I’ve never been good at keeping the tradition of a New Year’s resolution. I used to write a list for myself, starting the year off by feeling productive and hopeful. I think the longest I consistently stuck with a New Year’s resolution was two months, and of course the unavoidable feelings of guilt and failure were quick to follow. Instead of being proud that I stuck with something as long as I did, I feel like a jerk for not being able to follow through with something I put on myself.
This year, I wanted to do things differently. I made no resolutions for myself on January 1, 2013. Instead, I decided to put a dangerous amount of trust in where life wanted to take me (life wasn’t taking me anywhere too crazy to begin with). Knowing that a disappointed and unfulfilled Phoebe wouldn’t be sitting at the end of 2013 to point out everything I failed at felt insanely good.
I’d like to think I grew a lot this past year, but I don’t think I need to get annoying and say too much about it. I only want to say that I think we should all cut ourselves some slack around this time of year. I also think that anyone with the self-respect and motivation to think of a New Years resolution in the first place deserves to get creative. There are plenty of good changes I’ve welcomed into my life that I didn’t decide upon on January 1, 2013. My 2013 resolutions have come and gone over the months, some lasting weeks and some I hope to keep for a lifetime. On November 7, I told myself I would make some work of art to post online everyday. This lasted two days. But I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t think this means I should stop making art just because I don’t want to do it everyday. Remember that time when Grimes gave up practicing veganism for a hot second to eat an exciting, new flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? That’s what I’m talking about. We are all just humans trying to do good things, and that in itself is pretty fantastic and remarkable. We shouldn’t hold everything against ourselves all the time.
So I hope you give yourself a lofty New Years resolution that you know you won’t keep. I hope you also give yourself a series of specific ones that you know you can accomplish. Do whatever you need to do to realize—at the end of next year—that you probably accomplished a lot more than a healthier diet or a good exercise routine. I bet you also grew immensely as a human being. I hope you have a safe and happy new year, and I hope you surround yourself with goodness.