Being A Bit Less Comfortable in 2024

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I hate coming up with ideas for editorials, but my last editorial of the year gives me a very simple topic just staring me in the face: New Year’s Resolutions. Love them or hate them (or it we are honest, a good bit of both,) this end of one year and the start of another is where a lot of people take a bit of time for reflection, me included.

The danger, however, is that too often we seem to think that New Year’s resolutions will be magical. We make these grand declarations that we are going to go from this person we don’t like to something closer to the perfection we so desire. Of course, the number one resolution every year is to lose weight. Honestly it is one of mine again this year and I actually wrote part of this editorial at the gym while pedaling on the recumbent bike. Usually, however, the only thing that is thin is our promises. On average, we don’t lose weight, we don’t write that novel, (we may not even read one!) Generally speaking, we don’t follow through on any of the things we promise as a resolution made rashly during the final week of the year.

That is why I am going to suggest one super-easy resolution idea this year. Stretch yourself. Take a leap or a tiny hop, but just do something a little different in your life.

While this change might be huge, for most of us it won’t be. It might be something you used to do but you stopped doing because life got in the way. Maybe it is something you have always wanted to do but weren’t quite sure. Big or small, just do something that is at least a bit out of your comfort zone.

My stretch resolution this year is to speak at conferences again. It is something that I used to do quite often but since conferences have been returning, I have had trouble considering the idea of getting back up behind the podium. Part of it is nerves (I have never been one to exactly love public speaking in the first place), but the other part has been health. I had to cancel one conference last year and pull my submission for another because of a couple of injuries. When I was already a bit skittish about speaking again, that really didn’t help.

In 2024, I have two user group meetings set up, and have submitted to 3 SQL Saturday events in the past few days. If my head doesn’t explode this year during any of these sessions, I will almost certainly try do it again for years to come.

Do you have a stretch resolution you think would inspire others? Put it in the comments!