not accomplish all of them but I accomplish a hell of a lot more than I did when I made New Year’s resolutions like so many others did. I hope to never slip back into the making empty resolutions that seem to be so tossed to the side and disregarded almost like it is a badge of honor to some to fail at their resolutions.
Well that’s my quick year in review and my outlook on New Year’s resolutions as a whole. The funny thing is when I sat down to start typing this it was going to be about “Hindsight is 20/20”. That train of thought derailed along the way, welcome to how my brain works. Sit down with one thing on your mind and go a completely different direction. My wife is a saint for dealing with this on a regular basis.