By Lyndsie Kiebert
New year, new me — right?
Everybody loves a good New Year’s resolution. On second thought, everybody loves the idea of a New Year’s resolution. There’s something so hopeful and comforting about a genuine attempt to improve oneself and, better yet, being given a natural start date to make it happen.
I will admit that I’ve fallen prey to the prospect of a 2021 New Year’s resolution or two. I fell prey to the concept of a new year altogether. I manufactured some artificial finish line in my mind over the past three months, preparing for Christmas and looking forward to Dec. 31 for no reason other than it was sure to pass.
Miraculously, the new year came without incident. I watched TV with my dog while eating chicken taquitos and drinking Sierra Nevadas, went to bed with some serious heartburn and woke up in 2021.
We’re about a week in, and the satisfaction of a finish line was exactly what I knew it to be all along: a figment of my imagination. Life carries on as it did in 2020 — pandemic anxiety, dreary North Idaho winter, daily routines, etc.
Through this reality check, I discovered the actual magic of New Year’s resolutions. Better than the hope and positive outcomes that come with breaking bad habits, losing weight or reaching financial goals is the simple fact that resolutions are something we can control.
If 2020 taught people anything, it is how little control we really have. Whether it’s a virus, election or a natural disaster, we are at the mercy of other people’s actions and the great beyond when it comes to most things. It is exhausting and unfair, and nothing is likely to change.
In 2021, it’s almost as if setting a New Year’s resolution is a small but useful way to stick it to the man.
“Look, I can control one thing,” says my snide inner monologue as I work toward my resolution. “Suck it.”
Let me be clear — I am not a disciplined person. I am nearly 25 years old and only managed to quit biting my nails to nubs for one month in seventh grade. I ignore the “time limit” I’ve set for myself on my social media apps every single day. I am lactose intolerant and can’t resist cheese.
I am not someone who typically makes resolutions and, the older I get, the more surly I am about such optimistic undertakings. However, this year I am making an exception and channeling the most disciplined parts of myself.
In 2021, I have vowed to dedicate more time and effort to making dinner. This seems silly, but it might actually change my life. I am vocal about my absolute disgust in the school system for failing to adequately convey how much adult brain power goes into this seemingly simple task, but I digress. I know that when I plan ahead, make food I like and have leftovers, other aspects of my life fall into place.
Gone are the days of cursing when 5 o’clock rolls around, rummaging frantically through the freezer and defrosting something for 10 minutes — I’m becoming a mindful chef in 2021, and I started a Twitter thread to prove it. My social media usage might be a good project for 2022.
A resolution can be anything. Make it quantifiable, or don’t. Use it to improve health, make money or simply to make you smile every day. Hell, start in February — time isn’t real.
All I know is that setting my mind to something I can control has been a good thing for me. I recommend it.
Also, feel free to email me your best (simple) dairy-free dinner recipes.
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