By Krista Lample, M.Ed

Happy Belated New Year!  It seems like everyone is anti-resolution these days. I get it. The general consensus is that most people don’t keep resolutions so why set yourself up for failure?  Mental health wise it seems to make more sense to set yourself up for success with small, attainable goals. Or sometimes no goals, just concentrate on living day to day.  Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up.

I’m not mocking this. Really I’m not. Most of us are way too hard on ourselves. I do believe that. But if the fear of failure is keeping you from making resolutions, I would ask that you reconsider. Do not fear the resolution. Give it a chance.

Here’s the thing though….I love resolutions. I always have. I don’t know why. Tradition maybe? The allure of a fresh start? As a life-long journaler, January 1st was always the start of a new diary. It was exciting to start thinking about my goals and plans and dreams for the year and writing them down. The act of writing something down has always been important for me. It helps me organize my thoughts, figure out my feelings and work through my doubts and fears. It helps me dream, plan, create, process and accept.

To me, the point of a resolution is in the making…not the succeeding. What’s so wrong with a little failure anyway?  You win some, you learn some. We are so scared of and disgusted by failure that we fail to see it’s value. And yes….it does have value. Among other things, we learn perseverance and resilience through failure not success. We can gain clarity and focus. We learn to not take ourselves so seriously. We learn to empathize. It’s ok if you don’t keep your resolution. If it’s important to you, figure out what kept you from it and try again. If it’s not important to you now, that’s ok too. Move on to something else.  The point is the self-reflection.

Last year, I made a resolution to read more. I have always loved reading. Always, had 2-3 books going at once from the time I was a little girl. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were times I read at least 50 books a year maybe more. In the last 4-5 years, I have gotten away from that and I miss it.  It didn’t happen. I’m not entirely sure why, but I am figuring that out. It’s important to me to figure it out.

I made 2 resolutions this year. I’m not telling you what they are and I don’t know if I will keep them. And that’s okay. I always have next year.