I used to be among the people who made new year resolutions. We are always hopeful going into a new year, right? New year, new beginning. It’s like a reset on life, in many ways.
I’ve made many resolutions over the years:
- Quit smoking
- Eat Clean
- Lose weight
- Workout regularly
- Meditate/Yoga daily
- Join this or that club/group
- Do less of that and more of this
- and the list goes on
What I’ve noticed over the years is that often times my resolutions were basically a way of setting myself up for failure. It doesn’t matter how many years I make resolutions, new ones or repeated ones, I seldom find success in them at the year’s end. I do great for a few weeks, but after the excitement of a new year/new beginning fades away and the realities of life make their way back in, my resolutions get dropped and forgotten. Some I will retry, again and again, throughout the year. Some might last longer or even become common practice, but more often than not, the result by year’s end is failure to succeed with most, if not all, of the resolutions I’ve made.
This has left me feeling defeated year after year. I’ve questioned, “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I follow through with these resolutions?”. I’ve talked down to myself; telling myself and believing that, “I’m weak”, “I’m not strong enough to succeed”, “I’m a failure”.
All of this negative self-talk and doubt is due to a list of resolutions I made a year ago. I base my year’s success (or lack thereof) on the things I failed to accomplish on that list throughout the year. All the while ignoring the things I did accomplish, that weren’t on that list, throughout the year.
Talk about defeating!
Having come to a point in my life where I don’t find it necessary to consciously set myself up for failure, I’ve decided to take a new approach to 2018’s resolution.
I’m resolving to:
- work towards being better than I was the year, month, week, day, moment before
- try to be more aware of what my emotions and body are telling me
- allow myself and give myself permission to make mistakes
- accept and forgive myself for mistakes I make; I’m not perfect, I’m human
- try again after I’ve made a mistake rather than to view myself as a failure
The difference between my resolutions for 2018 and the resolutions I’ve made in previous years, is that I’m allowing room for mistakes, acceptance, forgiveness, and understanding. None of my resolutions for 2018 are finite, they are things I will work on and put effort into. I know that I will make mistakes, I know that my drive and determination will waver, and I know that I will lose my awareness throughout the year; I also know that these things can be forgiven, I know that my awareness will always return and when it does I will return to working towards and putting effort into being better in the present moment than I was in the previous moment.
This feels a lot less defeating!
This life is mine. Your life is yours. Our only finite resolution, not just for a year but for all of the years of our lives, is to live it the best way we can in each moment; to allow ourselves acceptance and forgiveness for mistakes we make, and to know that we are not defined by our mistakes, but rather by what we do after we make them.
Best wishes to all and for a kind 2018!