Friends: online and in real life

what I do instead

Written By Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.  |  Musings  |  0 Comments

list of resolutions

It’s THAT time of the year — again [sigh]

My inbox and social media feeds are filled with mail/posts selling me on the advantages of:

  • planners
  • courses about planning
  • products on how to use AI to make my year “better” “great” “etc.”
  • health-related info on starting the year off the “right” way
  • making resolutions [personal and business]
  • and more…

Except for the AI which is sort of new this year — the posting and the emails are the same every December and January.

But last year some of it started back earlier in the Fall because everyone knows:

“I have to get your attention about January 2024 in the middle of the summer or early fall or else you won't buy my product.”

It’s fine if you do the above - and even better if making resolutions works for you…

I no longer make them.

I used to.

I’d read a lot of that “how to succeed” stuff, that “guru” stuff, that “my friends say this works” stuff, and would make a list of what I would accomplish in the upcoming year….

Then at some point during the year, I’d look at my resolution list and laugh [or cry] as so little of it ever got done! Or done with any degree of consistency.

So I stopped making New Year resolutions. It seemed to not be good for my mental health OR my productivity. My brain doesn't like lists!!

I've discovered that I am not alone. Many, if not most, people did not follow theirs either.

Especially these:

"I am going to exercise every day” resolution or “I am going to lose X pounds this year” or “I am going to lose 5 pounds a month.”

And work-related resolutions?

The “I will write a post a day,” or “I will write a book before Summer,” or I will do X by Y time frame.

Ditto the very popular “I will be making $XXX a month by the end of March or April” type of resolution.

These resolutions generally do not work.

Why? We tend to set impossible resolutions or standards for ourselves. They are often more wishful thinking than actual planned-out behaviors. Not sticking to these resolutions may make us feel like failures so early in the new year, and yes, the ad people play into this guilt.

Watch ads early in the year and note those aimed at making us feel guilt and shame over NOT keeping resolutions. They may not be direct, but they are aimed at guilt making!!

my insteads 

With two major professional degrees and several accolades, I know I am not a failure.

I actually CAN and DO accomplish things - but I have ceased the resolution-type thinking and adopted a more casual approach to my life. It took some hard work on my part to re-think the business/life model that keeps telling us we “need” to make a yearly, monthly, daily plan… or else!

I choose "or else"

Opting for the “or else” works for me! 

Every choice can be the “correct way!"

I let my mind wander!

I now enjoy late December/early January as we get an added minutes of daylight every afternoon. 

I use this light/dark scenario to reflect, have fun, and think about my work - but not make any of this into resolutions,
to-do lists, or anything tightly scheduled!

I do a non-journal kind of journaling

I call it my mental meandering but it’s more like a brain dump. This is one activity I do most every day but without the “I must do it” kind of thinking, so I often don't do this. And that’s okay!

Apple has made this easier for me as they released a journal app and I have started using that app - but still not every day - I figure a few days a week [maybe] works for me.

girl scouts 1950's



NYC girl scouts circa early 1950's – some of whom I am still in contact with

I recently had a birthday…

Starting over the weekend, many friends on Facebook wished me a happy birthday. 

[FYI – Facebook posts the date of your birth if you want it to show.  Twitter and other sites do not.]

Some of those on Facebook I have met in real life [or IRL as we say] – but most I have never met – or rather – I should say have not yet met.  I am sure I will meet many in the future as we have a lot in common.

Some of my non-social media friends wonder why I call my online friends – friends!  Well to me they are friends.

They were there for me in my depression when my pets died and in my joy when I announced that my son was getting married. 

They are ardent supporters of my writing and my thoughts about politics and life – and they sometimes enjoy my videos and photographs [and even my knitting projects ]

So – what is a friend?

I have friends I see every day, I have friends from years ago that I stay in contact with via phone and visits, and some with whom I am in contact only via email or online.  And of course, my online-only friends.

Is there a difference in these friends?  Yes.  For those from the far ago pasts, and even my not-so-far-ago pasts – we may have different points of view and events on life now – but we once shared a history and that can't be discarded. 

Those histories forge a bond of friendship.  And the social media friends? We are creating our own history and forging a different kind of friendship…

But to me – they are all friends!


Comments? Thank you!

Do you make resolutions? Do they work for you? Or if not - what do you do - if anything? Please comment below and thank you for reading.  

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