New Year’s Resolutions scare the shit out of people and I don’t know why, really. Oh, of course, I understand, intellectually, why people are afraid of making resolutions. In fact, they aren’t afraid of “making” the resolution, they are afraid of “breaking” that resolution and disappointing themselves and others. Some look at it as a ridiculous ritual, that should be taken into everyday life, not just on the first of the year. I get it as I said, but I hardly agree with it.
To me, a New Year’s Resolution is like a contract with myself. An agreement with “me” that I will be or do… fill in the blank. When I was younger, I LOVED New Year’s Resolutions. Couldn’t wait to make them. I looked at them as a “clean slate.” A new start to my year, my commitment to myself…my life. It was a moment that I felt all was possible if I maintained the commitments that I was going to set for myself. The New Year was a logical point of demarcation. It said it all… A “New Year.” It wasn’t called, “Another Year,” or “Second Verse, Same as the First.” It was a “New Year,” a brand new year, just unwrapped, not soiled by past mistakes or transgressions. I could make new impressions on my journey, set new goals, or re-address old ones. I felt a refreshed sense of myself and my path. Was it true? I didn’t care, it was my way of motivating myself to reach for greater heights. An agreement that was laid out before me that gave me hope, eternal.
However, for a few years, I didn’t give much of an emphasis to that mindset. It wasn’t that I was afraid of not living up to my resolutions, it’s just that I thought I didn’t need that anymore. I was past that, in my evolution. “Shouldn’t every day be like that?” I asked myself. Why did I need the New Year to maintain, or underscore my commitment to myself? The answer was, I didn’t, so I stopped making my New Year’s Resolution such a big deal. I let go of my “point of demarcation” and let that fade into the woodwork, like everyone else does.
But… something was missing for me, around the end of the year. A little bit of magic that comes with anticipation and expectation, new hope and fresh starts. I’m all about having magic in one’s life, and I had taken away a special portion of that for me. Did I “need” a New Year’s Resolution? Kind of, yeah. Because what it represented for me was that kind of commitment that is super personal and only you can supply for yourself. That was what my New Year’s Resolution was, it was me supplying a bit of “magic” for me and that’s very important in this life.
Think about it: The end of the year is fraught with many emotional tidings and we are all affected by them, to some degree. There is a build-up of experience that the year has brought upon us, consciously and unconsciously. There are “life toxins” that can cling to us and weigh us down. We are all susceptible to them and we all need coping tools to work through them.
That’s how I look at my New Year’s Resolutions. A tool to help me tackle those “life toxins” that have built up during my year. The things that I either want to make good on or continue to do the work on. It is the contract with myself, and I’m good with it. I require it… I need it.
It’s a simple thing, really, but something that is easily supplied and very powerful, because it comes from you and your own power. We don’t give ourselves enough credit on this journey. We too often put our power in the hands of others and don’t own it ourselves.
I think for me, a New Year’s Resolution is a bit of an answer to that. I give myself the permission to bask in the glow of my own power, my own commitment to myself. I can choose to live up to it or not, and that happens on a day-to-day basis. I will live up to that gym membership, that home improvement project, the connections with friends and loved ones, those career goals and just being better… all around.
I have it within me to be those things and more, and when I do those things, aren’t I a better me? A more complete me? A New Me? When thought of in this way, it can be a lot of fun. Don’t take it so seriously, it’s better that way. Play with your goals and your resolutions, it’s all for you.
What better way to start than to begin your calendar year with a New Year’s Resolution that you can carry forward for the rest of the year, hell, the rest of your life? January 1 can be more than just the start of the year. It could be the start of a “beautiful friendship”… with yourself.