6 Months Over: Quitting My New Year Resolution

My New Year resolution was to write a journal, each day, without fail. If I don’t write, I don’t sleep. Simple.

A bit of context

Honestly, I’ve never been among those people who hit the gym at 5 a.m. or slog at the desk and whip out 2000 words every day.

But I wanted to be committed to a task, hence, I chose to do something smaller. Something I could stay true to.

I decided to write a journal every day. The reason? I wanted to experience what being consistent feels like. Until now, I’ve stayed to true to what I decided.

How it began

Before 2019, I longed to start something I’ve been wanting to do but hadn’t ever done. Writing a journal felt like the right choice – so that’s what I chose as my New Year resolution.

  1. I created a word file as I type faster than I write; it’s easier.  
  2. I chose writing as my resolution as it helps me stay sane.
  3. I started two days before the New Year. And since then, I did it each day.

I picked 13 questions which mattered the most to me. I answered them each day. After answering those, I simply wrote what my day was like.

That was my ‘journal template.’

Here’s what it looked like:

Note: I’ve always wondered what the ‘proper way’ of writing a journal is, but as I didn’t know one, I invented it for myself. I created a password protected word file, made a structure I could follow, and got started.

Also, I chose my journal questions based on my own curiosity as well as what I had inspired me.

For instance, one of our professors had once asked us to write one thing that surprised us each day, for two weeks. I liked the question so much I added it to my journal.

The “How will I remember this day?” question is something I picked up from the way Christopher McCandless writes his journal in the movie Into the Wild.

Later on, I tweaked it further by adding the question “What inspired me today?” as I felt my journal could help me gather the things that influenced me positively.

From then onward, it went on and on

I typed in Google Keep when traveling. I wrote when my burning eyes begged me to sleep. I resisted quitting every day. But I made sure to write each day.

And that felt good.

Considering that only 25% of people stay committed to resolutions after 30 days, and 80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail by the second week of February, I think I did well till now.

But that’s all.

It ends today.

Now, fast-forward to today

It’s been 183 days. 50.14% of this year is over already. I’m glad I made it this far.

And until now, I’ve written about 294 Pages. 93,242 words. That’s huge, considering that I’ve never made a New Year resolution for myself.

Then why am I quitting?

The activity has become sort of monotonous.

Not that writing a journal hasn’t helped me, it did. Since I’ve started writing, I’ve been mindful about my life. Or at least, I’m reflecting on what matters to me. It works.

But I haven’t had enough time to analyze everything. It’s like I’ve stuffed my mouth with food and haven’t had the time to chew it.

Hence, I’ve decided to quit writing the journal for now and spend my upcoming days reading and understanding what I’ve written, instead of merely filling pages any further.  

I think it makes sense because when we perform a task without questioning ourselves why we’re doing it, the task itself loses its purpose.

The same applies to my journal. There have been days when I wrote unenthusiastically and slipped inside my blanket.

Now I want the pages to talk to me instead of me filling them. And it begins with breaking my New Year resolution and starting with a better a thing to do, studying it.

So while I’m ending my New Year resolution today, I’ll cling to better things to do. Maybe I’ll read more, watch the documentaries I’ve been wanting to, or I’ll sleep early instead of being a night owl.

In short, it’ll get better.  

The New Year resolution was nothing but an experiment for me. Now it’s time for some more experiments.

A simple fact

The bigger resolution this year for me wasn’t writing this journal but rather staying kinder to myself. I’ve thrashed and blamed myself enough in the past. This year, I refused.

I had written about it here earlier. The password was of my journal has been “iambeautiful” all this while. I know that sounds funny. But strong or good wouldn’t have done justice to the feeling. The life I’m trying to create and idolize is … nothing but beautiful. The password simply served as a reminder.