Resolutions – Why? Why Not?

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Well hello everyone, it’s a “new year.”

That means the vast majority of people have been making and breaking new year’s resolutions…to lose weight, eat less sugar, exercise more, be more financially responsible, be more organized, yada yada, you know the deal.

Some of these folks might actually follow through and succeed with these goals, but many will not. Perhaps they will feel really down on themselves for having “failed.” Maybe they will keep trying, or maybe simply toss the whole idea all together and resort back to old habits, hoping for better luck next year.

Personally, I’ve never made a big deal around new year’s eve or resolutions. In years past, I went to big concerts and would wake up the next day, hungover, ready for breakfast not¬†powerful life changes. Even then, I hated the whole countdown-to-midnight-kiss thing. Too corny for my taste.

In recent years, I’ve fallen asleep long before midnight, enjoying the extra downtime with my sweetie before the holidays ended.

This year, as we were falling asleep I asked Thaddeus if he had any resolutions for the new year. He glibly responded in typical fashion something like, “new year’s resolutions are silly, there’s nothing that makes tomorrow “new” other than a man-made construction of a calendar and, in all honesty, I am quite content with my life and have very little I would like to change.” To which I responded, in typical fashion, “That’s nice, but don’t you have goals and hopes for your life? Aren’t there certain things you want to spend more time doing? How can you possibly not want to grow and change?”

So we chatted for a bit and both came up with a few goals and thoughts, although we never expressed these outright as “resolutions.”

I think it’s wonderful to discuss your dreams and aspirations with another person, or to spend some time in reflection writing them down. If the start of a new calendar year gives you the impetus to articulate these goals, then good on ya! If you feel moved instead by the Solstices or the change of seasons, run with it!

The dead dark cold of winter can be a hard time for some people. When the glitter and busy busy of the holidays are over, when work and home life resume their fast pace, finding the energy to move your body and mind can be tough.

I know this because I’ve been working through some challenging, stagnant personal stuff recently that saps me of my creativity and motivation. When I’m struggling, it can feel overwhelming to think of all the big, serious tasks ahead of me. It can be daunting and even discouraging to set up overly lofty goals or ultimatums. So maybe this isn’t the best time of year to strictly adhere to new rules for you, as it might not be for me.

This is where I find that making intense new year’s resolutions can become unhealthy in the long run and will only let you down. If we bite off more than we can chew, there’s a good chance we will choke. Instead of looking for one resolution to change everything, why not think of a few small, even “unimportant”, things you can do to bring more happiness and health into your life.¬†

Why not think of something that inspires you, like brushing up on a foreign language, doing an art project or learning one spectacular recipe and make that a goal for the new year. Pick a few of these ideas – things that will be fun, even if they are a bit challenging. Think of something you already do, but want to do more of, or do better. Don’t try to change everything, just augment, improve and invest a little more in that one thing. This is all very do-able! And when you do it, you will feel awesome!

Approached this way, I find resolutions and goals are helpful for me. It’s beneficial to occasionally state out loud your intentions and hopes. By speaking your dreams, you have a little more chance of actually committing to them. Sometimes we get so busy in life that we need to remind ourselves of all the fun, beautiful, inspiring, silly and stimulating thing we are blessed to do, discover and try.

Sometimes a goal can just be a reminder to try that new activity I’ve been thinking about, or to spend a little time planning an adventure I want to take. Baby steps can lead to big rewards.

When you pick resolutions, this January or whenever, pick something that you can commit to in a healthy and joyful long-term way. Don’t use resolutions to beat yourself down or set yourself up for disappointment. And most importantly, in my book at least, if you don’t feel like making “new year’s resolutions”, then don’t! It’s your cake – make it the way you like it. :)

Me? Well, in 2014 I’m looking forward to taking a few French classes, trying new kombucha infusions, going to the bouldering gym with Thad and taking a trip to NYC to practice with Eddie and take a class at the NY Flower School.

How’s that for “resolutions?”

 

Love and Blessings,

Frances

 

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2 thoughts on “Resolutions – Why? Why Not?

  1. I used to have the same reaction to resolutions, but I made some up with my best friend last year and ended up enjoying the whole process. I didn’t hold myself to it in a hard-lined fashion, just checked in every now and again. It was a motivating reminder that there were some things I really wanted to do that year that I could make happen, and the ones that didn’t either weren’t that important or they’re back on the list for a second go this year! I spend some time making my list into something beautiful and then I put it somewhere I notice it occasionally. I went from being disenchanted by the whole tradition to totally enjoying it! Nice post.

    • Thanks Marian.
      I like the idea of writing your goals down in a beautiful way and keeping them out somewhere we you can actually see it and be reminded of them – very nice.
      Hope you are well!

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