Resolutions seem to be getting a bad rep lately. Anytime I hear conversations or interviews about the new year, people celebrate the fact that they don't make resolutions. "No, I don't make resolutions because I never keep them!" or "I am constantly improving myself throughout the year so resolutions don't apply to me". When did making New Year's Resolutions become passé?
A great article written by Chrissy Kelly for the Huffington Post (link here) outlines resolutions as assumptions we are bad and need fixing. Chrissy expresses frustration over her already high level of self loathing from years of societal messages telling her she's not good enough. She doesn't need more ammunition for her feelings of low self-worth and negative self-talk. I totally understand and agree resolutions should not be made in the spirit of feeling "bad" or "not good enough".
Resolutions or goals made in a fresh new year should be set within the framework of the previous years successes and learning opportunities. It's a time to be honest with yourself in a kind, loving way. If I'm honest with myself, I know I have ups and downs in the motivation department when it comes to exercise. I don't beat myself up for having times of laziness (I could also call it "restorative rejuvenation" if I wanted to be more positive, like the good counsellor I am ha ha). I can acknowledge to myself that sometimes I just don't feel like working out. What's my motivation to change that in 2014? If I'm honest (in a kind, loving way)… about 4/10. I'm ok with the fact that I have moments of laziness because I feel ok with the amount of exercise I get.
Where I think we can meander off the path of good intentions is when we set goals and resolutions to:
(1) Fix our "bad" selves (e.g.- I need to exercise more to lose weight because I'm too fat)
(2) Fill a void that we're feeling for whatever reason, or (e.g.-I need to exercise more because I'm lonely and don't like being alone)
(3) Set goals we think will make other people happy (e.g.- I need to exercise more because my partner will like my body more)
Look back at 2013 and take stock of your successes, your challenges, and areas for improvement. Try to see yourself with the eyes of someone who loves and supports you. Be as objective as you can be. There will be positives and negatives and that's a good thing!
Once we've acknowledged all our strengths and lessons learned over the last year, we can look at 2014 with an attitude of hope, love and most of all, perspective.
My goals for 2014… have as much fun working, learning, and struggling as possible. One thing from yoga that I appreciate is learning how to relax during struggle! Ok, enough about me. What are your thoughts? Do you have resolutions? Please share in the comments below!