Like the slogan “a puppy is not just for Christmas”, I feel resolutions aren’t just for the New Year. From those resolutions we purposefully set, to those that spontaneously emerge, each help us take control of how we live our lives.
For many people, the strike of the clock at midnight on New Years is that exact time to bring forward a new commitment, thoughtfully considered and crafted in advance.
For others, it may just be about carrying those over from the previous year, for our old patterns are tenacious are they not?
As a morale booster, it is comforting to reflect on those that we no longer have to set. We can dismiss these so easily, forgetting their significance, so they need to be remembered and celebrated. I’ll include my 23year old resolution giving up smoking, or that simple habits like drinking 2 glasses of water each morning, meditating or exercising daily, have long become part of my routine and no longer need to be on the list.
Trust also, that profound resolutions will pop up during the year. They will stir within us and will not obey any fixed arrival schedule. Like a bud, they cannot be forced open and will blossom in their own time. And they will feel easy. Because they will fit with who you are. For me, decisions like volunteering 3 hours a week at MSF or becoming (mostly) vegan - did not come out of any plan but perhaps had their origins deeper in my psyche.
Beware of course, that resolutions are fodder for the ‘Trickster’. When we think we have something nailed, life teaches us that it may not be so. We may find for years that we need to stop something or start something or give up something. Often it takes many failed attempts and soul-searching to figure out that we have been resolving to do something externally when it requires an inner resolution. Many a year I have resolved to find love. Now that has changed, to being love.
After all that, perhaps the most powerful resolutions of all are those we make in each precious moment of our lives. Those moments, when we see the wants and fears that are driving us. Where in the ‘now’, we resolve to break out of our old ways and choose a different response. It may be when we drop our shield of anger to reveal our vulnerability, decide to be appreciative rather than critical, be generous when we tend to withhold, open up when we typically shut down, and stay when our impulse is to run. And when we find ourselves faulting on our momentarily made resolution, we take a deep breath, gently forgive ourselves, open our hearts and resolve to try again.
2017 like any other year will provide more opportunities for resolving to be [happy/successful/insert your word/s here] than you realise.
Happy New Year and beyond.