New year’s resolutions can be so exciting. I mean, you’re ready to embark on the journey of a whole new beginning. You don’t know what’s ahead. All you know is that you have these goals listed down, ready to knock them out one by one. January 1st is the day you’ll start working on them. “I will start going to the gym.” “I will have a no sugar, no carbs diet every other week.” “I will meet up with my old friends every month.” And then January 1st comes along and we’re feeling the rush. We’re ready to start. Fast forward 3 days…where have those resolutions gone? Probably out the door, like the rest of them.
This was always the case for me at least. Every single year. That was until 3 years ago, when I came across this Oprah interview. She said, “For years I would do these kind of resolutions like, ‘God, let me know love.’ And then what you get hit with is everything that isn’t love to see if love will show up. So, I just said, ‘I ain’t asking God for nothing else. Don’t ask for courage ‘cause you’ll get a whole lot of things that will cause you to have to have courage!”
That really hit me. I realised I always felt worse in the new year than I needed to just because I never fulfilled the goals I had set for myself. After much thought, I noticed that it was because I had created these expectations for the year ahead that couldn’t happen overnight just because I wanted them to. These things needed time to develop and grow into a habit. Yet somehow, I was expecting that as soon as the clock struck 00:00 on January 1st, something magical would happen and all these things would be achievable the first time I gave the all a try. That somehow I would become this superhuman who could do all of these things on January 1st even though I couldn’t do them any time before 23:59 on December 31st.
I believe we don’t give ourselves enough credit for even trying with resolutions in the first place. The fact that we have this mindset going into the new year to be better versions of ourselves is commendable in itself. It is a form of self-love. Rather than patting ourselves on the back for trying, we give ourselves a hard time for not doing everything exactly as we wished on the first day itself. I believe that rather than waiting for the new year to create a resolution which will take time to achieve, why not start now, when you can? What’s stopping you?
That chocolate bar will still be there when you get back from the gym (whether you’ll want to eat it after the gym is a whole other story). And your old friends will be so grateful that you thought of them.
I got tired of letting myself down for being human. So, I took Oprah’s advice. Every year when the clock strikes 00:00 on January 1st, I smile really big and feel so grateful for having made it this far in my life. I feel so incredibly excited for the year ahead – never knowing what’s to come. I stopped making yearly resolutions. Instead, I started writing down my life goals and focusing on the things that matter. I’ve never felt better about any other resolution I’ve made. For those of you who are great at keeping up with your resolutions: kudos to you! You have to tell us how you do it. But for now, for the rest of us, how about we cut ourselves some slack and give ourselves some much needed praise for trying to do well? Every effort, no matter how small, counts.
I hope you have a great new year ahead that is filled with so much self-love and gratitude.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!