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Good (Enough) Resolutions
We need resolutions. They’re promises we make to our better selves.

But too often, our resolutions are deeply flawed. They’re where our boundless optimism meets our profound self-hatred. We set ourselves nigh-impossible targets - running a marathon in 3 months; writing a great novel in a year - and, when we inevitably fail to achieve them, conclude that we’re hopeless failures, deserving nothing but scorn.

To write successful resolutions, we need to lose a bit of hope, and gain a little more self-compassion. 

One of our favourite phrases at The School of Life is “good enough”. It’s an acknowledgement that perfection is impossible. That, given all the forces ranged against us - difficult childhoods, unfortunate circumstances, and the vagaries of human nature - mere adequacy is an achievement to be celebrated.

That’s why, this year, we’re recommending writing some good (enough) resolutions: promises not to move heaven and earth, but to try to be a little better in some small (yet vital) way. Throughout January, we’ll be suggesting some achievable goals for 2020 - as well as some tools and strategies for meeting them.  
How to Write Good (Enough) Resolutions
First, write your list of resolutions in the usual way.

1. I will quit drinking
2. I will learn the guitar
3. I will get a 5k pay rise at work
Next, rather than thinking about the end result, try to distil the motivating value that lies behind them.

1. Prioritising my health
2. Making time for creative pursuits
3. Gaining recognition for my efforts at work
Finally, working solely from this value, applying a little strategic pessimism, set yourself a less lofty, more achievable goal to strive for.

1. I will aim not to drink 1 night each week 
2. I will set aside 15 minutes every other day to do something creative
3. I will try to demonstrate added value in my work
Tool for Self-Promise
15 Minute Timer
In our time-pressed and information-rich world, it can be a challenge to find a moment for ourselves. This hourglass sand timer reminds us to carve out 15 minutes a day for what truly counts. It demarcates a very modest and manageable period to dedicate to the important things we so often let slide.
£20 / €29 / $30
Writing as Therapy Journal - Projects
A good project rarely comes to us in one go. Our minds tend to come up with fragments, which tumble out in the wrong order, at weird times of day and night. That’s why we need a journal on hand to collect the fragments and allow us the opportunity to discern their logical shape and true identities.
£15 / €18 / $20
Good Enough T-shirt - Navy
We want so badly to be perfect. The generous phrase ‘good enough’ is designed to remind us of the many lesser – yet very real – virtues we already possess, and that our unreal hopes have made us overlook. ‘Good enough’ isn’t failure: it’s a grown-up cure for the sickness of idealisation.
£10 / €13.50 / $15
New Year School 2020
Our 5-Day School is a crash course in emotional intelligence and psychological well-being. We’ll cover topics such as how to choose our partners more wisely; how to find a fulfilling job; how to manage anxiety, regret and shame; and how to become more patient and serene.

Sat 4 - Wed 8 Jan 2020 | 09:40am
On Self-Sabotage
"We destroy our opportunities because of a background sense that success is underserved; this breeds a compulsion to bring our outer reality into line with our inner one, so that we end up being as successful as we feel."
– Extract from The School of Life Dictionary | The School of Life Press
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