AJ's User Manual

Anti-Resolutions & New Year’s Transitions

Welcome to Season 2! Molly and Angela are excited to get going this year! And what better topic than resolutions and transitions, right?  True to their ND spirits, they aren’t jumping on the resolutions bandwagon. 

Instead, they are talking anti-resolutions by not making resolutions at all or—YIKES!—only making resolutions that you actually want to make that are thought through and designed for success! 

And those pesky transitions come up again as they talk about personal transitions, kid transitions, and transitions through changing social norms. 

Resets and resolutions are individual experiences 

Molly is great with the resets, Molly’s little and Angela, not so much. Angela says, “I have to intentionally do it…it takes me time, effort, and energy to reset, so if I don’t have time, effort, and energy to do that, it doesn’t happen” (4:10). 

Molly adds that resetting feeds into the anti-resolutions they are talking about “I feel like New Year’s resolutions are setting people up for failure…they are these exaggerated, unrealistic, unattainable goals” (4:55).

Executive functioning definitely comes into play! And if you are doing a resolution just because you “should” you can guarantee that that will exponentially decrease your chances of success.

Now you’re entering the transition zone

Transitioning from one mindset to a new one can be hard. Molly says, “You can change your mind at any point…I feel like it is tragic that people think that they cannot change their mind because they’ve been conditioned to think that [it] makes you weak or wishy washy” (14:36).  

And Angela shares, “When I see the evidence, I have the right to change my mind. It doesn’t make me bad…I mean…I really hate being wrong. Actually, I cry when I’m wrong because it frustrates me so much…The transition from one thought process to this other, new thing, moving into that, accepting that as real or as fact, can be difficult” (16:47). 

They go on to talk about having compassion with our kids as well as other adults around us who are learning new things and trying to integrate them into their understanding of the world around them. Making changes—transitioning—into new understanding and behaviors in alignment with that new understanding takes time which is frustrating to people on both sides of an issue. 

It’s not (only) your responsibility

This transition period from uninformed and inaccessible into a more informed and equitable space is a long one. And ND and queer folks alike, as well as all other minoritized groups, get tired of expectations to expend energy teaching their oppressors how to treat them fairly. It IS exhausting. 

Molly and Angela spend some time talking about the need to have boundaries to manage your energy while also advocating for your own, and your community’s, needs. Molly says, encourages us to remember that ignorance doesn’t always mean that you are not valued, but simply that people just don’t know (29:35). And Angela adds that while you don’t have to spend your time, effort, and energy to teach, you do need to speak to the problem so that people can take the steps to learn (30:05).