No timescale can be put on becoming who I aspire to be.
I’ve never been a New Year’s resolution kind of girl, and I think this is why: my personal growth doesn’t follow calendar time.
I absolutely believe in making improvements and setting goals, but my need for that kind of structure rarely shows up on knocking on my door come January 1. For me, growth means paying attention to what is needed during any given season and adjusting as I go.
I refuse to set myself up for failure. As a recovering perfectionist, making an unrealistic promise to do (or not do) something for an entire year—or, yikes, the rest of my life—feels like an invitation to be mean to myself when I’m unable to deliver.
The only way I’m able to actually change my lifestyle and stick to it is by knowing that there’s no rush, that I have time, and that I’m not a failure if it takes me longer than you thought.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’m allergic to “shoulds.” When I’m doing something purely out of obligation or compliance, I become frustrated, resentful, and guilty. At one point in my life, this was my primary way of functioning, but I broke free and took ownership of my decisions.
But above all, I really value promises. I believe in never breaking a promise, no matter what it takes. When giving a promise you are giving your word to someone, and they trust that you will stick to your word and keep it. To me, being able to keep your word or promises says a lot about your character and who you really are. Maybe that’s just the truth-telling journalist in me.
To me, a resolution is a promise, and I don’t make promises lightly. Maybe I’m taking this all too seriously, but I can’t seem to do otherwise. I just don’t like to make a commitment I might not be able to keep. Not even to myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s impossible to make a lifelong behavior change. I have made plenty of my own incredible life changes over the years, but a lot more went into that success than tacking up a new calendar and vowing to be different from January 1 forward.