New Year's Resolutions: The Microwave Edition
I’m one of the many people who like to set resolutions at the beginning of each new year. What once seemed like an ineffective practice has become one of my favorite rituals of honest self-reflection. For the past few years, I make a conscious effort to select resolutions that are achievable and accurate to what I really, truly want to accomplish. If it doesn't feel right or if I already tell myself I'll never accomplish it before I even write it down, it gets tossed.
This year I have several goals I want to make advances in this year, some lighthearted, some more serious, but all sincere.
- Read more books. I want to replace social media time and time spent watching TV with time spent reading good books. My goal is to read at least two books a month.
- Be more active. Whether that means actually using my gym membership or just going for a walk around my neighborhood, I want to get off the couch. This may come in direct conflict with my first resolution.
- Set specific cooking times on the microwave. Seriously, this is one of my resolutions. This is what I mean by an achievable goal. Right now, I just press the 30-second button a few times and convince myself that I will stop the microwave in time. Unsurprisingly, I regular overheat food and cake my microwave in food. I’m so over that. This year, I will microwave food the the exact amount of time I need to. No more, no less.
- Write more, even during seemingly inopportune times. When I don’t write, I get lost in my own thoughts and imaginary arguments far more than what I define as “normal.” I am resolving to write when I feel the urge rather than waiting for the perfect time. Because let’s be real, there is never a perfect time for anything.
- Stop assuming I know what other people are thinking. Where to start with this one? Recently, I got into a very heated political discussion with my parents. There were a lot of tears, mostly on my part. I tried to explain my perspective. My parents both explained their points of view. There were raised voices, but the conversation (argument?) ended with hugs.
I wasn’t entirely surprised by many of my parents’ opinions, but there were several points made that I hadn’t anticipated, points that made me rethink some of my own positions. I realized that at times, I assume I know what other people think about any given topic based on cursory glances at their demographics. This practice is unfair to everyone. I get wrapped up in anticipating their criticism of me, and I neglect to have actual conversations with them to learn more about their perspective. It’s exhausting, and like overcooking things in the microwave, I’m so over it.
- Practice compassionate honesty. I want to continue to practice compassionate honesty with myself and with others. I don’t want to wait for the happy ending before I share my struggles, I don’t want to act like I’m someone I’m not because I want to avoid uncomfortable conversations, and I don’t want to fail to speak up because of anticipated criticisms. I want to work toward figuring out and sharing my authentic self, and compassionate honesty is my first step.
So there you have it. There are a few other resolutions floating around in my head, but right now, these are the ones I want to work toward, and the ones that feel the most right. And with that, I'm going to go microwave my tea for exactly 45 seconds.
What are your resolutions? Have you had success setting goals at the beginning of the year? Or are New Year’s Resolutions a waste of time? Like always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.