In late 2016, I came across an interview with my forever girl crush Ashley Graham in which she talked about why she doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions.
Graham said that while she always sets herself goals, “putting a pressure on yourself to look a certain way or act a certain way just because it’s a new year isn’t always easily attainable”. I thought her reasoning (just keep being your awesome self) was pretty solid.
So when 2017 came around, I didn’t resolve anything. I just continued to focus on what was important to me, and not worry about putting any extra pressure on myself.
At first, I didn’t really notice a big difference. I was really busy with work and studying full time, and I just put one foot in front of the other and got on with my life.
But a couple of weeks into last January as I was walking to work one morning I realised I was really calm. Way calmer than usual. I wasn’t manically weighing myself to see if my insane January diet plan had started working yet, in fact I didn’t even have an insane January diet plan.
I wasn’t getting frustrated by the way things were going at work so much, because while I absolutely had goals I was working towards, I had given myself the gift of time to see how things would unfold.
Instead of spending hours lying awake at night thinking about all the ways I’d failed myself because I hadn’t done anything that day that concretely moved me towards my 2017 goals, I just read a book or watched some Netflix before falling asleep. (I know, I know, I shouldn’t be on screens in bed, but since I never made the “no screens in bed resolution” I felt way less guilty about it.)
I stopped panicking about my total lack of a love life. No more desperate swiping at 3am for me. I just went with it, and 2017 was so crazy all on its own that I barely had time to think about self-improvement, let alone implement a regimen.
LISTEN: The Mamamia Out Loud team farewell resolutions, and decide on a single word. Post continues after audio…
But I found, as the months unfolded, that the early sense of calm and purpose that I experienced from not setting too high a bar never went away. Curve balls came my way, at work, in life, and I just kept on going.
I hadn’t really plotted a clear course from January to December, and so the fact that I got from one to the other in a pretty roundabout way and didn’t melt down despite some truly terrifying life moments, was a big deal.