The Case for No New Resolutions

6616104597_ab1c662617_qI’m not making a resolution this year. Some years I’m into it. Sometimes I feel like it’s a good opportunity to reflect and form new habits.

This year is different. I just feel like I’m at max capacity.

I’m not willing to add anything new because there is nothing I really truly want to subtract.

So maybe I do have a resolution: accept and honor the real limits of time, energy, and focus.

I’ve pushed myself to do a little more, and a little more, until… I’m at the limit of what one person can reasonably do. I think it’s a fine place to be: maintaining a delicate balance of doing a fulfilling amount of work without consistently over-doing it.

I think it’s wise to know our true limits. We can only do so much in a day, week, or year.

There is a cost in trying to do too much. Fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression can easily come from overextending one’s self.

There is a message out there that you can always do more, try harder, and just magically “find the time.”

It’s just not true. Everything takes effort, energy, and time.

I don’t know about you, but just keeping my family fed, clothed, cleaned, and reasonable healthy and happy is a gigantic commitment.

I’m suggesting that before you add a new goal to your life, be real about what you are expecting of yourself.  How much time and energy do you really have in reserve or could take away from something else?

This year, I’m going to be kind to myself. I’m going to accept that what I do is enough. I’m going to enjoy the many positive things I do even more by letting go of unrealistic expectations.  

I’m going to acknowledge and celebrate that I live my life intentionally and according to my own values and priorities.

These values include rest and relaxation. Yes, I want to be productive and have accomplishments. But I will not drive myself so hard that it decreases my quality of life.

I hope that all of you out there have a very happy and healthy new year. I hope that you can recognize all that you do and find a way to accept all that can’t and won’t get done.

So here’s to being reasonable with ourselves (and others!). Maybe sometimes doing less means living more.

What do you think? Do you have a resolution this year?

Photo credit: Elvert Barnes via flickr


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