So, how's everyone getting on with the start of 2024? Are you killing it? Have you instituted all your New Year's Resolutions without missing a beat? Did you make it past Quitters Day? Did you know there's such a thing? I'd never heard of it either, but it's the second Friday in January when resolutions and reality intersect.
It sucks, but I see how Quitters Day can be a thing. Resolutions are easily broken. So many people are trying to impose new rigid boundaries on themselves - quit sugar, lose weight, start going to the gym every day, and say goodbye to toxic relationships. These are great things to put one's energy into. Still, these decrees can easily be steered off course by a moment of weakness (Because, duh, ice cream tastes good, and if you've ever tried to cut sugar from your diet… you know how hard it can be.) and cause a domino effect — triggering the person to feel bad because of failure. Then they're like, "Fuck it," and throw in the towel.
The proverbial "New Year, New You" mantra sends me into convulsions. Each day we wake up is a chance to enhance our lives. I get why January 1st gets all the hype for starting fresh, but all the other days in the year are just as good an option to start making better choices or become more aware. I was on "vacation" (it was not vacation) until January 7th, so if I had used the first day of the year as a jumping-off point, I'd have failed on day one.
I've also seen a lot of "Reinvent Yourself in 2024" trending these days. What do we think of the word reinvention? Do we like it? I'm not sure.
The term makes me feel like I must start over from scratch. And I don't want to start over from scratch because I've worked really fucking hard to get where I am today. Of course, there are parts of my life I wouldn't mind having Rip Wheeler drop off at the train station (IYKYK), but it's just not that easy.
I guess that's why I'm so partial to self-evolution — continued growth and development over time. The natural progression of what feels good and right (listening to one's gut), paired with an organic drive to challenge and push one's own boundaries, causes transformation, which can be internal or external.
I didn't make unyielding resolutions this year. Instead, I set three intentions.
#1: Fuel My Body
Drink more water
Eat more protein
Lift more heavyweights
Rest and recoup more
#2: Elevate My Personal Style
Put more time into figuring out what my style looks like NOW
#3: Lean Into My Curiosity
Try more new things
Say YES more
Take more risks
Do you notice anything about these statements? These intentions are all based on adding MORE of the good stuff to my life — there aren't any target dates, numbers to hit, or hard stops. I'm not restricting myself but encouraging myself to add intentional aspirations into my everyday life.
Here are a couple examples…
Fuel My Body - I don't drink enough water. I know it's good for me, but I get bored. Instead of putting a 2-liter jug on my counter to judge my daily intake, I have a cup of water every time I go into the kitchen. Sounds dumb, but I go into the kitchen often and now drink much more water.
Lean Into My Curiosity - I'm a creature of habit, and I really love my routine. I can't tell you how often I've declined invitations or opted out of attending an event because it interrupted my daily rituals. I want to say yes to more things that interest me this year because I know it'll give my daily life texture.
Loads of people smash regular resolutions, and I'm happy for them. They don't work for me, so I've had to determine what does. This stage of my life is chaotic and emotionally exhausting but also full of potential. I want to continue to evolve and tap that potential, but I don't want it to feel forced, like an obligation. I've got enough obligations in my life, and when things feel like obligations, I don't want to act on them. This leads to procrastination, guilt, worry, stress…blah blah blah… it's a downward spiral.
Here's my theory…
Keep it simple, stupid. (Me, not you!)
I can conform to the norms by trying to shape-shift myself or figure out what works for me. My 2024 intentions were crafted with me in mind — they fit the contour of my present lifestyle, or maybe – just maybe – this is who I've been all these years, and I'm finally brave enough to show up as the real me. I've got a feeling it's the latter, and I think I know the reason why.
My midlife mayhem literally has no room for bullshit — I must simplify. (Side note: I didn't choose a word of the year, but I really like the idea of the word simplify.) Trying to manage all the things and carrying a heavy mental load doesn't leave a lot of free space in my head, and embracing simple tactics to help me enhance my every day is just what I need right now.
My intentions add more to my life, but they add good energy. The kind that fills the gaps with simple, uncluttered joy because it's added deliberately on my terms… just the way I like it.
I challenge you to ask yourself — What do I need right now? I'm curious what your answer is.