We are warned by countless people not to make New Year’s Resolutions because they are doomed to fail, or telling us that if we want to make a change in our life, don’t wait for arbitrary dates to make the change. Yet, there is something about having a brand new calendar year that begs for things like resolutions. We are a people of frontiers, of unconquered lands on which we can start fresh, leave behind the people we were and become something new and better. A clean calendar is a frontier, a clean future in which we aren’t beholden to the past.
My resolutions all tend to be the same. Write more. Live healthier. Live greener. Be more budget conscious. Strive to improve my financial situation. Nothing new, nothing different, and nothing so bold that it alters my path in life enough that I actually change any habits.
I’m taking a different approach this year. Instead of saying I’m going to do all the things I should be doing anyway, I’m going to attempt to do a few things differently. I’m going to say ‘Yes’ to more things.
I’m a pessimist and have written about my pessimism a lot. I focus a lot on what can go wrong in any given situation. Saying yes to any proposition first means weighing a lot of variable against each other. Will my car start? Will I be feeling well? Will a person I haven’t seen in a long time suddenly show up and want to spend time with me when I’ve already agreed to do something else? I know people are already thinking that these sound out of the blue crazy but all happen to me frequently enough that I feel a need to keep these variables in my mind. It often is just easier to say no and not have to deal with weighing these variables.
Saying yes means not giving these variables due consideration. Saying yes means being willing to disappoint people, to flake out at the last moment, and in general being human.
Saying yes is not saying maybe. I’m removing maybe from my vocabulary. Either I agree to do something or I don’t agree. By saying yes I look less like Achilles sulking in my tent wanting people to beg me to join them and more like an agreeable person.
Saying yes does not mean breaking my budget. I cannot afford to go out to dinner more than once or twice a month. I cannot afford go out on drinking binges, I cannot afford to take trips. Making a commitment to saying yes to more things is not a commitment to putting myself in financial turmoil more than I already am.
2012 – Do more. Accomplish more. Achieve more. Be more.