I turned fifty-six years old earlier this month (dear God!), and for most of these many years I have gone through the ritual of making New Years’ resolutions as January approached. I’ve saved many of my lists, and as I look back at them I see a litany of setting myself up for failure.
Lose weight, meditate, give up sugar, do more yoga, eat more vegetables, drink more water and drink less wine. Well, all I can say is that I’ve tried. I’ve guzzled more water and done yoga, I’ve meditated, lost weight…gained weight. I’ve tried each year to be better and do better. Sometimes I’ve succeeded as good intentions turned into good habits, sometimes not so much. I’ve always had the best hopes every single year as most of us do, but I’m thinking that maybe this year it’s about time to reboot the whole idea of resolutions.Shiva on the sunporch couch…
I love that we humans want to believe that with the passing of midnight to 12:01am, with one turn of a calendar year, everything is new and different. We have a fresh start, a clean slate, an opportunity to right our wrongs and get back on track to be the people we hope to be. I don’t want to give up on that idea of a higher plane of being, but I’m tired of feeling like a failure when February or March come around, too.
I am thinking that this year I will continue to embrace the idea of striving to be a better version of myself, but maybe without the unrealistic expectations of the past. While I’m still going to do my best to eat more healthfully and exercise and all of the other good habits that I want to resolve to do, I really want to let go of my self-centered focus on things that in the end don’t necessarily mean so much. Instead, I want to focus more on the bigger picture; gratitude for my many blessings, doing a better job of being gentle with myself.
Yes, resolving to work on self-improvement is a good thing anytime, but for my ‘fresh start’, my do-over, this time around I think I’ll look more inward to see the sincere desires of my heart. After all these years it’s about time. While it would be great to drop thirty pounds and solve world peace, perhaps learning to focus on more smaller, more realistic, goals is the way to go. And maybe, too, letting go of sweeping resolutions and just resolving to be kinder to myself and more open to the gifts the New Year has to bring, instead of focusing on what I will deprive myself of to reach some unrealistic goal.
I’m finding that with age comes perspective…and maybe a bit of wisdom. I’m going to do my best to capitalize on all of that and open my arms to the possibilities the New Year brings with it. I like the sound of that sort of resolution much better.