Saying no to New Year’s resolutions in 2014

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New Years Resolutionbecause-I-said-so-greenConfession: I’m one of those annoying people who love to make New Year’s resolutions. I love the clean slate of a new year. I enjoy daydreaming about all of the goals I could accomplish in the next 12 months, then deciding what is actually possible and breaking my goals down into manageable, measurable pieces.

Some years, I make ambitious, longer-term goals like run a half-marathon, write a book and save enough cash to finish our basement. Other years, I set smaller targets, such fold the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer or write in my journal three times a week (I can never get the latter to stick).

Like most people, I’ve penned resolutions that last only a few days or weeks — quit sugar  is one that comes to mind — but I’ve had enough success that setting yearly goals seems like a good thing to me. Usually, when I set a goal, I stick to it.

But this year I’m not making any resolutions. Well, except one: Don’t make any New Year’s resolutions. I guess you could call it an anti-resolution.

I know that sounds negative, but hear me out. After years of packing my schedule as full as possible and pushing full steam ahead to get stuff done, I’m tired. Really tired. I know there is a certain degree of exhaustion that comes with parenting but what I’m experiencing more than anything else is mental and emotional fatigue.

A kid-free trip to the beach would certainly help restore some clarity, but mostly I know I need to take things down a notch. So I’m giving myself a pass on New Year’s resolutions. This year, I’m going to be OK with the status quo. I’m trading my usual stick-to-itiveness for spontaneity and giving myself freedom to follow my whims.

I don’t plan on turning into a flake. I won’t be sitting on the couch watching reality television and eating bonbons all day. I still plan to do all those things I do on a daily basis. But I refuse to pile on more.

Instead of training for a triathlon, I plan to go biking with my kids. Instead of growing my business, I’ll grow a garden in my backyard. Instead of getting more grey hair (fingers crossed) I’m going to get a tan on a beach somewhere.

I’m living life this year without any grand, idealized goals guiding me, and I’m ditching the guilt. I’m saying no to New Year’s resolutions so I can say yes to life.

 

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Natalie Hollingshead is a former magazine editor turned freelance writer and editor. She writes regularly about home, family, food and travel for a handful of publications, and is co-author of the book "Happy Homemaking” (Cedar Fort, 2012) with Elyssa Andrus. A native of Alberta, Canada, Natalie lives in Orem with her husband and their three children.

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