If you’ve made any resolutions for 2020, how are they going? By the beginning of the second week, you may be feeling a rush of energy regarding them, but be mindful! The end of week two is where the first massive batch of people quit their resolution for good. If you can make it through week two and into week three, studies have shown that you’re probably good until about mid-February. We won’t worry about that milestone just yet; focus on staying strong through this week!
I haven’t written about my resolutions much yet…
…so I’ll talk about them a bit in this post as well as where I’m currently at. One huge thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years and especially while experimenting with antidepressants, is that when I start something new I feel great for the first two weeks. After that everything starts to go downhill. As such, I’m on a high right now.
Resolution 1: Pray
Ann from Seeking Divine Perspective wrote a bit of an open challenge to atheists to try prayer in the new year here. She even sent me a copy of her book on prayer to read which I am enjoying quite a bit so far! Now, to be up-front, I’m definitely more spiritual than most atheists and acknowledge that all of western civilization is centered around the teachings of Christianity, so in reality most people in America are a little bit Christian.
How does someone who doesn’t believe in God pray, though? Isn’t that like throwing pennies into a mall fountain and making a wish? As a friend of mine (who is vastly more Christian than I) said, prayer can be a great way to organize your thoughts, get yourself motivated for the day, and set some points of focus for the next several hours. I don’t kneel at my bedside every morning and pray that God sends me a perfect 10 wife and a billion dollars (although I am open to those things, Lord). Today I prayed that I would be more focused, patient, and kind, and asked for God to give That Bitch Carol the strength to not be such a bitch today… or at the very least to help me remember to put my headphones in when she starts talking. Coincidentally, I’ve prayed for her to not be so bad every day so far this year and she didn’t show up to work at all last week so I must wield great power!
Resolution 2: Travel & Explore
Regardless of whether or not there’s an afterlife, we are only here on Earth a short time. I’ve always wanted to explore the world, spend time in other cultures, and see the ruins of the civilizations that came before ours. I’m not the kind of person who goes on vacation to get drunk on a beach (especially now that I’m sober) and because I was such a drunkard in my past life, I’ve not been to many places.
Much of the United States has been visited but not in a meaningful way. Most of the states were just driven through with one or two unplanned stops to answer nature’s call. Further, most of the states I’ve been to were on a summer road trip with a girlfriend I didn’t particularly like, so it was far from enjoyable. I’d like 2020 to be the year I finally get out of North America and see somewhere new, even if it’s just for a weekend. This seems so out of the realm of possibility right now that it’s a goal that’ll really stretch me.
Beyond travel, I’d also like to simply explore my own state more. Last summer I did a fair bit of this and would like to continue the trend.
Resolution 3: Study Every Day
Studying doesn’t necessarily mean just schoolwork, although I’d like to at least take a practice test every day for my uni classes. I need to get the ball rolling again on my extra-curricular studies in photography, music, and networking. Come February, I’ll be expected to get my A+ certification pretty much on my own, and I’m not ready at all. Everybody I know tells me it’s a really easy test, but I’m quite out of practice when it comes to computer technology. I used to know just about everything one could know but 15 years of booze wipes out the memory.
Resolution 4: Be Present
Being present is the most difficult resolution but also the one that is necessary for all the others to work out. One needs to be able to snap themselves out of lethargy and depression when it comes and I will have to be doubly vigilant for that. Being present, to me, includes eating well, exercising, and checking in with myself every thirty minutes or so to make sure I’m doing what I should be doing. This doesn’t mean I’ll never allow myself to relax and do something pointless to unwind, but it’ll (hopefully) be more planned.
My new decade won’t be easy…
…especially with depression always looming over the horizon. My resolutions are all focused on keeping my mind focused on the positive and not allowing it to dwell on what could have been or how much better everybody else is than I. My planner is certainly filled with tons of goals besides these, but they’re more material and occupational goals which can only really happen if I stick to my resolutions. I’m not setting a resolution to go to the gym every day or stick to a new diet because, quite honestly, that’s never going to happen!
I hope all of you are still on track with your resolutions, if you’ve set any. I don’t put much stock in them, personally, but I do think that there’s a lot of positive energy around January 1st which we can utilize to motivate ourselves, even if it’s just for a short while. Always remember, though, that you don’t need a specific day to start something new. If you fall off your resolution, you can come back to it when you’re ready.