Resolutions I Can Keep

Here we are in 2023, a New Year, with a clean slate, and perhaps with the hopes of finally fulfilling those resolutions that we’ve been meaning to do…It’s an annual exercise that many of us go through, often prompted by overindulging on holiday foods or because of unfinished projects or regrets. It was no different for me at the end of 2022: I took mental note of what I would like to improve upon and what I wanted to eliminate in 2023, just like I have done for the past several years. It finally dawned on me this year, however, that expecting myself to maintain New Year’s resolutions has always been an exercise in futility and that I am setting myself up again for the inevitable failure when I stop doing them in just a few weeks. What is the point? Why do I keep doing this to myself?

Don’t get me wrong: I would love to have that kind of discipline and admire those who can stick to realizing their resolutions. There is a certain amount of satisfaction and a sense of achievement when you can reach the “summit of success” no matter what the goal is. I have seen people do that and admire them greatly for it. Sometimes, certain situations call for that type of determination: it’s those difficult circumstances where the choice is either to hang in there and resolve to get through ABC or roll up into a ball and remain in a fetal position until things blow over- I have done both, sometimes simultaneously, and I’m sure you have too. Making resolutions to hang tough and be strong through life’s many ups and downs is actually a good thing, but I believe there is an exemption clause that states you are allowed to be human and to have those days when the only thing you can resolve to do is to get through one moment at a time, even if it means doing absolutely nothing.

We live in a world today that worships achievement, and success, especially of the financial variety. Some people do resolve to make lots of money and see this as their main goal in life. We may also resolve to look better, feel better, etc and spend lots of time and money to only feel empty inside whether we have met the resolution bar that we have set for ourselves or not. It’s difficult when advertising and social media bombard our senses of what a perfect person and life looks like. We may not always be conscious of the messages we are receiving, but they are always there, even subliminally, whispering into our subconscious that our lives would be better, we would be happier if we just resolved to abstain from desserts, exercise daily, etc. There is nothing wrong with doing any of these things or setting such goals, in fact, achieving good health, for example, is definitely a goal worth striving for and maintaining. But there is much more to life than the physical- how do we resolve to take care of the emotional and spiritual parts of our being? They are directly linked to our physical well being and if we ignore our feelings and spirit, our bodies are negatively impacted. Stress and inflammation in the body can set the stage for illnesses, with its roots often related to emotional and spiritual emptiness.

I have a history of being too hard on myself and setting unrealistic expectations, which leads to perfectionistic tendencies that are fruitless and exhausting. It stems from low self esteem, but I am proud to say that I am finally learning wisdom from my collective life experiences. What a waste of time and energy it is being a perfectionist: I no longer want to make New Year’s resolutions that I know I won’t keep, could never keep, and quite frankly have left me still feeling slightly dissatisfied, even when I’ve come close to the apex of Resolution Nirvana. It’s just not worth it. Yet, if I take away the goal of keeping my resolutions, I need to replace it with something(s) attainable instead so that I don’t feel that I’m missing out on something. After all, our lives must have meaning in order to be fulfilled…I think that I was just overthinking the solution or looking in all the wrong places. The solution is actually quite simple and everyone has the ability to choose it if they so desire..

So here it is: I resolve not to make (nor commit to ) unrealistic ( and at the end of the day unfulfilling), meaningless resolutions ever again. Instead, I promise that I will allow myself to be human on a daily basis, which includes the certainty of making mistakes and falling short of expectations, especially my own. I will give myself permission to take ownership of my life, to change my mind if I want to, and to be gentle with myself, especially on difficult days. I resolve to learn from my life experiences and put into practice the valuable lessons that I have learned as I see fit. I also resolve to live in the present moment as best as I can, for there are often miracles all around me, if I would just take the time to notice them…Such a choice enables me not to think about yesterday, which is past, or the future, which I have no control over anyway, (though sometimes I really wish I did, lol. ) And if some days are just too overwhelming to deal with, (and there definitely will be), I resolve to take extra good care of myself in order to get through them…Easy does it…One day at a time..

I also resolve to find humor, to have an open mind to whatever each day brings, and take the wisdom that I like and leave the rest. Additionally, I resolve to trust God for His daily provisions and plan for my life, even when I don’t like what I see and especially when I don’t understand. Finally, I resolve to do self care when possible and to do the best I can with what I have in a given moment in time. All of these resolutions are flexible, and attainable, without timelines or judgment, only the kind that I would impose upon myself. I believe that a content and happy life is possible most of the time when we resolve to do those things that speak specifically to our own heart’s desires…What resolutions do you want to finally realize for yourself today and always?

Wishing you and yours a Blessed 2023 – may your resolve, whatever you decide to do, bring great abundance into all areas of your life now and always… Until next time, thanks for reading. 😊

J

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