When 2016 began, I was filled with as many positive intentions as the next person, but I think that is the curse of the holiday itself. See, the problem is that although the world is busy making us all believe that this one day holds the promise of a massive renewal button being pushed at midnight, the reality is that it’s just another day in our lives. This is why most resolutions don’t stick and the whole thing is a model for failure.
That may sound negative, but I assure you I am not trying to squash any good intentions here. My point is more about the reality that we are free to press our own renewal buttons anytime, anywhere during the course of our lives. This one holiday should not be the beacon for change because that makes everything stagnant and life is constantly changing with the wind. So, why do we limit ourselves to this way of thinking?
Generally speaking, I believe that we do this because we are creatures of habit and such things feel “oh so right” with booze colored glasses on. We wake up on January 1st and feel really excited to get things right this year (even in spite of that pounding headache). This day is magical because we can clearly envision each thing on this list coming true by the next time we break out the champagne and noisemakers, thus having even more reasons to celebrate then. Nothing can possibly get in our way on that day. Our yearly resolutions live on and on…until that hangover subsides and we realize that the holidays are officially over and life is still the same.
Like everyone else, I made a big list of things to start and stop in 2016. I pinned it up right next to my vision board because that felt like the most logical place for it and I even dubbed 2016 my rose gold year. Yeah, I went big and fluffy this time around. I told myself that this would be my year to make big moves and leave the old, lifeless things behind. In many ways this has been true, but it wasn’t because of the holiday. No, the changes in my life are happening because that is the natural progression of life.
The good, the bad, and the oh so ugly happen regardless of our goals just like when people say “you’re never ready to have a baby” and you brush it off because you have a plan. Everyone has plans, but when we actually ask others how they’ve worked out, it is almost guaranteed that those plans have been altered along the way somehow. The only things we can actually control is how we behave in every single situation we’re in.
When resolutions don’t work out as we envision them, we end up feeling like the air has been let out of our tires. It can be soul crushing because, while more often than not our thoughts become things, sometimes that mantra is just a mantra. Resolutions are like that too. They are within our grasp 100% of the time, but we also can’t predict what life has in store for us. By limiting ourselves to a one time shot at renewal in every 365 day cycle, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Instead let’s grab a spoon and dig in today or tomorrow or any other day after that where we feel inspired to make a change and let’s release this heavy burden of only being able to renew ourselves once per year.
Happy new year, friends!