It’s that time of year when people are talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you were even discussing them with your friends at that New Year’s Eve Party you went to, or maybe you made a resolution last year (because of that thing that happened) not to go to any New Year’s Eve parties this year, and gosh-darn-it, you’re going to be the one person you know who is going to honour last year’s resolution!
What’s good about New Year’s resolutions is that they have a built-in “out” that plain old goals don’t seem to have. Resolutions have a widely accepted reputation for not being honoured or completed. If they were proper goals, you’d have to tell somebody, possibly hire a coach, and rope one of your friends into being an accountability partner. That’s a lot of people to involve, and you’ll really have to change (there will be no more pretending), so, take it easy on yourself this year and make resolutions instead.
There are, in case you didn’t know, different categories of New Year’s Resolutions, and different reasons to make such resolutions. Many make resolutions for how they’re going to change themselves this year. Some are general (to lose weight). Some are very specific (to lose 20 pounds). Some are personal, and some are about how we relate to others. I think that knowing what you’re going to do with a resolution is important, as is knowing why you’re making it.
Many people will openly declare their New Year’s Resolution(s) in front of people, and others will keep them quiet.
Introverts, for example make internal, often private resolutions if we do make them at all. Once you say it out loud, you have to do it, or else you’ll hear someone say next NYE: “Didn’t you make that same resolution last year? What happened there?” It’s so much less pressure just to keep it to yourself.
The Classic New Year’s Resolutions are those that are mentioned in the news every year, and statistics are kept about them, and their achievement rates are published.
What I would like to know is: are there any statistics kept about introverts and resolutions? Do we make them? Do we achieve them? If you know, please let me know. It would be hard to know since introverts may be better at keeping secrets than keeping resolutions (or allowing somebody to track them). Here I’ll cover resolutions that I hear mentioned a lot.
- Fitness. This is the time of year (January) that I make excuses to not go to the gym because someone is likely taking up space on my elliptical machine. Okay, it’s not my elliptical machine, it belongs to the gym, but I get a little peeved if I have to use the upright bicycle. I really didn’t want to work that hard! I applaud people for wanting to get in shape and exercise more, but if you show up to the gym in your jeans, I know you’re not serious about it. Good for you for showing up though! (I’m continuing with the positive attitude for 2019! YAY!)
- Weight-loss. If an introvert has made a new year’s resolution to lose weight, you can bet that they are reading a book about it rather than join a group where they’d have to talk about it. If you know an introvert who has quietly declared such a resolution, then you’ve finally found someone to off-load that diet book you’re no longer using to.
- Being nicer to people (which people in particular?). This one lasts until the next time the resolution-maker gets into their car. They may realize at that point that they are in fact the only one on the roads who knows how to drive (frustrating, I know). They can drive in all weather conditions, and they know how to go fast in slow traffic (you know the ones).
- Finally take that trip to Europe/ Africa/ Asia/ South America. I like this one in particular because I haven’t been out of the country in a while on a nice long trip, and I’d like to do that sooner rather than later.
- Get out more – means leaving your house/ apartment/ barn once per day, other than going to work. You can come right back, just try it for a little while.
- Get a boyfriend/ girlfriend. This action involves putting oneself “out there”, which is something that introverts are notorious for avoiding. Staying “in here” is not only safe and comfortable, it just makes sense if you don’t like strangers.
- Be more positive. This is one I’ve heard from people periodically, and it’s vague. What does that mean to be more positive? To me it’s not about being bubbly all the time, or loud even, as that might just annoy some people (such as introverts who are scared of loud noises). It means taking action, recognizing when things are good, and knowing that better days are yet to come.
- Eat better/ differently/ become vegan – not to lose weight, but to become healthier. This one isn’t even close to being on my radar (the vegan part) because I like bacon, but congratulations to those who are looking to improve their eating habits in general. Once I start putting on the winter chub, I know it’s time to start dialing-back my eating of potato chips.
Unique resolutions are ones that don’t necessarily make the news, are more specific, and are not all that popular in the main-stream.
- Flossing every day instead of a few days ahead of your next dental check-up. Not only will this impress your dental hygienist, it will have positive health-effects too (breath check).
- Say “hello” to people when I’m out for my walk. Not many introverts try this one because it while it may start out as small-talk, it may turn into talking to somebody about our inner-most thoughts, and that’s just too personal. A journal that can be burned in a fireplace at a moment’s notice is a great substitute for sharing details with a person. Still say “hello” to people though. I think that’s okay.
- Publish that book that’s been taking up space on your hard drive. Every now and again an introvert who doesn’t talk much will start putting words into writing instead, and then get them organized into sentences and paragraphs that others might like to read. This is another one of those things that involves putting yourself “out there”, so this can be a challenging one, believe me. My recommendation? Just get it done. Get the writing to a point where you’re content with it, and then put it out there!
- Getting rid of baggage – not the so-called too large carry-on bag you’re trying to stuff into the overhead compartment (although, consider checking that thing next time), but the emotional baggage. This one is rather tough, yet freeing at the same time. It’s tough because it seems appealing on the surface, but it could mean telling personal things to a stranger in order to find out what you need to get rid of. Don’t be afraid to do that, just have the person’s office swept for listening devices first. It’s not paranoia; it’s due diligence.
- Run a marathon. Be careful of this one. It’s really a goal because it requires planning, training and coaching, and probably specific actions you’ll have to take with your diet and how much water you drink.
After all this talk about New Year’s Resolutions, you may be wondering what mine is for 2019. The truth is, I don’t have one. There are things I’d like to do of course, but no resolution. The reason is that by the time I settle on one, it will be too late to start it. So, maybe my resolution should be like my Mom’s; that is, to not make one!