This new year, I made a handful of resolutions that I’d keep, and I’ve maintained most of them so far. I’ve decided to do something every day, every month, and every quarter respectively. As well as to dedicate more time to Bible study + reading and listening to novels.
Every day, I promised to say something genuinely kind about someone else.
Every month, I promised to go out of my way to do something big for someone. Pay for a big meal, help them clean their house, etc.
Every quarter, I promised to donate time/money to organizations and causes I support.
Along with all of these and reading more, I have a laundry list of things I want to do this year to make myself a better person.
I want to reach out more. I want to listen better. I want to spend more meaningful time with the people in my life, doing meaningful things. I want to do more art and I want to smile lots this year. I know I need to hit the gym and take better care of myself. I know I need furniture and I have plenty of books to write. I need to focus on my business more and playing around a little less, and I know that I need to show my joy so much more often than my anger or frustration.
New Years Resolutions can be a pain in the ass. I’ve lived the last few years refusing to partake in the tradition. I didn’t want to make resolutions, I wanted to make positive lifestyle changes. I wanted to read more but without the fanfare of telling my Facebook feed, I was going to read more. I hated that at the end of the year I would see all of these resolutions coming through on my social media about how all my friends were going to do big things in 2014, 2015, and beyond. I’d watch them fail and give up, and I would do the same.
It frustrated me to the point of refusal. I didn’t want to allow something half considered to be a possibility to me. (Ironic that I’m so good at half-baked work then, isn’t it?)
This year as the clock rolled closer to midnight I considered the meaning of Resolution while I sat in my friend’s apartment playing video games and laughing and letting the year finally come to a close. A Resolution for New Years means making the active decision to do or not do something. It means to devote yourself to this new law you’ve laid out for yourself. Stop smoking, stop drinking soda, stop correcting people’s grammar, read more, drink more water, whatever the case may be, big or small, they get a lot of flak for often being failed promises.
As I considered all of the failed resolutions I saw so often, I wondered aloud why we sought to make them.
“It’s because people like beginnings.” My friend said, and it clicked.
We love the rush of starting something new, I know I do. That feeling of a new project or a new job, or a new dedication gives me a rush. I find myself filled with excitement at the prospect of what my new thing could become. So I work and work and then, because I didn’t plan out how I could accomplish it, or I discovered two months later that it was difficult, I chicken out.
It’s pretty easy to chicken out, to be honest.
I think a lot of us do it with Resolutions, but then, we forget the root of the notion.
I have brought up before and am often probably a bit too proud of the fact that a couple of my friends have told me that I have more willpower than anyone they know. Yet, I couldn’t last a year doing something new?
I think we are mixing up things, around New Years. See, this year as I was turning in for the night I was reading a long list of resolutions on twitter, many of them thoughtful and creative. They came from one woman who chose to offer up resolutions to her peers instead of them working on finding one for themselves because they didn’t know what to pick, or couldn’t decide on one. It inspired me, and I came up with a few of mine.
See, I’m great at starting things. Save for one of many of my decisions this year, I’ve succeeded so far with all of them that have come up. That being said, in April I may slip like most do. Hell it might even be February. I am known to get distracted and make myself stress over silly things that I come across day to day. I think it’s endearing, if not maddening.
The thing is, I was taking the resolve out of resolution. I think a lot of us do, too.
We get excited about the things we have in store for the year and that excitement leads to us making all or nothing promises to change for the better, and when we slip up or fail a couple times, we get frustrated and give up.
But changing yourself can be difficult. Or rather, I should say that changing yourself takes practice.
A lot of it.
So, this year, I decided that I would dedicate myself to my willpower, not my resolve. I resolved to pick these things I would change, and my willpower will guide me to the resolution that I need.
They are one and the same, if only slightly different, but that difference is important. It is how we see things. It is how we view the world and ourselves. My resolve is strengthening, but I have more willpower than…
Oh, you know by now.
This year, pick resolutions. Even if it’s a few days late. Find something that you want to change and work on it. Drink more water, smoke less cigarettes, laugh a lot more.
Enjoy your life, and do it all while practicing to become what you want to be.
Slipping and missing a resolution moment doesn’t mean you should throw the whole agreement in the garbage, it just means you need to work harder the next time. It’s okay to slip a bit. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Your resolution is for you. It is for your willpower and you are in complete control. Take a breath, relax, and get better.
However you chose to do so.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to spend with me. I am honored that you would do so, and I hope that the rest of your night and weekend are amazing.
Tell me, did you make a resolution this year? Did you make many? Why and what are they? Let’s talk about it.
If you missed yesterday’s short story + the release of the Loremaster series, go check it out right now! It’s going to be amazing, I promise. 😉
Categories: Umbral Dawning