For years, I’ve sworn off the entire idea of New Year’s resolutions. They often feel so trite, futile even. Perhaps you’ve witnessed how packed the gym is the first two weeks of the new year, only to eventually return back to normal. Or maybe you’ve noticed a new musical instrument, leaning inconspicuously in the corner of your friend’s apartment, unused, unlearned, slowly collecting dust. Another casualty of unfocused, New Year excitement.
The unfortunate, unspoken truth is, if you had to wait until the stroke of midnight to start your goal, you probably didn’t want it.
I know this personally as I have been that New Year’s resolution fanatic, guilty of walking past that pile of brand new unused workout gear day after day, letting perfectly good bundles of kale rot in the refrigerator and…what did I ever do with that mandolin I just knew I was going to master?
If you’ve visited my blog in the past, you’ve read about this introspective journey I’ve been on the past few years. It’s involved a lot of reflecting on past events, some of them exciting, some of them unpleasant. It’s also involved me taking a hard, uncomfortable look at my habits, thought patterns and emotional reactions. Purging resentments, validating past hurts and disappointments, but also gradually letting them go. The whole process has been a little messy, even painful at times.
But ultimately, I feel a better, stronger, more resilient self emerging in the process.
This past month, instead of picking goals to start on January 1, I decided that I should start focusing on what I really want out of life. The experiences, careers, friendships and general energy I want to surround me. I became devoted to cleansing negativity from my life, but also being grateful for all of the positive things I already have and looking forward to all the exciting things emerging for me in the future.
In essence, I had to drop a lot of old baggage before I even got close to the New Year.
So, dear friends, instead of your New Year’s resolutions, what did you leave behind in 2017? And what are you looking forward to in 2018?
Now to go look for that damn mandolin…