I have noticed a trend with this new Year’s discussion of resolutions: People are determined to make 2013 a better year than 2012. You know what? I think it might very well happen, unlike so many other resolutions that have dissipated shortly after being verbalized. The difference is the conscious choice and the willpower inherent therein. When we choose to change something, to make something better, to commit to ourselves as being worth of the outcomes of our choices (good or bad), then we assume control over our life. It’s a very empowering notion.
Someone asked me last week what my new year’s resolution was, and I couldn’t answer. I don’t believe in resolutions because they are self-defeating. “I resolve to exercise more,” or “I resolve to lose those XX pounds.” By making that kind of statement, you tell yourself that what you are is not good enough and you need to be better, kind of like a parent shaming a child. But what if what you have done in the past was your best effort? How about if you “only” lost 40 pounds in the last year (which is my case), but you feel like you should have lost more? The resolution negates the good work you have already done and shames you into trying perhaps too hard.
How about we just acknowledge the past, know that it was the best we could do at the time, and love the person that made the choices, even if some of them were bad? How about a little self-acceptance? Accepting yourself and loving your flaws is the path to peace.
As I look over the past year and consider all the jobs for which I have interviewed — often being among the top three candidates! — I could look at those experiences as failures. In fact, I did consider them that way for most of last year and self-shamed because I didn’t get the job that would improve the lives of the people I love. If I flip the thoughts around, those experiences taught me a lot about who I am, what job I want (and don’t want!), and gave me a chance to expand my professional network. I got to travel to many places I never would have gone, and didn’t pay a dime– except for the little souvenirs I brought my children from each destination. Those experiences made my last set of interviews, for which I await a decision, my best set yet. That I haven’t attained the job I want is not a failure. It was a step on the journey from which I gained insight, growth, and confidence.
I also look back at who I was a year ago. I was 40 pounds heavier, wore clothes that were four sizes larger, had shoulder-length gray hair, and wore really ugly shoes. The person I am now is so different, so much more confident, and much more mature, both inside and out.
So what’s my resolution? To continue to grow on the path I have chosen, because it is the path to the life I want for myself and for all the people I love.
What choices will you make this year? How will they give you the life you want? How will they affirm the beautiful person you already are?
- New Year, New Opportunity (attilaovari.com)
- The science of new year’s resolutions: Why 88% fail and how to make them work (bufferapp.com)
- Resolutions or Revolutions? (allapplesinonebasket.wordpress.com)
- Choosing Right in 2013…and Beyond (fromraewithlove.com)