Happy New Year!
We all get a little reflective this time of year, as we are ready to start a new year with new energy. It’s a good time to take stock and figure out what worked for us and what didn’t in the previous year. At least for me, 2017 was not a bad year. Granted, some crappy things happened, like losing my grandmother, and several mysterious illnesses that consumed over half the year. Some ugly things happened in our country and the world, that’s for sure. But for me personally, it was kind of a year of growth. I think I spent all of 2015 and 2016 wallowing, floundering, and stagnation. I had some reasons to wallow, maybe, but it didn’t feel particularly good, nor did it really do me any good. 2017 offered me something different: a new vision and renewed sense of passion, and a stronger determination to create a life I love. My creativity, which has been squashed and stuck, for more years than I care to name, started coming back. While I can’t say it on a more global scale, personally, I’m leaving 2017 with a sense of gratitude.
What do I want for 2018? To continue transforming. To grow stronger mentally and physically. To practice generosity and hospitality. To radiate joy and purpose in a way that invites others to continue to rewrite their stories. To be helpful in something that is bigger than me. Annnnnnd to lose my last 20 pounds. 🙂
But this year, there will be no resolutions. In fact, I haven’t set any in several years. Why? Because they’ve become an “easy out” to most of us. We start out with gusto, then life happens, and we get busy or sick, or truth be told, lazy. Sometimes even, we don’t make it as far as the 12th day of Christmas (January 5) before we’ve broken our resolutions. But then instead of continuing to deal with ourselves, and to push back on the metaphorical (and sometimes literal!) baloney we feed ourselves, we quit. We convince ourselves that whatever we wanted badly enough to make a resolution doesn’t really matter anyway. We convince ourselves that we really aren’t capable of changing. Or we say, “I’ll start when life settles down.” But of course it never settles down, and as Annie sang, “Tomorrow’s always a day away!”
I’m in the fitness industry where New Year’s Gym Joiners are a standing joke. Hey, I won’t lie– I’m glad they join. I’m glad they come to me asking for help. But I’m also realistic enough to know that I probably won’t keep them. Once the novelty wears off, once it ceases to be fun, once it becomes inconvenient, these well intentions folks fall away. Perhaps, sometimes, resolutions are more about a day on a calendar and a social convention than they are about real change.
If you’re really ready to make your amazing happen, I hope you’ll go ahead and break your resolutions. Smash them to pieces if you need to. Have a temper tantrum if it helps. Then try something different: set intentions. Fair Warning! Intentions are a lot more work than resolutions. Intentions require a day to day getting back on track, and a commitment to progress over perfection. Resolutions are sort of like fireworks where they get big, and blossom and sparkle, and then fade. Intentions are more like a smoldering fire which refuses to be put out. Truth, sometimes, they’re like that trick birthday candle that seems to be put out completely, but keeps coming back when you least expect it.
Anyone can lose 10 or 15 pounds with a resolution. But more often than not, those pounds come back and bring friends. However, when you set an intention to be about your health and well-being, things begin to change. When you set an intention to feel good in your skin, your body starts to respond. When you set an intention to be able to live life to its fullest without your body or health getting in the way, then your amazing begins to take root. And soon it will spill onto everything you do.
“Go ahead and break your resolutions. Get it out of yourself. Then put your head down, make up your mind, and get to work. Be gentle with yourself, but relentless in getting back on track. Make your amazing happen!”