The statistics surrounding the success of New Year’s resolutions are pretty dismal:
- 25% of Americans make at least one resolution each year
- Of that 25%, only 35% actually managed to keep their resolutions in 2020 (in previous years and other studies, that percentage was sometimes as low as 9%!).
If I did set any intentions for 2021, I definitely failed at them (because I can’t even remember them at all). That said, I’m still going to set some intentions for 2022, even if I’m setting myself up for failure yet again. On the failure front, there are many psychologists who are actually making a case AGAINST setting resolutions; their argument is that the pressure some of us put on ourselves to keep them, and the self-flagellation we inflict on ourselves if we fail, causes more damage than any possible success could achieve. It’s a good point and certainly worth considering.
My main resolution this year is the following: To become more mindful and present. Not in a woo-woo kind of way, but in a very practical one. I read an article yesterday that really codified my feelings – “Your Attention Didn’t Collapse, It Was Stolen” – describing how our phones, social media, and the constant influx of news, information, and messaging has stolen our ability to stay focused. Instead, we live in a frenetic space where we are constantly multitasking, dividing our attention and stealing our present. This resonated with me strongly, especially considering I was reading the article at the same time I was watching a movie (with subtitles, no less). I’m so guilty of this, and I don’t want to be.
I’ve got some other things I’d like to accomplish this year, but if I could achieve even some small net gain in the mindfulness department, I’ll take it.