My One New Year’s Resolution for 2018: No New Year’s Resolutions!

I’ve finally reached that stage in life where I no longer feel the urge to demand that the new year be better than the last year. Not that I don’t always seek improvement, but I have enough of my life on autopilot that I don’t feel that I have to change anything to have an even better year ahead. Not that I seek to maintain the status quo or resist change, but my life is already constantly changing, more commonly than not for the better.

tldr; If I can just repeat 2017 in 2018, I’ll be quite content.

For the most part, here in the closing days of 2017 I can comfortably and confidently say that:

  1. 2017 wasn’t such a bad year at all, for me.
  2. Everything feels on track, for me.
  3. I don’t feel the need for any big changes in my life.
  4. Staying the course in 2018 would work for me.
  5. I don’t feel any urge or desperate itch to make any crazy or unrealistic promises to myself or anyone else.
  6. If 2018 unfolds as 2017 did, I won’t have any reason for complaint.
  7. If nothing changes, I’m A-OK with that.
  8. If everything changes, I’m OK with that too.
  9. If only a few things change in 2018, that’s fine too.
  10. If I feel the same at the end of 2018 as I do at the end of 2017, that’s fine with me.
  11. I don’t have any firm commitment to maintaining the status quo.
  12. I’m not desperate to escape the status quo.
  13. I’m not uncomfortable with the status quo.
  14. I’m not uncomfortable with change.
  15. I’m not desperate for change.
  16. I don’t enter 2018 feeling that I need my life to change.
  17. I don’t enter 2018 hoping that my life won’t change.
  18. I don’t have any long list of issues and problems to solve.
  19. I’ve been on the alert for problems, issues, and opportunities as part of my daily routine all year, so I don’t feel any need to do anything different in 2018.
  20. I don’t have any list of hopes and dreams that I am desperate to achieve, either in 2018 or ever.
  21. If I can just remain as open-minded as I was in 2017, that would be great.
  22. If I can be just as open to opportunity and change as I’ve been in 2017, that would be great.
  23. If I don’t reflect, evaluate, and adjust my life and lifestyle any more in 2018 than I did in 2017, I’ll be fine with that. These processes are now so integrated into my daily life that I don’t feel any need for any special New Year’s resolutions.
  24. Even if I don’t lose as much weight as I did in 2017, that’s OK.
  25. If my nutrition is no better than in 2017, that’s OK.
  26. If my exercise is no better than in 2017, that’s OK.
  27. If my health is no better than in 2017, I can definitely live with that, without any complaint.
  28. If my finances are no better than in 2017, that’s OK.
  29. If the stock market goes up only as much as in did in 2017, that’s OK. Okay, that would actually be great!
  30. If the stock market doesn’t go up even half or a quarter of what it did in 2017, that’s fine too.
  31. If the stock market finishes flat or even down a little at the end of 2018, I won’t lose any sleep.
  32. If I don’t meet any more new and insightful people than I did in 2017, that’s OK.
  33. I don’t feel the need to set goals compared to the kinds of efforts I have already been doing in 2017.
  34. If I don’t write any more in 2018 than I did in 2017, that’s fine.
  35. If I only write half or a quarter or even 10% as much as I wrote in 2017, that’s fine.
  36. In fact, if I took off the whole year without any writing, I’d be okay with that. I’ve spent 2017 writing about what I want, when I want, and I’m happy with the results.
  37. I remain quite content to stay out of the hyper-partisan fray and squabbling of the political arena. My writing covers a lot of the relevant political issues, but I haven’t been trying to join the battle or seek a one-sided partisan win.
  38. I have no real regrets for anything over the past year.
  39. If I can close out 2018 as optimistic as I feel right now, that would be great.
  40. If I can close out 2018 with as little cynicism as I feel now, that would also be great.
  41. Trump? Republican Congress? Next question! Seriously, I think too much attention is being put on too small a portion of the big picture. I do place a large portion of the blame on the media.
  42. 2018 election? I’m looking forward to it. Elections are how average Americans get to speak politically. Sometimes they don’t speak as clearly or with one voice, and sometimes they make mistakes, big and small, but over time it all balances out. In any case, no New Year’s resolution is needed from me. As with the 2016 election and special elections in 2017, I fully accept whatever choices these average Americans make in the voting booth this coming year. As I have discussed elsewhere, I no longer vote. I’m not active in politics, but I have a strong interest in it.
  43. Will I maintain the same no-resolutions policy when 2019 rolls around in a year? Who knows. Sure, it’s likely, but… my intentions now are the same as my intentions all year — to keep an open mind.

But…

A couple of things are not as pat as all of that:

  • I remain caught in the limbo world between the end of a productive professional career and actual retirement. Some consulting or part-time income would be appreciated, although I can continue living off savings for a few more years. It’s still a few years too soon for me to start Social Security, and I’d prefer to keep the bulk of my retirement accounts fully invested in the stock market for at least a few more years until I can feel more comfortable saying that I am really retired.
  • I still feel the itch to be productive. My writing and attending think tank events seems to satisfy that itch, for now. I’d be open to some volunteer work, but I haven’t encountered any that has any appeal or is palatable to me. I’ll continue to be as open to opportunities as in 2017, so I don’t feel any need to change anything.
  • Some stretch goals are probably a good thing for everybody, but I actually do a fair bit of that already in my daily life, so explicit New Year’s resolutions aren’t as needed for me as for others.
  • My budget is very, very tight. I’m okay with it, for now, but it doesn’t permit any flexibility, such as travel or eating out in nice restaurants as much as I’d like, or a nicer apartment. My theory is that if I stick to my current, super-skinny budget for at least a few more years, until my Social Security is more fully vested, then I will have the financial flexibility to loosen my budget and even splurge a little on occasion.
  • I don’t have a bucket list. Never did. Is that a bad thing? I never felt a need to have one. I’ve done enough interesting things in my life. I don’t harbor secret passions to do exotic things. If I were going to die tomorrow, I could sleep well without any pangs of wishing I had done lots of the kinds of things people typically put on bucket lists.

All of that said, I do sincerely wish all of those who do feel the need to give themselves (onerous) New Year’s resolutions great luck on achieving at least a small fraction of their resolutions.

In any case, Happy New Year to everyone everywhere for 2018!

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Freelance Consultant

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