New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be about fitting into a pair of jeans. Try something more creative and meaningful this year.
By Natalie Strong
Left: the author's first face of 2017; Right: the author's 365th face(s) of 2017
Since you accomplished all of your New Year’s resolutions last year and are now svelte, healthy, and self-cared for, you are probably at a loss for what to resolve this year.
Or, if you are like me, you woke up on January 1st, 2020 the same person you were when you went to bed at midnight (Eastern Time) on December 31st, 2019. That’s what I thought. And it’s okay.
Instead of retreading last year’s territory, I’d like to advocate for a different type of resolution this year, one that does not assume that there was something wrong with our 2019 selves. Rather than subtracting from ourselves, let’s add. Let’s add creativity to our everyday lives.
In 2017, I drew/painted a face a day for a year, and I learned so much over the course of the challenge. Noses, ears, eyebrows, teeth… Yes, I learned those, but what surprised me most was that following through with it was more about commitment, flexibility, and open-mindedness than it was about the quality of my work.
This is how I know resolutions don’t have to be so epic. They can be simple and still be challenging and rewarding. A resolution can be a series of weekly or monthly challenges, or it can be a 365 daily thing, too, if you are up for it. Here are some ideas for challenges you might undertake:
A Line a Day: Write down a motto, a quote, a line of poetry, or a simple summary of your day. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to look back at all of your ideas and get a sense of your 2020 experience.
A Haiku a Day: Write three lines following this pattern: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. No rhyming required.
A Doodle a Day: Give yourself a time limit, even as little as a minute, and doodle a little pattern or character, or try out all of the pens in your pen cup.
For something a little more challenging:
Write 1,000 words a day. At the end of the year you’ll have a book.
Teach yourself a new skill and practice it every day. Piano, guitar, knitting, drawing... It doesn’t matter what you choose. Practice daily and you’ll be quite skillful by next January.
Draw a face a day. Start at Emoji level and work your way up.
Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to do it poorly in the beginning or at ANY other point throughout the year. It doesn’t matter how well you do it, only that you DO IT ANYWAY. There are infinite ideas on the internet, or you can invent your own.
Get creating, El Segundo, and if you decide to participate and share on social media, please use #TESS2020challenge so that we can follow each other’s progress. I will be walking the walk. Will you?
This story appears in our January 2020 issue.