32: A New Philosophy on the New Year

So I’m updating this for the first time in a while and also for the first time in the New Year. I originally intended to post on Christmas Eve but just as I began to ramble about how my sisters were later for dinner, they showed up and we ate dinner. The days that followed included more Christmas gatherings, finishing up presents, lots of sugary snacks and a trip to the dentist who told me I need to take it easy on my gums.

At this point of time in the year, everyone’s making resolutions and talking about the last 365 days. There seems to be a mixed bag when it comes to evaluating the year, but the general consensus seems to be 2018 was all right but we can do better. At least, that’s what it seems in my older age as opposed to my teen years when a new year meant hope that the next one wouldn’t suck. In any case, this usually means the time for reflection and readjusting…or at least attempts to. Now, in the past I’ve talked about how I don’t hold myself to resolutions. The problem with resolutions, at least for me personally, is how hard I can hit bottom after realizing I didn’t hit my goals the way I wanted to. So I usually stuck to very broad goals for the incoming year, with realistic expectations. 

This year, I’ve begun to consider a new philosophy in the new year in order to keep things more positive and productive. We’ll see how that works out. Here are two things I’ll consider going into 2019:

1. Instead of focusing on things I don’t like about myself, focus on things that others say I could improve on.

I came up with this because I was considering a fatal flaw that one of my friends has: a fear of making decisions. This is bad because I’ve noticed that this person often finds him/herself in situations that are actually harmful to the state of mind. Certainly, it would help if this person would try making his/her own decisions without fear of the outcome. So in the new year I’d like this person to take more risks and power through the crippling fear of consequence.** This made me think that I, too, could benefit from the feedback of others. This helps to take the pressure off of myself and keeps me from hating myself and instead will help in encouraging myself. Rather than internalizing the criticisms, I can take that energy into something productive. I trust my friends more than I trust myself a lot of the time so I won’t take it as hard when they say “I think you could benefit more from…” and I know that they’ll mean well.

So I’ve begun to consider things my husband wishes for me to improve on and also have questioned from friends whether there’s something they’d like me to do in the coming year.

2. Instead of reflecting on what went wrong, reflect on what went right. 

It’s easy for us to criticize ourself and our years. There’s always an “I wish this didn’t happen” or “this went wrong”. But what about what went right? Spinning the year into something more positive can help immensely with your world view. This isn’t to say we ignore what went wrong. On the contrary, we just hold it with a little less weight in an attempt to balance things.

What went right for me in 2018? I definitely think I’m doing a better job at motivating myself. I’m doing a better job at getting myself to “just get up and do the dang thing”. I wish to keep that up, and if possible improve it. I mean, look! I’m on my 32nd day of writing, which took a bucket of motivation to start and keep doing. I’ve even begun to jot down notes on ideas for future posts. Though it didn’t seem like much as it began, I know it’s a huge improvement. Considering what went right isn’t always easy, either. When I was on antidepressants, they told me that I wouldn’t notice that it was working – I didn’t. It wan’t until I took an actual moment to reflect and consider the way I had been feeling before I realized that it was. So even though you might not think so, considering what went right might not be as hopeless as you think.

 

Let me know what you think! And I wish you all plenty of joy and prosperity in 2019. I hope these considerations may help you as you get through our the next journey around the sun.

** I’m not going to push it. This is just something I thought this person could improve for the benefit of him/herself.

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