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Pencil Shavings | Tessa Blair

Photo credit: Bobby Jones

have had the same New Year’s resolution for the past few years. It has been the same both because I want it to be a continual thing and because I have continually failed to keep it up year after year.

The goal is simple: take a one second video on my phone every day. It seems like that should be a pretty simple goal to achieve, right? That’s what I think every year too.

The reason I decided on this goal is because I was introduced to an app that compiles a chosen second from each of the videos on one’s phone. And since I don’t always have time to journal about my days, this resolution allowed me a form of simple, digital journaling—a way to keep track of and remember my memories and adventures—without taking up a large chunk of my day.

However, this resolution has proven to be more challenging for me than I had thought it would be. A few weeks (sometimes just days) into the year, I realize that I’ve forgotten to take a few videos. These few days turn into more days, and I start feeling discouraged. I start forgetting more and more and caring less and less. Since I already failed, what’s the point of keeping up with it now? “I’ll just try again next January,” I think.

And this thought process, I have decided, is the reason New Year’s resolutions are silly. Why do we have to wait for a specific day to have a new beginning, a second chance, a sense of hope? Just because I didn’t document my January like I planned doesn’t mean I have to give up on documenting my February, March, April… you get the point.

Whenever I don’t keep up with my goal just how I planned to, I figure that I failed and I give up. I decide that I will try again next January, and I stop trying to take my one second videos. But Jan. 1 is just an arbitrary day. There is no reason that I can’t try again with my goal tomorrow.

So this year, I will be taking a video every day. And if I miss a day, I will just try again the next day. Life doesn’t start over on Jan. 1, it continues—just like it does every other day of the year.

Tessa Blair
Tessa Blair

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