“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou
I am not against goals or resolutions in any way. There’s just something about the pressures and constraints of resolutions that don’t sit well with me. So, long ago, I gave up. I don’t play the resolutions game anymore. They are one more scribble on our never-ending list of things we think will make us successful, happy, or good enough.
Resolutions can actually hold us back. We seal them in our heads as static markers for an entire year. We hold tight to them. We sometimes get sidetracked from what’s truly important trying desperately to stick to the very rules we make up for ourselves.
If resolutions don’t feel right for you either, here are the reasons you’ ve been waiting for to just…let…go.
1. Every single day is a new start
There is only one New Year, but each and every day is born with new opportunity. If yesterday’s attitude didn’t work for us, we can change it today. If last night was the hardest night of our life, the next can hold the most beautiful moon. When we seal a resolution in our heads as static markers for an entire year, we give ourselves the message of “just one chance.” This life is full of a million and more chances. They are yours. Start over every day. Do the best you can. Start over again.
Set your intention daily. Visualize what you want it to look like. Try to shift your perspective on things in your day that will make it better.
24 hours at a time is an easy way to approach changes. Take baby steps. Realistically, what ever lasts a whole year anyway?
2. The things that improve our lives most are not things we resolve to do
A USA Today article cited cites that the happiest people surround themselves with family and friends, don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses next door, lose themselves in daily activities and, most important, forgive easily. These are all the natural tendencies of human beings. We don’t need to practice, dedicate, or resolve to do them. We must just simply be.
Practice presence and you will be well on your way. This trick will help you be instead of do. Fill in the blank of the following sentence out loud as you perform your daily tasks:
“The only thing I have to do right now is _______.”Adopt this practice for everything, including eating lunch, driving, and your bathroom breaks; until you train yourself into a new pattern of focusing only on being.
Ah, doesn’t that feel better already?
Goals and hopes for our future can change in an instant; and if we can sustain ourselves through all of this chaos that is life, we have done well. Yes, even if we didn’t lose the ten pounds we thought we should have, or put away more in our savings account (and if you are thinking “what savings account?” you are okay too). All of these things are the stepping-stones of learning, and we need them to grow and strive. What if instead of judging ourselves by our accomplishments, we pride ourselves on just who we are at this very moment? Let’s set our intention for this to be more than good enough. Let’s remember, we are more than good enough.
One way to start changing that ever-nagging “I’m not good enough” voice in your head, is to change your self-talk. The word “should” is the first one that should be deleted from your brain. Should implies a mistake. It implies something was done wrong and there is someone to blame. From now on, use “could” instead. It implies a choice. It’s easier to be gentle with yourself when you’re not judging every little move you make as right or wrong.
Now, who is with me? Shall we strip this month bare of resolutions? Take away the guilt we know is to come? If we can just seek to learn, in this moment, we are ok; we can call 2014 a smashing success (and eat a cookie or two that we’ve been hiding from ourselves).
With all my love,
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