January 1st. It's that sweet spot. The year is brand new, full of potential and opportunity and you have big plans. Every article in a magazine is telling you to think big, plan for the year, and how to reach those lofty goals you set. How to have your cake and eat it too. How to have it all. But what's it really all about anyway?
I've been thinking about resolutions and what I want to do in 2013 for a few months now. For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while you'll know I've set some goals for myself this year. Some were big, and some were small. Some I successfully completed. Some not quite. And some I didn't even attempt. So what have I learnt and what am I going to do this year.
Well the first thing I've learnt is that resolutions are wonderful. They challenge you to dream big. To set lofty goals. To think about the big scary things that you want to achieve in life. Resolutions are also crap. They are occasionally not achievable. Sometimes they are plain daft. They can leave you wrung out and feeling like a complete failure by January 3 when you've failed (for the third day in a row) to stick to a too rigid plan you created to achieve them. Often they are influenced by others - friends, family, media. It seems like every second article I read at the moment is about how to have 'it all' this year. You can and probably should be thinner, healthier, have a great job, be a perfect parent, have more holidays, be thrifty, recycle, buy more, buy less, buy organic, eat clean. You name it you 'should' be doing it. And article after article tells you not only can you do this, but lays out roadmaps and 3, 5 and 10 point plans on how you can achieve it and have 'it all'. But what if you don't know what you want? Or what if you don't want 'it all'? And what is 'it all' anyway?
Right now I find myself at the stage of life where I'm ticking some of the boxes that 'they' say I should as a young woman. Good job? Check! Stable loving relationship? Check! House? Check.... well with the banks help still. Dog? Check! Healthy? Well I could stand to lose a few kg, but check! Work life balance? Mostly, check! Kids?... Umm can I get back to you on that one? For so many years I've grown up hearing I can be anything I want. I can have a career, a family, I can do 'it all' and have 'it all'. 'It' being usually defined as kids, job, spouse, house... oh and too look good doing it. I've blindly followed along with some of these social norms and for the most part have been pretty happy. But I find myself this year wondering what is it that really matters to me? What is it that I want? Do I really want 'it all'? And why can't I redefine what 'it' is anyway?
So that brings me full circle to new years resolutions? This year I'm keeping it simple. I'm going to commit to redefining 'it' in my life. I'm going to commit to deciding one thing at a time about what I want to achieve and make some small changes to get there. Oh don't worry there will still be some big, hairy, audatious goals set. But instead of doing it the traditional way. Instead of buying into what everyone else things I should be doing by now, I'm going to pause and take stock. And rediscover the joy of living life & discovering what 'it' is all really about.
Who's with me?