Resolutions have never worked for me. I chalk it up to being a wildly inconsistent person and the fact I almost always decide on what my resolutions will be as I pop a second bottle of personal champagne at 11:58pm on New Year's Eve.
The idea of a resolution is wild in itself. Defined as "a firm determination to do something," we usually just take a thing [a promise, a hope, a punishment] and vow to do it [maybe we start, stop, or continue] over the course of 365 days [of which you have no control over or glimpse into] and then look back at the end of the year to judge how we've done. Some people even go as far as to measure their self-worth or their ability to "adult" by that one thing they vowed. Me? I've usually forgotten by mid-January.
So what instead? Like most people, the idea of a New Year almost always brings forth the urge for a New Me. It's a time where I purge my desk or closet, promise to clean up my diet a bit, vow to drink less beer and way more gin [because hashtag health], and put that motivational book closer to my nightstand in hopes osmosis will finally do its job. And none of those things are inherently bad except that none of those things have ever manifested into the one thing I need them to be to get me past that mid-January failure point: habits.
If resolutions never evolve into habits then they're just Drunk Little Lies. Drunk Little Lies I cling to through the champagne haze for a better year, a better me, and a better outlook.
So, suffice it to say - I didn't make any resolutions this year. First, I was too tired. We returned from a fun but nonetheless exhausting trip to Chicago on New Years Eve which involved a 3 hour plane delay and a romp through Denver's first blizzard in our trusty front-wheel drive KIA. Second, I was asleep by 11pm. Third, resolutions don't work for me [that is the point of this essay, ffs. Stay with me.]
Instead, I spent 1/1/2022 not hungover [a real joy, 10 out of 10 would recommend] and made a list of 12 hopeful habits I plan to explore over the course of this next year. But Liz, you say, that sure does sound like a resolution! No. Shut up. It's not. Here's why this is different -
I'm taking inspiration from the Wellness Project [a book I read half of because my 2021 Resolution was to read a book a month and SURPRISE, I failed] where the author, Phoebe, embarks on a different health-related quest each month to decide whether it's for her or not, and whether XYZ actually improves her mental + physical health.
This list contains no Absolutes, Onlys, or Nevers. Stop Drinking turns into Find Better Alternatives to Heavy Beer and Stretch Every Day turns into Figure Out If You Actually Like Yoga and If Not Then Fucking Let It Go Already. Absolutes also have never worked for me, and I certainly don't believe they're a part of building a sustainable habit.
The list is just as much about creating habits as it is figuring out what I'll never love, prioritize, or be into...and being okay with it. See above note about Yoga.
I'm giving myself the month to figure it out. Not a night, not a day, not a week. An entire month to figure out if the thing that I think should become a habit and a part of my day-to-day life can, should, and will.
The beauty of this year-long adventure is that it erases my single mid-January failure point. Instead, it gives me the chance to fail every single month. Yippee! Isn't that what we're all looking for out of 2022?
In addition, I'm going to tell you about it by offering up a monthly blog that'll expose my learnings; what I did to make the thing a habit, where I failed, where I succeeded and, perhaps most importantly, where I've landed on the habit itself. Did Liz ever learn to love yoga? Sit tight until March to find out. So, here's what we both have to look forward to -
January: A More Plant(ish) Based Diet - a true experiment on whether Donald loves Liz, and whether she can successfully hide tofu in things
February: Podcasts - do I even like these? Everyone else does. Who can sit still for longer than 15 minutes?
March: Try Yoga - want to love it, kind of hate it. Make a decision + then Elsa that shit (LET IT GO)
April: Drink More Hard Alcohol (aka find a healthier equivalent to heavy beer + how I think about drinking)
May: Re-ignite That Running Love Affair - by running my first post-baby half marathon
June: Lessen My Environmental Impact - only idea so far: a month without Amazon. I'm already panicking.
July: I Used To Cycle Up Mountain Passes For Fun - an exploration into whether I should get my ass on my unused road bike or just donate it already
August: Social Media Showdown - which ones do I actually need? The answer is already TikTok.
September: OMG, I've become a hoarder - how can I create regular schedules of organizing and purging so my house doesn't end up on TLC?
October: Be A Good Human - create space to volunteer and involve those kids, too
November: Create A More Sustainable Kitchen - less waste, less moldy spinach I never ate
December: Shopping small + sustainably: See June. Help.
So here's to 2022, this ambitious list and the hope that on 12/31/2022, I can pop that second bottle of personal champagne [I will never learn] and look back on the first year I turned would-be Drunk Little Lies into monthly project plans with passion and purpose. And maybe a Downward Dog or two.