Why resolutions don’t work out

Too often, people resolve to change instead of celebrating who they already are

I always used to claim that “I don’t do resolutions” when I was asked what mine were.

I would say things like, “why would I set myself up for what will likely just be disappointment?”

But then, late in 2016, I decided that it didn’t need to be that way.

“I’m going to do something creative every day next year,” I said.

Whether it was to write something or take a few photos that weren’t for work, get into my “art studio” and throw some paint around, pick up my guitar and strum a little – even if only for a few minutes – or get into my workshop and cut a few pieces of wood for a project, I “resolved” that every day would contain at least a moment of creativity outside of office hours.

And on Jan. 1, 2017, I did something creative. I think I primed a couple of canvases and threw some colour at one of them.

On Jan. 2, I played my guitar.

And every day after that – for about five or six months, anyway – I made a conscious decision to make sure I was engaging the creative side of my brain to accomplish something totally unnecessary.

Well, that’s not exactly true. While, strictly speaking, I didn’t need to be doing creative things, in another way, I really did.

While they may not have been contributing financially to the household (okay, I did sell a few works last year, but that’s not why I was doing it, and I’d say it was approximately a self-sustaining proposition), these acts were certainly contributing to the well-being of the household.

You can’t quantify happiness the way you can quantify a bank account, after all.

You can’t put a “value” on time spent when that time is spent making you a better, more fulfilled person.

And the best part is that even when I eventually “failed” to do something creative one day, it had been so ingrained that I was at least thinking about creative things every day, which is almost as good.

I counted it, because at that point, I realized what my “resolution” was really about. I decided to “do something creative every day” not because I wanted to have a house full of new art or release an album of original music to the world or have a gallery show of my photography. I just wanted to be more of what I already loved about being me.

I think that’s why people fail at resolutions.

Too often, they make resolutions in an attempt to change, instead of embracing and celebrating who they already are.

So whether you made a resolution for 2018 or not, I just want to take a moment to encourage you to do more of what makes you love yourself.

Be great this year, people of Campbell River, but not by changing.

After all, you’re already great. Just be that more often.