Looking Forward

random sketch of green eyes by oxcrushhed

Here’s to a New Year. . . with all the same problems, habits, and pitfalls of the previous ones! Why do we always expect something different? Why do we think we’ll be suddenly dosed with self discipline and transformed by sheer resolve? Why be transformed at all? Sure we need to always keep moving forward. Have a plan. Keep your vision in sight. But no need to masochistically list all of your chronic failures by arbitrarily stating how you’re going to change them. Especially as a seasonal event! (What a tradition, right?) The truth is, everyone’s exhausted by the end of the holidays. It’s the busiest time of year for a lot of people, yet we want to use those couple months to catapult ourselves into previously unattained success in not one, but many areas of our lives. I’m just gonna say it to help you out. This is crazy, people!

Who are you, really? To answer this accurately, you’ll probably need someone’s help. The reason I say that is because we are so critical of ourselves. Think of a few recurring themes on your usual New Year’s Resolutions lists. I’d be willing to bet a lot have to do with trying to fix something that’s not broken. Sometimes we punish ourselves for not hitting goals that are unrealistic or not needed in the first place. If your goals are unrealistic, figure out why. How can you break them into more manageable steps? Get creative about your goals and only attack them one (or maybe a few if you’re really type A) at a time.

It’s just stupid to have a list of 15 things we want to change about ourselves in the course of one year. We all know it’s not going to happen. We all know that leads to burn-out. Yet we all tend to bite off more than we can chew. Why? Human nature. We’re tenacious. We’re fighters. When the rough gets going, we…well, say we’re going to change. Problem is that lovable little nature inside us takes change kicking and screaming. So, whatever you set out to change next year (hopefully after a well-deserved recharge in January) make sure it’s something that’s worth changing. (If you meet that goal, will it add real value to your life? Or is the reason behind that resolution a personal insecurity that you really need to deal with? You may be killing yourself to lose weight for your husband when he loves your shape the way it is, for instance.)  Make sure you tackle one thing at a time and in small chunks. If you’ve made it this far in life without conquering the world, chances are, you’re not going to come January 1, 2015.

And lastly, make peace with who you are! Yeah, some of your “flaws” may drive you nuts, but they just may be the cutest little quirks about you! Instead of looking to the future full of hope for changing all the bad things about you, I encourage you to look at yourself a little less crtically. You’re not all the things about yourself that you think you should change. You’re not a to-do list. You’re a person. You treat others around you with love and respect and can embrace all parts of them. And I want you to  look at yourself with the same great scope of love and acceptance.