This January there seems to be a full-scale revolt against the idea of New Year’s resolutions. And I say, Vive la Révolution!
New Year’s resolutions bring out our inner tyrants. They encourage us to focus on all the things we don’t like about ourselves. Not only that, but inevitably (usually sometime before Valentine’s Day), we end up ditching our dream of starting the city’s first all-nude choir or we end up losing our determination to have stick-thin thighs by next Thursday, leaving us feeling frustrated, disappointed and worse off than before we started.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to want to make positive changes in our lives. Change is good! I’m just not convinced that resolutions are the best way to go about it.
A resolution is defined by the very particular people at Oxford as a firm decison to do or to not do something. Herein lies the problem. It’s that word: firm. We hold ourselves to these life changing decisions with a death grip, a strangle hold, and we end up choking the life out of our beautiful, well-meaning intentions.
Take me for example. This New Year’s I resolved to meditate every day. Today, as of mid-January, I have meditated a grand total of 3 times. *sigh*
My amazing massage therapist, Melody, is fond of asking me “What would make this easier?” (I don’t know if you know this, but life coaches love questions and this one is my new favourite!) So this morning, as I was fussing around, not meditating, getting grumpier and grumpier, I asked myself: “Okay, Jude…what would make it easier for you to meditate this morning?”
Do know what my answer was? It would be easier to meditate this morning if only I could forget that I had failed to meditate nearly every other morning since I made the dang resolution! Those days of failed meditation were killing my incentive to try again today.
Huh. Is that all?
I just have to forgive myself for all the days I didn’t meditate and just try again today? You know what? That does make it easier.
So instead of the usual once-a-year, strangle-hold New Year’s Resolution, I propose we try a once-a-day restoration of friendly relations. Call it a New Day’s Reconciliation!
Take it easy on yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Give yourself permission to be gentle and resolve to just try again today.
Let me know if that makes it any easier…
ps: I meditated for a very friendly 30 minutes this morning. *sigh*