No-stress resolution: Be better in ’23 at something you’re already good at


Amy Fenster Brown, Special For The Jewish Light

Happy New Year! Because this is my first column of 2023, I probably should be saying something motivational about starting fresh or taking advantage of the clean slate of a new year or making positive changes and resolutions. 

It seems like there is so much pressure when the calendar changes to January from December. We are supposed to use the date as the reason to do great things. If I’m not motivated the other 364 days of the year (assuming it’s not a leap year), why would I suddenly be ready to drink kale smoothies and run without someone chasing me on Jan. 1?

Our good friends at Google say that more than half of the people who make New Year’s resolutions give up pretty quickly. It’s like making grand plans to set yourself up for failure because of the pressure of the calendar. I can beat myself up about my nonhealthy choices any month, not just in January.

Don’t you feel like we are all balancing so much and doing the best we can, that we’re exhausted? Please say it’s not just me. Sure, we all have room for improvement. But does putting pressure on ourselves at the new year make that improvement happen? Usually it comes with a big serving of guilt on the side when we abandon resolutions before February. 

There’s a lot of talk about manifesting your dreams and goals. We’re all supposed to manifest things. What is that? Is that just thinking about it so hard that it actually just happens, like what’s-his-name who said he could bend spoons with his mind? Or does manifesting mean good, old-fashioned, putting in the work to achieve the goal? It seems like a buzzword, like when something great happens it’s because you manifested it. As soon as I win the lottery, I’ll report back to you, because it’s been on my mind for years. Manifesting. 

What if we gather a bunch of people who believe in manifesting and have a festival? We could call it the Manifest Festival or, to be cute, ManiFestival. 

On a side note: If we remove the “i” from manifest we have ManFest, which would be an awesome name for a gay bar. You can’t tell me that’s not a great name. What about a gay bar and restaurant that only serves breakfast foods called the Mancake House? 

You’re welcome. 

Back to the resolutions. I think I’ve got a motivational idea to make changes while still being realistic. What about doubling down on an activity you know you’re already good at? Then you’re focusing on something you already do well, and now you’re going to do it more or better or with extra steps. 

My resolution is going to be overthinking things. I’m amazing at it. To be even more amazing, I’m going to overthink things, worry about overthinking those things and then overthink why I worry in the first place. 

It’s like a superpersonalized lather-rinse-repeat cycle. I know I’ll be successful. 

Year 2023 personal crisis averted.