True Confession #657: I Don’t Like the New Year.

There. I said it. I hate the New Year. And not just this new year, either. I have nothing against 2015. It is the year of my 20th wedding anniversary, and it’s divisible by five; what’s not to like? The year itself looks pretty promising. It’s not the new year that intimidates me. It’s the New Year, the one with capital letters, the one that carries in one hand the high expectations of making a change; and in the other, failure.

My New Year tends to go something like this:

January 1 – Get drunk on the possibility of changing every aspect of my life.

January 2 – “Holding strong. Look at me! I’ll do it this time!”

January 3 – “What was so wrong with the old me? NOTHING!”

January 4 – “Screw it. I’m going to watch Malcolm In the Middle and eat MoonPies until my eyeballs fall out.”

Later, rinse, repeat.

It’s a nice idea, really.  A new year is a blank slate with endless potential. We don’t yet know what the coming year will hold, so just for a second we stand weightless on the precipice of the future. For one shiny minute it feels like nothing is impossible. And therein lies the trouble. Each new year becomes New Year; it becomes THE year, the one in which we will finally lose weight, exercise more, succeed at a hobby, stick to a budget, drop a bad habit, pick up a good one. This is the year I WILL FINALLY BE PERFECT!

It never happens. Fear of failure creates failure. By February, the budgeting software lies collecting dust in the back of the closet, the new treadmill is a coat rack, and failure takes its place at the dinner table like an old friend.

It’s lose/lose game, and I’m not going to play anymore. I’ve done my reflecting on the old year. I know what didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, and I know where I went wrong. They’re my mistakes. I own them. Will I change them? I’d like to. But I have to find a new way to do it. Making a blanket promise to the New Year hasn’t worked for me. This time I’m starting small. My new motto is this: “Just for today.”

It’s not just mine. I borrowed it from my 12-step friends. It works for me. I need that reminder that I don’t have to change my entire life, I just have to change my right now. I don’t have to do anything forever or even tomorrow. Just for today. Tomorrow can take care of itself.

I do have goals. Not for the year, but for the near future. They’re general ones, things I have some control over. I want to blog more and create enough of a focus that it doesn’t devolve into the ramblings of a crazy cat lady. I want to edit/rewrite a book I wrote last year, one I have been too afraid to look at since April. I’ve made a good start, working on it four consecutive days already. And I’ll do it again today. Even if it’s just today.

One foot in front of the other. That’s how these journeys go.

"And you may wanna take another look at that cat-lady goal, Mom..."

“And you may wanna re-evaluate that cat-lady thing, Mom, because it looks like you’re heading in that direction.”

What are some of your goals?



25 thoughts on “True Confession #657: I Don’t Like the New Year.

  1. What is wrong with being a crazy cat lady? Anyway, I agree with ignoring the whole new year’s resolution. Why bother? Everyday should be the start of improving yourself. It isn’t bad to have goals; we should have goals to keep oursleves motivated. However, why limit ourselves to New Year’s Day? You should set a new goal everyday and then you could fail the next day, right?

    • Yeah, New Year is such an arbitrary date. I’m trying to cultivate some new habits, and I think this time of year made the most sense to do it because I was off for a week, and I actually had time to think about it.

  2. I agree; I think you’re one awesome cat lady with a few turtles tossed in the mix (but not with the cats).

    I don’t look back for regrets, and I don’t make resolutions. Nevertheless I do get giddily drunk on the clean slate of possibilities. I love thinking about all I want to ‘taste’ in the New Year. I never make it about ‘improvement’ but rather about wide-open wonder for all that might become part of me.

  3. I write my resolutions in pencil… 🙂 I’m pretty goal oriented naturally, so I always carry a mental list of things to do.
    I’m having knee surgery today, so that will take car of “Get into the gym more often” resolution. I’ll be rehabbing every day!

  4. I’m with you. I’ve never met a resolution I’ve kept, so instead, I’ve made it more of a blanket statement: be kinder to yourself, Amy. That can manifest in any number of ways. And it’s most definitely one-day-at-a-time.

    I want to smoosh that kitty-face!

    • Yep. This year I did have a list for the first few days of January because I was actually on vacation. We traded old books at the used bookstore, donated bags and bags of outgrown and unwanted clothes to the thrift store. It feels good to start off light.

  5. I have decided to reach for the stars…one ladder rung at a time…and literally created ladders in my Word Office. The good thing is I don’t mind if I don’t reach the top this year, if I’m going up…that will be enough for now.

  6. I understand the disappointments of believing in changing oneself to be perfect in the new year, though I may not agree with you entirely; with discipline and focus and realistic goals you can make positive changes in the new year. However, I like that you’ve come up with a one day at a time solution, it starts with small steps and I say Rock on! Have a happy new year.

    • I think “realistic” is the key word here. I see so many things I want to do differently, and I set out trying to do it all at once. Slow and steady wins the race. I have to remind myself that I am a tortoise person, not a hare person. One day at a time.

  7. It’s funny, but I actually don’t have trouble keeping resolutions. In 2000, one of mine was to do a yoga/stretching routine first thing every morning. All these years later I wouldn’t dream of starting my day without it. I find the “one day at a time” more difficult, because I know I have to do it again tomorrow anyway. My 12-step go-to is the serenity prayer–trying to accept what I can’t change. My one resolution this year is to be more mindful, not just being grateful for blessings, but to stop constantly losing things!

  8. I am not a fan of Happy New Year. Not the sentiment but the celebrating. In many ways if feels forced. Hubby and I stopped trying to force it years ago. We have an early dinner and don’t make ourselves stay up to midnight. Wait am I rambling? lol We do however set goals. These days they are more about what we would like to accomplish with the dogs over the year, (we never had kids so dogs it is).

  9. I’m with you. I didn’t even bother with it this year, at least not the deep introspective sit-down to create a flow chart for my life. But I’m formulating a couple of things that could be called goals and taking a couple of steps that might lead to progress-ish. Possibly.

  10. I thought I had given up on New Years resolutions long ago. But you inspired me to make a confession/resolution this year. So here goes. “I will never be perfect, nor will anyone else! Life will never be as expected or planned. The forces I multiply will shape the world. My goal each day is to Add Value and Do Good! “

  11. Found and enjoy your blog. My New Year resolution is to read/learn more about geopolitical events than FB and blogs. Yes, sounds awful, but has not been so bad.

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