Some years ago I decided to not make any “New Year resolutions”. I have enough duties and obligations as it is. I chose to make “New Year plans”, instead. What is the difference? Let’s see… resolutions imply failure to comply, responsibility, definition, acceptance, commitment, assessment and work. Plans imply fun, steps, flexibility, growth, movement.
Resolutions are targets we set for ourselves. As such, they involve deadlines and measurement of success. Unless maintained in time and pursued with some passion, we (and others) will consider that we failed in our endeavours.
Plans, on the other hand, are flexible goals that we have in mind and that entail a certain amount of adventure and flexibility. Whenever we’re advancing towards one of them, our circumstances might change, and we might therefore decide to approach our plan from a different perspective or even change it altogether. Resolutions can’t be changed. If changed, they become something different. Let me give you an example:
My resolution for this year might be to devote more time to myself. How will I know that I’m doing that? I’ll measure it precisely and might even use a calendar to note how many minutes I truly devote to myself each week. Unless I reach that time goal, I’ll consider that I failed and didn’t fulfil my resolution.
If I were to define a plan instead of a resolution, I might plan to devote more time to myself using some or all of the following strategies: a) go out with my friends more often, b) read more books just for fun, c) take better care of my body, d) have some more time alone, and e) travel to different places in the world. No timelines, no measurements of success or failure but a general trend for the year. Can’t travel abroad this year? No problem, let’s organise road trips or visit nearby places. Because traveling is a plan and not a resolution, it can be adapted to my reality and still be a plan without making me feel like I failed.
Resolutions are obligations. Plans should be fun. You choose. Which will you have? I know what I choose 🙂
Enjoy life… all of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart