All These New Year Stuff… First Update on Resolutions

Don’t bother looking for a previous post on resolutions… You haven’t missed anything, I kept them private, until I was sure.

I’m usually a sucker for new year (calendar and school years alike), when we have this completely artificial opportunity to start afresh and turn a page (not to mention buy new stationery!). I rather enjoy the end of year when you’re supposed to think about what you’ve accomplished last year and what direction you want to take next. As If I remembered everything and knew anything about directions. I wish this end-of-year frenzy of navel-gazing would make me a little less clueless about life every year, but it rarely does. The truth is I have kept some resolutions, broken countless others, and none has managed to make me enjoy sports. (I don’t believe in diets and I don’t smoke, which allow me to avoid two resolutions that are very hard to keep anyway).

This year, I decided to adopt a word. I have never even dreamt to announce “my word for 2015 is…” but then I said, why not? Whatever helps. Mine came with the last episode of Serial, the podcast I fell in love with during fall and still can’t get over even weeks after it’s over. “Big picture, Sarah!” one person said at some point (I can’t remember if it was meant to exculpate Adnan Sayed or to establish the plausibility of his crime). And this expression stuck with me.

In a lot of areas I often find that I go first for details and objections, before I pause and look a whole project over. French people aren’t known to get wildly enthusiastic but my former line of work has accentuated my tendency to zero in on problems. I’m not one to make big dreams without a down-to-earth plan, I like to be realistic and practical, but sometimes I limit myself. I check stuff off my to-do list for next week and consider myself quite efficient at it, but where are the important things in this list anyway? I have no long term plan to speak of. That’s ok to be flexible and open, but I want to have a compass in the end. That’s why this word talks to me.

I wanted a resolution about writing, but I wanted a fail-safe one, one that wouldn’t make me guilty and one that wouldn’t feel that just another chore on the to-do list (that would be sure to kill the creative mind in me, the one that’s hidden behind the nanny’s schedule and the diaper bag). I’m a sucker for self-help books, especially the ones on organization and happiness, it was time to show  what I’d learn with Gretchen Rubin and Christine Carter! I remembered that they had to be tiny enough to feel easy, and that it was easier to do something everyday than at regular intervals, so as to build an automatic habit.

That’s why I decided that I would write a minimum of 50 words every single day. That’s the writer’s equivalent of flossing one tooth, I suppose. 50 words to be written in this blog, or in my private space, or in my paper journal.

How am I faring after 12 days? So far, so good. I have written a lot more than 50 words every single time, and I really feel as if my writing muscles are flexing again.


3 thoughts on “All These New Year Stuff… First Update on Resolutions

  1. I always think it’s better to pick resolutions that will set you up to develop good habits. So smaller ones are good, or I sometimes do sub-resolutions to my main resolutions, where every month I’ve got specific goals I need to hit in service of my broader resolutions. Resolutions that can be backed up BY DATA are my jam.

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