New Year’s Resolutions Anyone?

Happy New Year everyone!

So … I know, I know, the whole New Year’s Resolution thing is cliche and can lead to feeling guilty later when you don’t follow through on your good intentions, but I like the idea of sitting down and thinking about the closing of one year and the opening of another and what you can do differently and better in the new year.

For this next year, I have not so much a resolution as a word: “balance.” I have so many balls in the air right now that finding a good balance can be a challenge. I have to balance my blogging, my work, my dissertation, my marriage, and my children. Yes, that’s a lot. Furthermore, I have to do this without losing track of the many deadlines I juggle – submitting paperwork for academic conferences, signing up for the right graduate credits, and paying the credit card, to name just a few. So I suppose I should put the word “organization” under the word “balance.” Anyway, as this new year begins, I’m going to focus on things I can do to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in my life.

How about the rest of you? What New Year’s resolutions do you have? Or, conversely, do you have strong feelings one way or another about the practice of making a New Year’s resolutions, and if so, what are they?

Anyway, once again, have a Happy New Year and the best to you and yours!

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Nea

    I always do resolutions, and I have a pretty good track record… It’s usually along the lines of “I accomplished 10 out of 17” but that’s better than none!

    Usually they’re along the lines of “take six classes in something” and “learn x new recipes,” but this year I’ve bought 52 Organizing Missions and 52 Weight Loss Missions and I’m going to cook my way through the 50 chapters of Cook’s Illustrated: The Science of Cooking. That plus I get six months each to finish the last two rooms being renovated and I intend to stand at least one shift at the clinic each month.

    Why, yes, I do have a bit of OCD, why do you ask? :D But if I only do “all” of some of these and “most” of the rest, I’ll still have gotten a lot done!

  • Nea

    P.S. I see resolutions less as an obligation and more of a set of aspirations. Every year, something’s going to come up by July that rewrites what I decided in January anyway. But this way I set what’s most important to my heart to get done and in July I’ll have accomplished enough to be able to reassess my goals sanely when the inevitable evits, if that makes any sense.

  • Greg G.

    I resolved many years ago to not wait until the new year to implement improved behavior . That’s almost as effective as any other method.

  • Kodie

    I want to strengthen my vocabulary and my ability to access it when writing or speaking my thoughts. I hope that it might make me better at thinking also. Right now, I think I am taking the longest route to hold a thought in my head and then to get it out, where a few good words will help sort my thoughts and my ability to express them better the first time. In some cases, it will help me understand others better, as there are a few words that come up all the time and I looked them up but can’t remember what they mean and don’t know how to use them in a sentence.

    Another one I have is to be more loving. I don’t know what this means yet. I get hurt a lot when I give, and people I don’t like annoy me, so I don’t have a lot of practice, but resentment sucks and I want to be natural at being kind. I think your parenting tips translate well to this area – the process of stepping back and not just going with my first reaction is probably a good skill to have with people who aren’t children. I don’t have children of my own, but weirdly, the parenting style you write about sounds a lot like what I do when I’m around children, just not adults! That means I have the capacity in me somewhere, but maybe have higher expectations for adults.

  • HelenaTheGrey

    I like the idea of resolutions. I am not always good about making them, but I think it goes along with the sentiment of “shoot for the moon…if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” Even if you don’t reach all the goals you have set, if you keep track, you can still see all the things you’ve accomplished. That challenges the perfectionist in me, which sets out to do it all and then completely gives up if I miss even the slightest part. So by making myself set goals, even so many that I know I can’t possible reach them all, I force myself to overcome that tendency and keep trying and it is nice to see how many things I am accomplishing by doing that.

    This year I want to run a mini marathon. End the year at least 20 pounds lighter than I am starting it (which is something I accomplished this past year as well). Create something at least 1 time a week. Read more books than I did this year. Learn to knit. Improve my photography skills. And arbitrary, not measurable things like: Beat myself up less. Hug my kid more. Be angry less. Listen more.

    I haven’t gotten them all written down and ordered yet.

    • Holly

      Try loom knitting first. You can finish a totally wearble project (beanie hat or scarf for example) with very little practice. I taught a friend how to loom knit and she made a beanie within 2 days of her first cast on (her only cast on at that point, come to think of it). There are tons of YouTube videos to help get you started and teach you knew stitches once you get the basics down.

    • Nea

      Alternate viewpoint – knitting on needles is just as easy to learn and you can finish a first project just as quickly. There are videos online, and a really good yarn store will teach you the basics without asking you to sign up for a class – although they have those too.

      • HelenaTheGrey

        Thanks Holly and Nea!

        I actually crochet, but I have always wanted to be able to knit too. I’ve been crocheting for about 3 years so I think it’s time I try another yarn craft. :)

      • Jayn

        Word of warning: You’ll probably need to remember to wrap your yarn the opposite way when knitting. It’s not a big deal for basic stitches, as far as I can tell, but once I started doing stuff like yarn-overs it became a problem for me.

