I am not typically one for New Year’s Resolutions. Really, if I haven’t started to lose weight, work out, eat healthier, yell less, or be nicer any other day of the year, what makes January 1 so special?
I do, however, regularly set goals for myself and evaluate them periodically. Last year, in honor of my upcoming 40th birthday, I created a whole list of things I wanted to do.
Since they were mostly fun – albeit a little scary – I made it through almost all of them. I ended my 39th year a tattoo-ed world traveler who can ride a horse, take a nap without guilt, and who is grounded solidly in who she is. The one thing I didn’t do? Go to the dentist for a much overdue check-up.
I am sure if my list had more things I felt I “should” do, and less things I truly wanted to do, I would not have accomplished nearly what I did. I feel the same way about New Year’s Resolutions.
Resolutions often put a focus on a deficit in our lives – something that isn’t right, or that needs “fixing”. We are too fat, too lazy, crunch too many chips, or watch too much TV. We yell too much, spend too much money, and drink too much coffee. So we resolve to stop doing whatever it is we have deemed “bad”.
A month later, we are passed out in front of the TV with chip crumbs down the front of our baggy sweatshirt – hating ourselves for being a failure.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t need one more reason to feel not good enough at the end of the day.
This year, rather than skip the tradition altogether, I am trying something different.
Rather than vow to give up foods I love, I resolve to enjoy every bite with my whole being. When I stop enjoying it, I will stop eating it.
I refuse to kill myself at the gym for two months until I give up – I will instead find ways to move my body that feel good to me and help me clear my mind. I will spend each minute noticing the sensations of becoming stronger, and when it hurts, I will stop and rest.
I will treat the people I love with respect and tolerance, and apologize when I mess up – which I inevitably will. I resolve to treat myself with that same kindness.
I am hoping this is the year I find the balance between “fantasy” and “good enough”. I am almost positive there is no perfect body, bank account, family, or hair day – All of that lives in my head.
What exists is the butt I have, the family who lives and loves with me, and the dirty dishes to prove that we have enough money to buy groceries and pay the gas bill. And really, who could ask for anything more?