Resolutions get shit on a lot. They’re so often lists of things we failed to do the year before; confirmations of our own shortcomings. Making them is like sitting through a year-end review of ourselves that won’t end in a promotion. So that’s annoying.
When you look at resolutions through the lens of both optimism and encouragement (here’s a barf bag in case the altitude makes you sick), resolutions are just room for improvement, and we’re goldfish.
We’re goldfish because when kept in little bowls, we stay the same length and shape and color. But as the bowls get larger, we get bigger. Stronger and longer and more golden. So if a resolution is indeed “room for improvement,” that room is just another square inch we’re given to stretch.
Confused? Consider this: “I want to lose 3 pounds” won’t help you grow. “I want to prioritize my health,” however, might.
Even better: “I want to try a new workout class that sounds fun and kind of scary where I get to yell a lot and finally use my new cool ass sneakers that I bought last year when I said I was going to lose 3 pounds.” See, now you get to dance, too.
A few of my own goldfish resolutions this year are as follows:
– Draw more. (Open ended and without any structured number to measure against, you see. No “draw 1 picture a week,” no “become next Leonardo da Vinci.”) Just: more.
– Get back into yoga but don’t feel like this means I need to master yoga or do a headstand or complete a 30-day Bikram challenge. Just: get back into it.
– Do new things. It’s been over five years that I’ve lived in this city, and it’s high time I see a new museum, visit a new park, try a new restaurant or even take a new subway.
Chances are that if I turn off my phone here and there, do a few downward dogs and like, leave my apartment, I should be able to check off all three by next December 31. But every single magazine I have ever read while waiting at the gyno prior to the New Year has said that this resolving stuff — it’s all much easier when you do it with a friend.
So…what’ll it be? What are your goldfish resolutions for 2016?
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis