Yup, it’s New Year’s resolution time. Time to reflect. Time to plan. Time to shake off our mistakes and start brand new with a different blueprint.
I totally get why some people have given up on the process and why they’ve concluded it never works. A lot of our last year’s resolutions lie littered at our feet, collecting like dead leaves. And if you look back to past years, I can only conclude I need a big rake and big wheel barrel to move those dead goals to a big compost pile.
It’s so dad-burn, dad-blasted infuriatingly frustrating realizing we didn’t meet last year’s goals. Or even the year before. It’s hard to swallow the fact that we failed. Yup, I see why some just give up. I get it. I understand it.
But I can’t go there.
Now, I’m not questioning anyone’s process. Nor will I try to tell you what you should do. I think everyone deals with hope, goals, and even failure differently. The self-improvement journey is a very personal process. What motivates one person, can send another into sheer panic mode.
Yet, in my mind, shedding myself of the whole New Year’s resolution process is like I’m saying, “I’ll just fail so why try?” It’s throwing in the towel, before I step into the ring. It’s concluding that I have no control over my future. And I just can’t do that.
So here I sit, after I’ve spent New Year’s morning watching the CBS Sunday Morning show. And I’m caught in this emotional, but hopeful mood. While my husband always watches these end-of-the-year shows, I’ve been known to avoid them because as I told my husband last year, “I’ve already grieved for the bad things that happened this year and for the people we lost. Why start out on the New Year’s journey carrying that pain in my pocket?”
And yet, today I have a slightly different perspective on it. I mean, I’ve always known that pain can be cathartic. That it can point to a problem, that it can remind us of our mistakes, and often times, only by reflecting on the pain can we move past something. But as I was hit by all of the senseless loss of life, like what happened in Orlando, I felt the anger and the empathy for the families of those who died, but I also recalled how the tragedy brought some of us closer. How strangers reached out to help strangers. Right then, I realized we shouldn’t wait for tragedy to reach out. Why wait to offer a little time to the lonely, a smile to strangers, and a few dollars to a charity that tugs at our heartstrings, when we can do it now?
When I was forced to see the faces and grieve again for all those who made me smile, dance, and think—the ones who brought me and millions of others joy—I realized that as sad as this loss is, the reason they have touched the lives of so many is because they followed their dreams. They set out to make their lives, their goals and resolutions. They fought against failure, they took chances. I’m sure they had their share of failed resolutions. Some of them shared their demons with us. Some of them lost to that demon. But their triumphs can be an inspiration and their pain and failures can offer wisdom. And the fact that they are no longer with us, offers us a realization that time, love and life isn’t a promise. It’s a gift we should not waste.
So with all these scrambled emotions rushing through me, I finally came up with my resolutions. I know they say to be specific, but this year, I’m trying something different. This year, I want to be more aware of my choices. Each and every one of them. I want to be present and mindful in my decisions.
Before I choose to play a computer game for the third or fourth round, I want to be conscious of how I’m using my time. Before I eat the second or third cookie, I want to be aware that I’m choosing to stay at my current weight or possibly gain more. Before I buy my trigger foods that encourage me to cheat, I want to realize I’m probably going to cheat. Before I make other commitments to people, I want to consider how that effects my writing time. I want my choice to stay up too late, to compute to the fact that I’m choosing to be less productive the next day.
I want to be more conscious that will power isn’t one big thing. It’s a lot of little things. A lot of little choices. I want to realize that I’m the one who’s responsible for my life. Perhaps everything isn’t in my control, but for the things that are, I want to be in the driver’s seat. And I don’t want to end up someplace where I don’t want to be because I kept my blinders on.
So what about you? What’s your take on resolutions? Have you made any?
Today I will offer a copy of one of any book in my Christie Craig novels—if I have a copy that particular book–to one person who leaves a comment. Oh, and Happy New Year! (Sorry, but this giveaway is for US residents only. If you’re reading this on Goodreads, you need to go to my blog to leave your comment to be entered.)