I have always been interested in setting goals and working toward them, which is everything the new year is branded to be: an opportunity to look ahead at what you would like to achieve and coming up with a plan to achieve it.

I love a good plan. I plan everything. I plan things that haven’t happened yet, things that won’t happen for 5-10 years. I plan for things that will never happen just in case they do.

A lot of times, though, the new year reminds people of the plans they did not achieve in the former year. It can bring pressure to “improve” in many obscure ways.

“I really need to exercise more.”

“I need to learn a new skill or hobby.”

“I have to focus on healthy eating.”

“I need to quit [insert your ‘bad’ habit here].”

And while all the above are valiant goals and should be tasks we keep at the forefront…new year’s resolutions can have a special way of making people feel inadequate if not achieved.

At the start of 2023, the only official goal I set was to take more time for myself — in whatever form that may be. Reading a good book, taking spin classes, going on walks with my dog. I reflected that I had been burnt out in the previous year, and I needed to be judicious in taking care of myself.

I can confidently say I did this very well for the first half of the year. I went on a few trips, visited with friends, read many books, consistently exercised. Then the year took a turn and changed to focusing on what feels like everything but myself.

And that’s OK.

There’s the age-old Yiddish expression, “Der Mensch Tracht, Un Gott Lacht,” which means “man plans and God laughs.”

My goal for 2024 is to let go of some of my plans.

Yes, I do see the irony that I’m setting a goal to let go of making goals.
I am not saying I’m letting go of all my goal setting and planning … but I do need to release some expectations.

In the news business, due to deadlines, we spend a lot of time working in the future. We plan for a deadline that’s a week away, but we also plan for a deadline that is two months away. When you are working so far ahead — it’s easy to slip into planning for your personal life far in advance as well.

In the new year, I need to find a little more peace with what is, instead of focusing so much on what could be.

I wish you all a peaceful, happy, new year.

As always, thanks for reading.