I’ve gone back and forth on the subject of new year’s resolutions over the years. On the one hand, I’m a big believer in putting things out there, on paper, if only to clarify aspirations and translate them into actionable items. (I also think there is something to the notion of “manifesting” goals by focusing on desired outcomes, though not in all cases or circumstances.) I worked in three different start-up settings and found that one of the biggest levers for progress in the early days of any new enterprise is being disciplined around 30- and 90-day plans in particular. Anything longer in scope lacks the granularity you need to feel as though you are making material progress, especially when your work load looks so different on a day-to-day basis (i.e.,: I might be setting up SquareSpace for a simple website one day, presenting to an investor the next, and working through wireframes with a designer on the third). And without the structure of a 30 or 60 or 90 day plan to remind me of the slightly broader brushstrokes at hand — God help me! So, I do feel sitting down and putting pen to paper when it comes to goals is critical.
We have all been living with tremendous stress, with plans and normalcies upended and guidelines and timelines constantly changing. It is strenuous living with so many unknowns. In this context, I am reminded of the quote: “Pressure is a choice.” Do I feel now is the best time to choose to set new goals for myself? Will they be another thing to juggle and possibly feel badly about if unmet? Is now the time to opt in?
On the flip side: we are living through tough times, but we are still living our only wild and precious lives. This is not a dress rehearsal, or an ante-room, or a holding space. I am flustered at the thought of deferring meaningful personal goals because of the pandemic and then regretting those postponements later. Maybe now is the time. I am in turn reminded of the quote: “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”
Where do I go with this thought train of mismatched cars? Is there a middle ground? Something between goals and inertia?
I have tried to set themes in years past — “grace” being my favorite — and I like the gentleness of this approach. It provides a north star when thinking through situations or reflecting. However, it can only offer suffused light — not the series of path torches on which I occasionally want to lean. I think, instead, this year I will set goals and then scale them back. Instead of: “run every other day,” I’ll choose “run twice a week.” Instead of: “two books a month,” I’ll choose: “Always be in the middle of reading a book.” (Who cares about the pace? Just have a book at the ready, downloaded and inviting.) Maybe 2022 is about lowering expectations and grading on a curve.
Where do you land on the subject? Does anyone have a novel approach to resolution-writing?
+I did write resolutions last year. I did well on 3 and 4, completely fell apart on 1 and 2, and give myself middling marks on 5.
+What did you learn last year? I need to reflect on this prompt myself. Here were some learnings the last go around (in 2019). A good “learning” vintage.
+”The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” (Do you agree?)
+Remembrances of my grandad.
+This ridiculously stunning dress is my top contender for my sister’s deferred wedding celebration, scheduled for this spring. My mom may not approve of the cutouts but gosh isn’t it gorgeous?! (More spectacular wedding guest dresses here.)
+Ordered this adorable $15 gingham bolster pillow for mini. OMG how cute?! Wish it weren’t sold out in blue or I’d buy that one for micro’s room, too! Also available in a fun oversized floor pillow size for a reading nook.
+Stocked up on Hanky Panky for 40% off here in two non-hideous colors: desert rose and shng armor.
+The sherpa vest I’ve been wearing all season (generously gifted from Talbots!) just went on sale, plus an extra 40% off, bringing the price down to like $80. Great way to get the Tuckernuck look for less. I have been surprised by how much I wear this — it’s dressier than a puffer and layers nicely over knits, but not as fussy as a faux fur. I wear it on walks, throw it on over striped Kule tees and knits at home, etc. True MVP!
+Love these cheery scalloped salad plates. Come in several colors!
+Adore this statement sweatshirt. I have a similar one in black I love.
+My other favorite sweatshirt: this Kule. I wear it constantly. Perfectly proportioned and a nice thin-but-not-too-thin weight.
+These shorts are a classic and come in such great colors this season.
+Just ordered a couple of these inexpensive, classic monogrammed kitchen/guest bath towels. We will be having house guests in the new year and I am finally getting around to adding some minor touches I’ve deferred for a long, long time. I also needed a few waste baskets that we’ve gone too long without — bought one of these for the upstairs!
+Coveting these unusual (and unusually chic) shades.
+Sweet necklace for us mamas.
+Have been wearing my Alo tube socks a lot while working out lately. I own in multiple colors. Nice and thick and the colors are so fabulous. I like to pull up over black leggings for a throwback Fitness Barbie vibe.
+Banana’s collab with Harbison yielded some truly gorgeous pieces — this one could be La Ligne!
+If you have it in you, now is a great time to buy discounted Christmas/holiday gear for next year. Crate and Barrel has a ton of fabulous stuff at 50% off, including these stocking holders, this tree collar, and these glitter fronds to tuck into a tree or arrange in a vase or on a mantel.
+Not sure if we will be continuing ballet this upcoming semester for mini — I think we will try a different extracurricular (currently searching for an art class for her age — 4, almost 5 — if any locals have recs), but this under-$20 leotard/tutu combo was a must-order. She will love! Mini has owned 2 or 3 of these more expensive ones from I Love Plum over the years and they are adorable and have a nice amount of dramatic tulle to them, but Tilly (our airedale) destroyed two of them!!!
+Incredibly sad I missed out on these shoes in mini’s size.
+I feel like a Nancy Meyers protagonist should be seen wearing this $29 turtleneck.