New Year, New Goals, New You?

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What do you do when a new year starts?

Do you start planning your New Year’s resolutions, or do you simply dress up old ones?
Do you bother with goals and targets and new starts and new beginnings?
Is there any point?

Good questions, if I do say so myself. However, I can only tell you what I do.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Not because I can’t/won’t stick to them, although it has to be said that when I did make them, I rarely stuck to them. I don’t make them because I don’t think it’s necessary. I agree that the start of a new year is a great time to come up with some new goals, but if January is over, is it not possible to come up with goals throughout the year? I hear July is a beautiful time for goal making.

I already have goals that I created last year. Instead of waiting until January to start them, I began working towards them right away. If I happen to stumble upon a goal or two on January 1st, then that’s fine, too.

We often hear that New Year’s resolutions don’t last. Who knows whether this is true? Due to the media’s negative bias, and our own, it is the more negative stories which tend to draw us. So maybe there are many people out there who have stuck to their resolutions like super glue and made unbelievable changes, and we just haven’t heard about them…
But for this post, we’ll stick with conventional wisdom.

One reason I think these resolutions don’t last is because some people don’t really believe in the resolution that they’re making. Maybe they don’t really believe that they can do it, and so they don’t. Maybe they don’t want to make any resolutions but feel compelled to do so because everyone around them is making them, so they make one but drop it at the earliest opportunity.
Maybe resolutions don’t last because change is often difficult and it takes time, dedication, belief, (insert your self-development cliché here.)

I like making goals. It gives me something to work towards, but I don’t make them for the sake of making them. If I did, then I wouldn’t get anywhere close to achieving them. I have to want to achieve something in order to stand a really good chance of succeeding at it. Accidents do happen, though.

Anyway, here are some things I want to do this year:

I want to self-publish my debut novel.

I want to make some new friends.

I want to be self-employed by the end of the year.

What are your thoughts on New Year’s resolutions? Have you made any this year?

Can Solitude Be A Good Thing?

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Solitude has a bad rep.

If you admit that you like spending time on your own, people tend to think you’re lying.

She’s just saying that to make herself feel better about being friendless.

Alarmed or Pitying looks are thrown your way when you tell them that you plan to be on your own this weekend.

At work, I used to feel self-conscious when people saw me on my own at break times. I used to imagine that they were thinking all sorts of unpleasantries…

She must be weird… She has no friends… She has no friends; therefore, she must be weird.

I work at a school, and instead of heading to the staff room at break and lunch times, I used to sit outside the classroom I worked in. I enjoyed this rare moment I had to myself without the children, the teachers, the noise, but because I felt too self-conscious sitting there, all alone; I forced myself to go into the staffroom.

The enjoyment I had once had sitting on my own vanished, and instead I was surrounded by gossip and inane conversation, which can be jolly good at times but wasn’t what I wanted to do on my break.

I’m an introvert and I like having some time to myself. It’s the time I would recharge my batteries, if I had any. It’s where I regain my energy.
There is a lot of good to be said about solitude. It’s just that it isn’t often said, or at least not very loudly.
During my solitary periods, I discover more things about myself. After all, who doesn’t want an excuse to spend more time thinking about themselves? It’s not as if we already think that the whole world evolves around us.
Nonetheless, through these solitary periods, I get to understand myself better— feel more comfortable with oneself.

You can also think about your goals in life, whether you’re achieving them, whether you need to set new ones, whether you need to have any goals at all…
It gives you time to think through complex issues. It allows you to figure out how you are going to approach them.
Instead of doing this: react first. Grovel later.
You get to do this: think first. React later.

Or you could use your time on your own to not think about anything at all…

Of course, I’d be lying if I said solitude was always a blast. It isn’t. Especially if it’s unwanted. You can feel miserable and angry and lonely and frustrated, but you could feel all of those emotions and more even if you went out every night and had a million and two friends hanging onto your every syllable.
And I’m not claiming that solitude works for everyone. It’s the only thing I wouldn’t generalise on… but it could work for you.

Some people hate solitude, and wish they could be anywhere else but with themselves.
I just happen to like it, most of the time.
And if something is good most of the time…

What do you think?