You know the drill—every January 1st you make a list of New Year’s resolutions that looks uncannily similar to the ones from the year before, but you’ve convinced yourself that this year is going to be different.
You’re stronger. You have more resolve. You’re feeling more motivated and committed.
And you’re sick and tired of making resolutions and then breaking them by the 3rd week of February.
As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So this year, I’ve resolved to not make any.
The thing about New Year’s resolutions is it’s a way to make us feel that we somehow aren’t okay as we are and we need to fix ourselves going into the new year to be better.
I like to think that we are all works in progress, ever-evolving souls on our own unique, special paths and although there will always be things we want to accomplish, goals we want to achieve and habits we want to break, we don’t necessarily need to wait until January 1st to start them every year.
If we invest in ourselves every single day of the year and decide when it’s the right time for us to make certain changes, we don’t need to wait to begin. These will be things that we are already doing. Already working at. Maybe deciding they don’t need fixing after all.
I’ve realized that every year, the resolutions I make for myself are typically things I think I should be doing rather than really want to be doing. And really all I want to be doing from this day forward is accepting myself, faults and all, for exactly who I am.
Yes, I’m impatient. I curse a lot when I get pissed. I could definitely spend more time writing a gratitude list every week than a to-do list. I eat way too much chocolate. If I’m honest, these things are part of who I am and I don’t really care much to change them.
Instead, I’m resolving to live my life a little differently starting today, not January 1st, because these are things my soul longs for and wants. They are not based on “shoulds.” They are based on truths that are mine and mine alone. They are what I stand for and what my life is going to look like moving forward.
Putting me first. I’m a mother and I often have to put my kids before myself, and that I’m okay with. But I will no longer be putting everybody else’s needs before my own because that does not nourish my soul.
Allowing others to make me feel small. Yes—strong, confident woman I am, I still allow the words and actions of others to shrink me and make me feel less than. Not anymore. Because that does not nourish my soul.
Judging myself. I’m a woman of integrity and excellence and that is how I live my life 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent I make choices I’m not always proud of. Others can judge me, but I will no longer be judging myself. I know I’m doing the very best I can. And judging myself does not nourish my soul.
Telling myself even one more time that I’m not enough. Other people’s choices always made me feel I was not enough. My boss not giving me a raise, the guy who bailed on me after three dates because I was not in his desirable “age range,” an insensitive comment somebody close to me made about my parenting choices.
I am enough for one person and that is me. I don’t need to be enough for anybody else in this world. And I won’t be making decisions, choices or telling half truths to friends to look good anymore.
Take me as I am or don’t take me at all.
There is such freedom and self-love when we can embrace all that we are, and all that we aren’t in this moment. It doesn’t mean that we stop trying to achieve goals, accomplish dreams and push ourselves beyond our limitations or what we think we can do. It simply means that we stop telling ourselves we need to adhere to some list of “resolutions” each year to feel better about ourselves.
It means we own who we are and simply make promises to ourselves to treat ourselves with the love, care and respect we deserve.
Now that is something I can stick with.
Author: Dina Strada
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Justin See/Flickr