The New Year approaches. Can you feel it?
The arrival of a new year makes us feel like we’ve got a “fresh start”. You find yourself reflecting on what you did over the last 12 months…and what you didn’t do.
I, for one, have had some incredible experiences this year. We’re talking things that I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve found myself in places I never would have expected, meeting people I didn’t expect to meet, receiving things I never asked for but were much appreciated surprises. I’ve experienced small and amazing moments that, upon first glance, seem coincidental. But I don’t believe in coincidence.
It’s been a year of growth, change, loss, and internal shuffling. It’s been a year of contented, chosen solitude. It’s been a year where I’ve seen my decisions to move forward be rewarded by the world around me in unexpected ways. It’s been the year I decided to write again as a means to process and connect.
My mind works in an entirely different way in this moment now than it did one year ago.
How different are you right now from the person you were last year? Does that leave you wanting or does it excite you for what’s to come?
Because another year is knocking on our door. We feel compelled to start thinking about making those “New Years Resolutions” because…damnit…next year is THE YEAR. The year we do better.
Have you written down your resolutions yet?
It’s silly to think that we need one special day out of the year to sit down and take stock of the things we want to do. As though, magically, you have the power to become a whole new “you” because it’s January 1st.
We’ve still gotta put in the work. Unfortunately, the calendar isn’t gonna do it for us.
Here’s the problem: how many people give up on those lists within the first month? Pretty sure plenty forget the list even exists and their old habits are allowed to once again reign supreme. Slowly, but surely, making resolutions becomes a joke.
But, screw it. Despite the cliche of it all, why not take advantage of the day we all collectively try to get our lives together? Maybe there’s some strength in that.
The first item on the list should be, “Stick to my resolutions for 3 months”.
Doing anything for that long is either going to show you some result or has had a solid chance to imbed itself as a new habit. One of the keys to making a resolution stick is to make sure it’s not vague. Sprinkle in some specifics that make them tangible for you.
For example: “Work out more” should be upgraded to something like “Do hot yoga twice a week” or “Jog for 20 minutes, 4 times a week”. These resolutions are measurable. You’ve defined what success looks like.
Now, once we’ve jotted down those obligatory fitness and financial items that always make an appearance on our lists, what if we challenge ourselves to go a little deeper?
The best thing we can do for ourselves, and for the world around us, is to be genuinely self-aware. To turn our focus towards these crazy minds we’re walking around with and learn how to put them to use in more effective ways.
There’s a general lack of self-awareness everywhere you look. So many people who don’t know how to process anger, so they resort to violence or bullying. People who don’t know how to process their sadness, so they devote their day to being numb. People who struggle with insecurity, so they spend their day judging others.
The mindset becomes “Everyone else sucks and all this bad stuff keeps happening to me because I’m just unlucky.” That’s the mindset we fall into when we’ve relinquished control over our own actions and patterns of thought.
So, maybe…we start with ourselves.
Ask yourself these questions:
What holds you back?
What makes you insecure?
What less than favorable patterns have you been repeating?
What do you love to do?
What would help you be happier than you are right now?
Only once you can honestly say that you’re aware of your own baggage, choices, and motivations can you, in good conscience, begin to try and call out the world around you.
And you SHOULD call it out from time to time. Have you seen some of the insane things going on right now? We’re living in an episode of “Lost”.
But, regardless, of what weirdness is happening on the outside, I’ve learned a very important thing this year:
When you try to help yourself, the universe will meet you halfway.
If everyone was concerned about working on themselves first and were more capable of processing emotion and learning from it…wouldn’t the world have to be a better place?
I have no idea, but it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot.
So, among all the other things this year, maybe we can:
Resolve to try and put ourselves in other people’s shoes more often.
Resolve to adapt and take the things that we can’t control in stride.
Resolve to remove people from our lives that shouldn’t be there.
Resolve to use our natural talents.
Resolve not to waste our time or anyone else’s.
Resolve to be honest with ourselves, even when it’s hard.
Resolve to go inward first when we feel insecure.
Resolve to chill out and be nicer to ourselves.
Resolve to make healthier choices for our bodies and our minds.
Hopefully, regardless of the fact that it’s a new year or not, you take the time to check in with yourself. Deal with things. Question things. Enjoy things. Talk to yourself because you can. You don’t need January 1st for that. Any day can be a “fresh start”.
Well…January 1st might not be depending on how much champagne you have tonight. But, the 2nd? Definitely.
Happy New Year, everyone. Cheers 😉