what I do instead

Written By Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.  |  Musings  |  6 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.

I live in a floating home, in a moorage, in a city. It’s the one place I have lived the longest since I left New York City, where I was born and raised. I fell in love with it because it met my desires to be in the country and in a city – and here I can do both at the same time. Being on the river has a very country feel to it. I often compare it to camping but with indoor plumbing. And heat. And Internet. And every store I need within quick driving distance. 

But I am also in a city and I can be in the downtown area in a short time period.


My House

My house is what I call a 2-part home. The main structure and what is known as a tenderhouse.

My Moorage

This is a summer evening looking out at what I call my backyard.

Part of My Garden

Everything I grow has to be in pots. These are my nasturtiums and some of my other plants in the back with the dog sniffing them.

My Dog

No part of my life here can be presented without a picture of Tova. She loves living here, playing tennis, and being able to walk along the levee.

But as with most places in my life,  I move on. The pandemic has shown me that I don’t want to live here anymore. Which surprised me. I want a backyard. I want a big garden. I want a different kind of lifestyle and neighborhood. And that will happen.

Thoughts? Comments? 

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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.  

  • It is very lovely, all of it. I can see why you wouldn’t want to live here in a pandemic. Funny how things can change. I love your dog.

  • What an interesting place to live. But, yes, often we have to move on and go to a new place, do new things. I love the pictures.

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