New Year’s resolutions aren’t for me. I never begin a new year expecting to take up a bunch of new habits that will transform my life and somehow make me a better person. Because I know that ambitious new plans hatched at the beginning of the year are unlikely to stick and my imminent failure will only lead to self-doubt and bitter recrimination. In reality, January 1 is just another day. Nobody is magically renewed at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve (which is, in my opinion, one of the most lousy and overrated nights of the year, but that’s another matter entirely).
However, there is something to be said for taking a little time to contemplate the year ahead and how you want to shape it. I’d be lying if I claimed to be content with how my life is going. I do want to make some changes and improvements and hopefully end this year happier than I began it.
Let’s face it – 2016 was a shitshow. A trash fire. An relentless wave of misery. The world is in a desperate and bleak state and I’m not confident that it will get any better in 2017 – in all honesty, it seems like it has the potential to get much, much worse.
It wasn’t a tremendous year personally. Nothing disastrous happened, but nothing terrific happened either. It was bland and uneventful. I was unhappy with the state of my life and in despair at the state of the world. I didn’t write often enough and lost interest in blogging. I didn’t read enough. I didn’t escape on any adventures.
So, this year, I do have some intentions. Nothing life changing or strenuous. My plan is simple. I want to do more. To write more. To read more. To travel more. If I can also learn to say no more often, then that’s an added bonus (I swear, one of these days I’ll learn to be a kick-ass, assertive person).
Travel wise, I have a couple of concrete plans in place for short trips in the next few months, plus (big) hopes of a longer trip further afield towards the end of the year. I’ve spent half the festive break with my nose in several books (and, admittedly, I spent most of the other half planted on my sofa watching films and binging Parenthood, with no regrets).My plans to write for at least an hour a day have stuck, so far.
Right now, I look at my year ahead with cautious optimism. I’m not going to change much as a person. No doubt I’ll end the year as much the same socially awkward part-time hermit as I am now. But hopefully I will have been a little busier, a little more productive, and even a little happier.
Bring it, 2017.