I'm not a great one for New Year's resolutions.
For some people, no doubt, the turning of a year has seen a turning around of their life and they have never looked back. Good for them: I'm truly delighted. It seems to me however, that in a lot of cases, one just sets oneself up for failure – which isn't great for mental well-being. Besides which, this grey and dark time of year in the Northern Hemisphere (even if the solstice has been and gone) is not terribly conducive to energetic new starts.
New Year's dreams, plans and intentions though, are another thing altogether.
Today my family and I sat round the kitchen table after lunch and made a list of the things we'd really like to do this year. We'd like to cycle down the Thicket Path by the river where there's now a new cycle path; we'd like to grow tomatoes and carrots in containers by the back door; we'd like to visit Jervaulx Abbey in Yorkshire (a privately owned ruin: much more wild and overgrown than Fountains Abbey).
None of those things involve huge effort or changes in our lifestyle and they are all things that will bring us quite a bit of pleasure and satisfaction for very little outlay and effort. They will take a bit of planning and scheduling though.
And that's probably the only difference between a dream and an intention. There's also the matter of which of us will take responsibility for those plans. My husband has to find a free Saturday and put the Thicket path ride down in the diary. I have to find a free weekend to visit Jervaulx, contact my cousin in Yorkshire to see if we can stay with her, and yes, put it in the diary. Even the planting of the carrots and tomatoes is more likely to happen if it's scheduled.
It's said that most people overestimate what they can achieve in a day, and underestimate what they can achieve in a year. Whatever your hopes, dreams, ambitions and plans are for this year, I wish you all success with them. My advice to go with that is to always put them in the diary!