The intention behind a resolution is to change something and mostly I think people want to change for the better. The New Year is a collective opportunity for making some kind of change. I think it’s cool. Change is inevitable. The only real constant in the universe is change according to our ancient friend Heraclitus.
But resolutions are seriously a set up for failure. They are a trap. Only because of what they have evolved to. Don’t do them! No. Seriously…Don’t. Just don’t. How many people make a resolution like I’m going to lose weight and—what? That’s not a plan. It’s a statement. But just because it’s stated, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
I did some googling and here are some other typical resolutions for the new year: Exercise more, get organized, get a hobby, live life to the fullest, save more money/spend less, quit (smoking) or quit something, spend more time with family or friends, travel more, read more.
Sure, these are all pretty good ideas but they are also GRAND statements and truly, if accomplished, are pretty frickin awesome. I mean who doesn’t want more money or more time with family and friends, or a healthier body. But the truth is that resolutions are just bossy statements that often have no direction to the end result. I personally don’t know many adults who enjoy being told what to do—especially in such vague terms.
Instead of resolutions being so grand maybe they could be low key. But, it almost feels like making a low key resolution is lame. However, I truly believe that those low key goals are more doable. And when you do it, and it actually gets done and you feel successful you feel happy. Ta-dah! See how that worked? Let’s take spending more time with friends. That’s a pretty big statement. What does it even mean? What are the specifics? How about this instead: Spend more time with friends. How? Like this: Schedule the third Sunday a month to go for a hike with a friend. Or, cook a mid week meal twice a month for a single friend. Those are fairly low key plans to get to big results. They also feel like super solid plans—things that can be done for the duration of the year within a specific activity. You do them. You feel successful for accomplishing something. You are happy. Ta-dah. So, maybe if we want change it should be something small, realistic and achievable. (Go google ‘smart goals’ right now).
Of course, if you’re already happy and perfect and things are fine you may feel no need to start the year off with a resolution or even a small do-able goal. Just keep on keeping on friend.
Another option to steer towards change could be to shift thinking away from resolutions, away from specific tasks and instead think about setting an intention for stepping into this next year. A new year is an opportunity—to, hopefully, be happy.
I was talking with my beautiful friend Barb about what the year will bring and she said she is focusing on a particular intention. She has decided to live with the intention of making her life sacred. Sacred. Not a resolution per se but a flow of energy to carry along as the year proceeds. I love that—waking up every day and stepping into each moment with the intention of making it sacred. Ironically this is super vague. Like, maybe even more vague than making a New Years Eve resolution. But that may also be the key. Offering yourself something so vague that with a little trust it will sort out as it should be.
I talked a little more about letting things from 2020 go as I move into 2021—not hanging on to what doesn’t serve me anymore. Barb patiently listened, like she does. I talked about fear but Barb brought me right back to my lowest common denominator: trust. Having trust and faith in myself that I can accomplish the things I desire is really the spring board of what I want to create. Do I trust that I am capable? Yeah. I do. Do I trust that the things I am working towards are going to be successful? Yes. If I trust myself I will be fine. That was it!! Trust. That’s my intention.
And then—I chatted with Michelle, my dear friend from Calgary. She said she doesn’t make resolutions. Cool. She picks a word that she carries with her through the year. Look at that! Even the concepts are falling into place! I love that! Not a resolution but a word. She got me thinking about what my word is. I was pretty certain it was trust. I opened my journal to hash out the ideas that I was stacking up after my visit with Barb and then with Michelle. The last sentence I wrote on my page was ‘my word is trust’ and when I turned the page to keep writing at the top was printed the word YES. YES! That is my word. I’m saying yes to trust. I’m saying yes to yes. Like not Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes exactly, but kind of….I’m mean, what have I got to lose by trusting myself, trusting this year and staying open with a positive whole hearted yes?
Answer: I have nothing to lose.