Making New Year’s resolutions dates back some 4,000 years when Babylonians made promises to the gods. Today we’re beholden not to the gods but to ourselves.
We promise ourselves to “do better this year”. To lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, earn more, volunteer more. You know the drill.
This morning, in my way-more-crowded-than-normal yoga class, my instructor shared how she seems to make the same resolutions year after year.
Why? Her answer was simple: because those are the things that are important to her — that improve her life and make her feel good. The things she cares about. Those don’t really change because they make us who we are.
I haven’t done any research, but I have a feeling that a good many of us fall into that category.
Do we set ourselves up for failure?
Year after year, every January we pledge to do whatever we think will improve our lives. For example, each January, my gym is really crowded with lots of new faces. By March, the influx of new people has tapered off. The cycle continues – every 365 days.
I stopped making resolutions a number of years ago because I don’t like starting a new year on a low note. I viewed it as basically saying “I failed at this last year.”
Instead, beginning a new year with a positive attitude seems much more…..well…positive! Why not view the New Year as the beginning of an adventure as Helen Keller suggested? A year of possibilities.
So, this year, I’m taking hints from my yoga instructor and Helen Keller.
What if we start the year with gratitude and anticipation?
In 2018, I plan to feel gratitude wherever I can, be open to new experiences and continue to do what makes me feel good. It’s not a resolution; it’s my self-care plan.
I know the things that make me feel good. They’re whatever make me happy, healthier, and fulfilled. The list is nicely rounded – yoga, pilates, meditation, more time outside enjoying nature (especially long walks with my pup), time spent with friends and family, lots of hugs for the people I love, read as many books as I can, give back to my community. Most importantly, allow myself the freedom to do these things at my own pace – something that took me a long time to learn.
Hopefully your learning curve will be easier.
Here’s a really good article I just found on TinyBudda.com that elaborates on the positive and not punishing yourself in the New Year.
May you have a wonderful, productive and super happy year!