Happy New Year 2009! It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t done so already, it’s certainly been on your mind. It’s what everyone is talking about, next to how fast 2008 went by. Yup the question to ask is: What are your new year’s resolutions? It’s a lot easier to ask than answer. Even the thought of it makes us all cringe to some degree. It brings up years and years of memories of resolutions that were made and not achieved. I didn’t lose that weight. I didn’t get to the gym as often as I vowed to, especially after all the money that I spent on that membership. I didn’t give up sugar. I didn’t learn that foreign language. Whatever the resolution was, chances are that you didn’t quite achieve it as you had planned at the beginning of the year. So, you affirm to do it again this year. And how many years have you made the same resolution without crossing the finish line? What effect does this have on you except to beat yourself up or feel sorry for yourself or have one more thing to share with your friends to confirm how you don’t have your act together?
How did this uplift you or others? How did this contribute to your personal growth? What is the point in this exercise in futility? If you truly examine your resolutions, you may examine that they really relate to your external circumstances rather than your internal circumstances. They may to do with your body or what you consume or how much wealth you accumulate or what possessions you have. Many of them do not have to do with what feeds your spirit or soul.
Most of us are hard enough on ourselves and don’t need another excuse to add to the list to beat ourselves up or to question our worthiness. Yes, it’s beneficial to set goals and hold ourselves accountable to them and to continually better ourselves. Agreed, but if we use these goals as a springboard to feel worse about ourselves, then they are counter-productive. The more that we feel down about ourselves, then those feelings serve as an impediment for us to be productive in any arena of our lives. The list that shows us how unworthy we are grows larger and then we can’t propel ourselves forward because the “not good enough” list serves as an anchor that prevents us from truly sailing through life to our desired destination.
So perhaps instead of going through the routine process of making resolutions, you change your tactic this year. Resolve to be kinder, gentler to yourself and others, to see the glass as half full, to help others more, to be more loving and less judgmental, and to do what feeds your soul. Resolve to make time for joy and follow your passion more. Resolve not to make the same new year’s resolutions again.