Dr Rana Traboulsi
New Year's Resolutions: The Case Against
A couple of days and we will be rid of 2020. New Year’s Eve will be another compromised occasion spent in solitude or digital company. Compared with other cultures, New Year’s Eve is not celebrated in a big way in the UK. The culture of the New Year’s resolutions, however, is much more significant.
Except. This year I plan not to take part in the cleansing rituals of a fresh start with the many new resolution reminders showing up on my calendar!
May I make my case, dear reader?
Spare some energy for the long run
2020 was a challenging year on every level. I feel like I had to dig deeper than ever for self-discipline. Getting out of bed when you have nowhere to go felt pointless, but I did it.
The strength I used to get through 2020 has to be sustained and used wisely. I don’t have enough to commit to a new endeavour or resolution.
Hidden shadows of worry
Throughout lockdowns and restrictions, I had to keep the wheels turning in my life and my mind. But I wonder how much stress I internalised? Although vaccines have been approved, my reality isn’t much different from the first lockdown. I don’t need the extra stress of starting something new – I need to keep some mental space to process my situation.
No room for spontaneity
During the last few months, I have achieved a quasi-routine. The familiar structure has been an essential lifeline. Everything new, impromptu or spontaneous this year has often been energy draining terrible news. As a result, I am utterly lacking in enthusiasm for the impromptu, the new or the spontaneous! I will stick to familiarity of my quasi-routine while it brings me stability and comfort.
Privilege that became a life line
This year, I’ve been able to focus with gratitude on how lucky I am to have a happy and healthy family, a safe city to live in, friends who care…all of these things have taken on a new importance and have helped me perform all the tasks I have to do every day.
I want to carry on with my gratitude for things that I have previously taken for granted, those hidden gems in my life. I don’t need resolutions or new events or projects.
Do these reasons chime with you, dear reader? Or, are you keen to put 2020 behind you and look ahead with a fresh start and new projects?
If you disagree with Rana, perhaps you'll agree with Catherine, she'll be making new year's resolutions - read about it here.