Resolution Revolution

Resolution Revolution

The Counterintuitive Approach to the New Year –

We all have issues with resolutions. Let’s be honest. All of these incredible sweeping promises of how we are going to better ourselves just ends up making us feel worse about ourselves. So, right out of the gate we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Job well done.

I say, let’s forego resolutions altogether… all together! Instead of vowing to abstain from cannoli cake, cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, calling {fill in the blank} more and being a couch potato, let’s not change anything the month of January. Nothing. Nada. Let’s give us a break from holiday face stuffing and wallet draining. It happens. Let’s give us a little shoulder pat of self-forgiveness instead of crucifying ourselves for feel overindulged and underappreciated.

Then, bizarrely enough, we begin to create space to make changes naturally because we want to and not because we have to. There’s a big difference. Huge! It’s a funny thing: When we make a change out of choice rather than obligation, beautiful things happen. We approach challenges with less fear and more love. Less irritability and more enjoyment. Less indifference and more curiosity.

On the other hand, when we make fist pounding and chest puffing commitments to “bettering” ourselves, we usually find ourselves holding on too tight and begging to breathe. Next thing we know, we’re white-knuckling the reigns and then before we know it we’re off-roading and being whacked in the face by prickly branches and nut-job squirrels.

Acceptance is the ticket here. We all have a defiant teenager who lives inside of us (one of the many masks, right?). The spectrum varies person to person but she’s there. Mine is in a perpetual lip curling, eye-rolling, hip holding stance. You’re telling me to do WHAT? Stopped listening. STOPPED LISTENING! When we’re the ones who are making the request or demand on ourselves we still rev up our resistance.

Some people call them Gremlins. Little voices in our heads that berate, mock, guilt, condemn, and shame us the minute we want to do something that is actually good for us. We need to familiarize ourselves with these little buggers and send them love and then on their way. We need to be aware when the cage starts rattling and be ready to face them head on with acknowledgment rather than oppression.

Here it is, plain and simple: If you realize that you’re not feeling your best or doing your best (and yes, you’re the only one who really knows this) then go on and give yourself a little self-forgiveness and see how that simple act will move you into action. Don’t overanalyze it or try to figure it out. Just do a little shoulder pat and call it a day.

“You have to say ‘I am forgiven’ again and again, until it becomes the story you believe about yourself.”
– Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild)