On being the Reece Witherspoon of my friend group

I saw Reece Witherspoon’s publicly shared resolutions/habit formation post for 2022 being roundly mocked on social media the other day, and Ina Garten’s response being rightly fêted (it was funny!). What I did notice, and start thinking about, was that I didn’t see anyone publicly identifying with Reece Witherspoon’s stance. To be fair, that might be because I’m really trying to minimise phone time and aimless internet surfing so I moved on quickly – but also, in my experience people mock such public declarations of aiming for improvement much more than they celebrate them.

Just to be really clear, I’m not here to defend Reece Witherspoon, the wildly successful multimillionaire with numerous businesses and initiatives and interests – I don’t think she needs me to do that for her. I also don’t think there’s anything to defend her from – Ina Garten’s response was clearly lighthearted and well-intentioned, and it wasn’t wrong! After the last couple of years, saying “let them have fun!” seems totally fair enough (and is something I myself have been saying quite a lot over the last few months). That said, I identify with Reece, as a preternaturally optimistic person with Type A tendencies, whose friends have (gently, lovingly, and often rightly) teased her for it.

For I, too, am a resolution-maker! Especially at New Year’s. I appreciate the opportunity to look back on the year that was and reflect on it, and create some resolutions designed to help me maximise the year ahead. This year particularly it seems as if making resolutions is decidedly ‘out’ but I have been there, done that and it doesn’t fit well for me. I’m making resolutions and I’m proud of it.

My resolutions for 2022 are aimed more at habit formation than any one big quantifiable thing (this is how, to me, resolutions differ from goals and why I’m comfortable having the 101 in 1001 list and resolutions going on concurrently). I’m not going to list them all here, but as an example, I’ve resolved to write for 15 minutes each weekday, and enjoy at least five days of intentional movement each week. Some are shared with Hayden, e.g. spending resolutions, but most are just for me, and all have been designed to enable me to end 2022 feeling more like the person I actually am and aim to be, and less like the brittle shell that I was by the end of 2021. There’s that Type A personality coming to the forefront!

So to Reece, and all the other control freak optimists out there – here’s to 2022 and the resolutions that will carry us through it!

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