        Also, if you’re not on Ravelry, look it up. It’s a great forum/pattern archive/resource for yarn crafters. (My profile)

  • Ms_Morlowe

    Stop freaking out over perceived, imagined, or real failure, and start solving my problems instead. Though this has the potential to become hilariously ironic…

  • Holly

    I don’t usually care for NYRs because I don’t care for anything arbitrary (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day etc) but I am a columnist on my company’s newsletter and one of the articles this year was asking everyone their NYR so I went with keep my house cleaner which is something I should do anyway. So if someone wants to call that a NYR so be it. It is just a personal goal to me.

  • Marta L.

    I don’t often do resolutions this time of year because it seems so abitrary for the way I live my life; January simply isn’t a big breaking point. I do try to think through what’s going right and what’s not in my life around the time of a new school year and that fits well with the Jewish practice of reaching out to people you’ve wronged in the last year between Rosh HaShannah + Yom Kippur (which is usually in September), so I usually end up resolving to do better in some areas around that time of year. At least from a Christian perspective, true repentance of past wrongs involves the effort not to repeat the mistake, so it makes sense that self improvement goes hand in hand with self inventory.

    This year, though, I did make a resolution. Here’s how I put it on FB last week:

    Lately I have seen people posting memes or forwarding emails with politics or theology or whatever that I disagree with. Passionately. And quite often this has led me to be angry at the *person* posting it. I have decided to try to respect the person even while I disagree with the position. I will try to remember that the person passing on the meme has the same life experiences and inclinations, and is framing them using the same institutions, that I use to express my own positions. And they’re just as tired and cranky and frustrated at the end of a long day as I am. So I’m going to try to see the person behind the position.

    That doesn’t mean I won’t disagree with ideas and won’t argue (more likely try to dialogue) with the person doing the posting. But I’ve found myself reacting in a bad way and seeing things in an us-versus-them way much more than I like to. I’m posting this tonight as a way of (hopefully!) keeping myself honest.

  • Hilary

    My secular New Year resolutions:
    Clean out my basement by spring.
    Stay caught up on bills each month.
    Clean up the front yard and back yard this spring, plant stuff, and put up the window ledge flower pots I bought last summer.
    Learn a few new recipies, keep exploring being 90% vegan. Enjoy good tea.

    I’ve also got my religous Rosh Hashanah resolutions. After all the pomp and circumstance of the Jewish New Year, the secular New Year just dosn’t move me much. Call me the New Year Scrouge, but I don’t like getting drunk, or staying up late at loud parties, just to celebrate changing the calender.

    Off Topic, Libby are you going to post about what’s happening in India? I know you’ve done good work around the rape culture in the US, but there are women protesting on the streets over there because of what happened to that woman on the bus. Also it would be an interesting comparison between Christian Patriarchy and Indian/Hindu (non-Abrahamic) Patriarchy.


    • Jinx

      Good question. I’d love a discussion about that.
      BTW, I find it interesting that there are ongoing mass protests in India about the rape problem, but in the US the Newtown massacre got … discussions. Not giving you my opinion because I’m not sure myself if there’s any parallel … just saying.
      Meanwhile, my New Year’s Resolution is also about juggling responsibilities…. Sigh.

  • Jayn

    Actually follow through on the stuff I tell everyone I should be doing.

    (I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions. But it’s a new year and I’m resolving to do it.)

  • Basketcase

    I set myself goals at the start of each year, purposely not calling them resolutions! I also set mini-goals each quarter, which give me concrete things to aim to achieve.

    This year, I’ll have had a baby by roughly the end of the 1st quarter, so my goals are pretty simple:
    *Keep active, *Get out tramping (hiking) at least 3 times this year, *Complete one more renovation in the house, *De-clutter, *Achieve any 5 things from my life list and *Do some tidying up on my blog.

    I also do photography, and the last 2 years I’ve started a photo-a-day challenge. I got all the way through 2010, but it died in September last year and I have barely picked up my camera since, so for photography, I want to do a good photo a week, and complete the 113 photos in 2013 challenge I’m following in Flickr. Which basically means taking about 200 photos in 365 days. Should totally be doable :)

  • Lucreza Borgia

    Get our daughter back from foster care!

  • Marian

    My New Years resolution is to write. Last summer I tried to start a blog, but life got in the way. Thing is, I really do want to blog about things that are on my mind. Plus, I love writing and I want to hone my skills. So my resolution is 500 words a day, either for my blog (for which I wrote two posts tonight, in keeping with the spirit of resolutions. Day One, check! 364 days to go!) or for the novel I’ve always wanted to write but haven’t ever gotten around to.

  • Abbiestract

    I made a resolution not to make resolutions, but I broke it.

  • Olivier

    I had only ont résolution: writing a comment on this blog ! I follow your blog since several month and i find it really excellent . I am a french guy, forty, father of three and former catholic, so some of the religious issues you’er talking about are fairly exotic for me. Nevertheless, french catholicism do have Its weird streaks too! (Charismatic cults and traditional mouvements )
    I find your writings and thoughts always interesting and offensive discuss them with my wife.
    I wish you a very good year (I don’t Know if it is relevant, but here the deadline for new year’s Well wishing is january the 31th) and hope you’ll manage too keep on your blogging

  • Olivier

    I’m really sorry I meant to write “often discuss it with my wife” ! There’s nothing offensive about your blog as far as I am concerned.