Every day is a new beginning and every day one can resolve to begin something great, work through a problem or simply get through a day. Every day is a chance to look at yourself – not as an inspection for flaws, errors and bugs like you can’t be released into the world until you’re the picture of perfection. But each day is a chance to look at yourself in your entirety and ask some very serious questions about long held thoughts, beliefs and even feelings.
I feel that resolutions aren’t helpful when they’re asking, “what’s wrong with me?” I feel they can really do some good, however, when they’re asking, “what do I do well that brings me joy and can I do more of it?”
You can look at the world and see all the problems (and believe me I know that there are a lot of them) and you can all fired up and angry about them until you feel a call to action. That’s fine but the anger won’t outlast the frustration you’ll begin to feel life doesn’t allow you to keep you resolutions. Change cannot last from that space because it wears us out. Then it creates it’s own negative spiral: I feel icky, so I will change something, I forget to make the change and now I feel ick-ier about myself, now I’m emotionally drained so I simply don’t care whether or not I’ve made the change, now I feel guilty that I stopped caring…I’m a horrible person…2014: I resolve to stop being a horrible person.
Stop it. You’re not a horrible person. You’ve simply forgotten how to love yourself and your journey. Remember how to love yourself and your journey and you will naturally, almost effortlessly, improve yourself, your circumstances and the world by extension.
|Save the earth||I need to be better or the earth will perish and it’s tombstone will have my likeness, name and social security number engraved on it.||I buy a separate container for recycling, I recycle for a week, I get busy and forget to recycle, I feel guilty and I’ve already blown it – (imagines the tombstone w/ likeness, name and SSN on it).||I’ve been pretty good about using canvas bags at the grocery store. I’m glad I’m making a difference. I bet it would help if I also recycled my newspapers.||For every newspaper put in the bin, there’s a feeling of satisfaction – because that feels good I do it again. I’m happy to recycle when I can and when I remember.|
|Be nice to friends||I know I don’t respond to friends promptly when they contact me. I’m horrible person who will end up horribly alone. Henceforth I shall be known as the Record holder for prompt return phone calls/emails.||I’m in an important meeting (or in the middle of an Angry Birds level) and simply cannot get to that text message. I forget I received said message. I call back 5 hours later – friend has called AAA and my services are no longer required. I’m a terrible person.||I’m really good at making sure I have dedicated time when I contact my friends and that makes them feel special.||When I call I make someone feel special. When they call me I enjoy calling them back because they feel important to me. Because that feels good I do it again.|
|I’ve gained weight||I hate looking at myself in the mirror and not feeling attractive in public. I need to feel pretty in order to feel happy so I must make major lifestyle changes to “fix” myself.||Day 1 – changes stick – I still hate looking at myself in the mirrorDay 10 – I’ve busted my ass and I’m still “broken”
I’m tired. I’m taking a break. I’m out of my routine – I hate myself.
|I’d like to get healthier but I know my friends love me regardless. I’d like to spend more time w/ my friends.||I get out and go spend time w/ friends – just maybe not in so many food-centric ways. I love spending more time w/ my friends so I do it more often.|