I'm not a hipster: I don't write resolutions, bucket lists or challenges for the coming year.

You can't escape them at this time of the year: New Year's resolutions. They are a topic of conversation, they appear in all sorts of media and they appear on the majority of the blogs.

Let's all become perfect in 2018
I've never made resolutions as I don't belief in them.  The themes are predictable: we'll be more healthy by doing more sports and eating more healthy and we'll lose some weight.  We'll all pick up our passions more, find more balance in our lives and reconnect with those that matter in our lives.

So as of this week we'll all work on being perfect again. And that is an unachievable goal so only bound to fail and to lead to frustration.  Of course we can translate this wish to SMART (specific, measurable, achievable/attainable, relevant, time-bound) goals that will help us improve and that's a good thing.  But the lists are often long and working on so many area's that they are still set-up for failure.

Goal setting and focus
Bucket lists or challenges or priority lists or whatever should fix that:  they are more set-up to give you a focus in the coming year and set priorities on what you do want to achieve.   I do see value in goal setting and focus. 

Yet I trust that I listen and follow my desires (unconsciously) during the year without the need to write them down explicitly and that there is a good reason if I don't obtain specific things. 
E.g. the last years I've hardly read any books and that's a pity. I do hope that my reading will pick up again in the future but I don't feel a need to write myself a goal to read x books in 2018.  There is a reason that I've not been reading so much:  since I became a mother, my children consume time that I used to read in the past , I don't commute on trains anymore and don't live as much in hotels anymore as 4 years ago when I used to read etc , social media also consume some of the reading time....
And my priority to spend time with my children won't change, my way of commuting won't change either and realistically I will continue spending time on social media.   So while I still love reading, there is simply other priorities in my life right now that explain why the reading time went down.  And that's fine. But when I cross a book in the book store, I've found myself buying it and I have been reading more and with great pleasure during vacation past year.  So the desire is there unconsciously and when the opportunity is available, I take it.  
Would an explicit list help boost these opportunities?? Maybe it would. Well no, probably it would. But I think it would only last for a while and I'd fall into old routines anyway.  Or my context or priorities would change in the mean time: a lot can happen in a year's time!

Artificial timing
Finally I find the timing so random: an artificial calendar date that should make all the difference (or our birthday for a lot of bucket lists).  I'm too down-to-earth to pay a lot of importance to these days that are in fact not truly different than the day before.  So if you realize that there is an important life goal or desire to improve something....why wait for your birthday or new year's day to launch these initiatives?

So no goals at all? 
So I guess I can conclude: I do belief in goal setting! I do believe that communicating a set goal to friends, will enhance the probability to achieve this goal.  But don't wait with goal setting for artificial dates and don't wait until you've gathered a (long) list that gives you too much to work on at once. And don't make lists for a long period of time where your priorities might change in the mean time, the context around you might change etc...which are very good reasons not to obtain certain goals or challenges but which proofs that its relevance is only valid within the right time-frame and context.

And while typing all of this, 2 desires pop in my mind at the moment and contrary to most of the above, I'll type them anyhow: 
- I want to slowly lose 3 kg that I gained last summer (probably by reducing the carbs intake and increase vegetables consumption, as I learned through my pregnancy diabetes diet).
- I want to spend less time watching evening tv that I don't enjoy (because it's on and I am to numb to change the channel) but I want to either watch more Netflix (and maybe combine that with ironing) or read a book (in bed).  I have already started doing this over the last couple of weeks so it's not a new year's resolution ;).


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