The new year. New energy. A time to make a new promise to yourself.
A promise most of the people will break before the first week of the first month is over.
This year do something different.
Don’t set a new year resolution.
You read it right. It is me saying that. The one who is big on daily tasks, weekly projects and monthly goals.
All those things are fine. I work well with them. But a year is too long. A lot can happen in 12 months. Life has a way of surprising us. Remember the age-old saying – “Man proposes, God disposes”
The trouble with setting New Year resolutions is that each year we set higher and higher standards for ourselves. We already have so much on our plate. We don’t need to put ourselves with more anxiety, more pressure.
It is time to accept that you are not your accomplishments. Your existence is not just for meeting goals. Your existence is to be here. In the moment. To be present in whatever state you are in.
You are not to under-promise and over-deliver. You don’t need to continually improve. You are not a Fortune 500 company which has to show more profit each year. You are a living being. And like any other living being whether it is a bird, or a fish, or a dog, or a cat you have a right to be here.
Have you ever seen a cat setting a New Year Resolution? For her, today is like any other day. As long as she gets food and water and comfortable surroundings it is a perfect day for her.
Why can’t it be the same for us? Why do we have to make our own lives miserable by setting higher and higher goals?
If anything, we need to cut out some of the trivial things from our lives.
“You do not need to waste your time doing those things that are unnecessary and trifling. You do not have to be rich. You do not need to seek fame or power. What you need is freedom, solidity, peace and joy. You need the time and energy to be able to share these things with others.”― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Death, No Fear
As far as your writing goals are concerned, just understand one thing. Rather than setting a goal that I will finish the book this year or I will write a million words by the end of the year, just think of writing as a daily practice.
That is what writing actually is. A daily practice. Just like cooking or having a shower. It is simply something you do every day, whether for fifteen minutes or one hour. If you make it a daily routine, just like cooking or having a shower, it will not be such a scary thing.
You don’t need to worry about the quality or quantity of your writing. Just write. If you write daily, both quality and quantity will improve.
And let go of the thought, this year, that you are not a writer until you are published. If you write, you are a writer.
“You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”― Thich Nhat Hanh
Let this decade be the decade to free yourself from any expectations, mostly of your own.
Enjoy the new year to its fullest!