Shana tovah! It is the Jewish New Year right now, which I observe much in the same way as I observe other New Year occasions. I get down ‘n dirty with a notebook and some pens and get to planning because what is more gratifying than piling up pages and pages of goals that you have totally (or mostly) achieved?
Because I am a big believer of S.M.A.R.T. (or S.N.E.E.R.) Goals and of continuously evaluating my progress and whether anything needs changing or updating, I love resolutions. I like to set goals for the “New Year” four times every year. It’s great! These events are not spaced evenly, but based on the timing of various occasions and celebrations. Because of all these, I consider the “beginning of the year” to be in September.
New Work or School Year
I used to set goals at the beginning of each year at University and from that and previous schooling, early September has long felt like the start of the year. I believe that every adult who is past school age, even ones without school-aged children, still think of the end of summer as the beginning of the school year. Well, we can’t help it because we still see all of the Back to School Sales and fresh new school supplies everywhere we look. When I started my recent career, I happened to start on September 4 — perfect!
These goals often turn out to be very indoorsy and very specific. They are almost always work, community, and home related because of the impending winter. I focus on things like productivity and moving forward in any projects.
Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year
That’s now! This year, it’s incredibly soon after the previous resolution-setting event in my life, but it’s often much later in September or in October. Whenever it is, I still like it for a few reasons.
Sometimes I do forget to turn my random New Work Year goals into S.M.A.R.T., and therefore helpful, ones. This followup New Year helps make sure I get that done, and revisiting them a bit later helps me see what is most reasonable and attainable. In a way, this is like the more serious start to a new year. “New Year Part 2: Down to Business For Real This Time” is the cumbersome title I sometimes think.
Gregorian New Year
This is what most folks celebrate the evening of December 31, up to January 1. This is the one most people focus on while making inexpert goals that they don’t really expect to achieve. This is the party heavy, wake up hungover to start the new year with remorse and anguish one that frankly I am not that big of a fan of, but I still use it for its intended purpose!
It is my most goal-setting heavy day. I sometimes end up with several hand-written pages of brainstorming and scribbling out ideas. I will sometimes start my resolution plans days, weeks in advance. These can span from how I eat and how much water I drink, to learning a new skill or planning for the future of the Sneer Empire.
Chinese New Year
This one goes out to one of my greatest friends, and a friend to Sneer Campaign, Wanny. Practically a sister of mine, she graciously invited us to eat with her for any and every occasion. We would stay up until all hours of the night in her cafe while we wrote poetry and told secrets.
We celebrated the Chinese New Year together, with her family. The family consisted of her parents and children, and us, her friends. She’d invite us, cook for us, bring us, wait on us, and clean after us, refusing help. She would never let any one of us end up without a plate of food, even if we couldn’t make it. She’d show up inside of our apartment with a plate of curry fish balls on noodles, fork in hand.
It was always a very happy time, which made it perfect to set up some optimistic goals for myself. Here in the Sneer House, we also enjoy the superstitions surrounding Chinese New Year more than superstitions surrounding any other holiday. So this new year has more of a feel of ritual and sincere intention-setting. Although I’m no longer in the same neighborhood as Wanny, I keep this up as much as possible.