Fair warning: This post has approximately nothing to do with escape games.
I’m sat here quite upset today. Upset because I don’t get the whole “woohoo New Year’s Eve!!!!!!1” thing and feel like I’m missing something. Upset because I’m already sick of seeing all the “new year, new me” and “make 2018 the year you…” stuff. But most of all upset that the majority of people who will set themselves some challenges for 2018 will be so selfish about it.
There are some people in the world who don’t take care of themselves or their families through choice (I’m not talking about any of sort of ‘limitation’ here). For me those people are so unrelatable I hope they aren’t reading. Thankfully I don’t think there are many of those people. For the remaining 99.999% of people, taking care of and having an interest in yourself and your family is obvious. A no-brainer. One could very easily call it a ‘mandatory’. As part of that care and interest in those nearest and dearest to you, I hope there’s an element of continuous improvement; how can I make their day better? How can I make myself better? How can I help? I’d like to think that they are mandatory for people too.
And therein lies the problem with most new year resolutions. Making things better for yourself and those immediately around you isn’t optional, so doesn’t count as a challenge. You don’t see people doing a ‘sponsored spending time with the kids’ or ‘please donate because I’m trying to lose weight’. Those things are commendable but expected; self-serving; only doing the bare minimum. The challenge comes from doing something that you don’t have to do, but will because it will make things better for someone outside your immediate family.
Sticking with the above analogy you could decide to do some sort of charity fund-raiser in 2018. Run a marathon, climb a mountain, organise a cake sale, all great stuff. But these big ‘one shots’ are not the only way. There is life going on around you all the time that you can get involved with. You can offer some time and your skills to a society or club that you’re involved or interested in. You can become a referee or organiser for a sport you like. You can organise a conference or social event for like-minded people. You can do something to benefit the local area and community where you live. You can do hands on volunteer work with charities. You can invent something that changes the world. There are lots of things. The key bit is that people will benefit, beyond those you should be looking after already.
So my 2018 challenge for you is to keep caring for those around you (including yourself). Take pride and satisfaction from it. But try and make a difference to someone else as well, and feel what sense of achievement comes from that.
Wishing you all a very happy new year.