Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Did you make a resolution for the new year?
I did not. Actually, it's safe to say that I rarely do.
You see, I have always found the idea of waiting to change until there is the chance for a "fresh start" somewhat...irritating. As in, I'll start my diet on Monday. Or, I'll workout regularly next year.
When I belonged to a gym (we dropped our membership a few years back & work out at home now) it never failed that the once moderately full gym was a zoo in the months of January and February. Filled with people who had resolved to exercise---and by St. Patrick's day the masses had diminished.
Why do we wait for what we perceive to be a fresh start to make a major change in our lives?
I believe that if there is something you truly do not like about yourself---something that bothers you, something you would rather not be or something you hate to do---you should change it right now. Not tomorrow. Why wait? Why push for something to change or some sort of grand experience to inspire you when the odds are not at all in your favor for success?
I'm not saying you shouldn't make resolutions or vow to do things differently. I'm not saying you are going to fail, either. What I'm saying, actually, is that you shouldn't waste your time waiting for Monday to start what you could be doing right now. Monday will come sooner than you think, and you'll be left feeling overwhelmed. Whether you want to eat healthier, lose weight or meet a goal of some kind, there is no better time than the exact moment you feel that whisper to change. Now.
That being said, it is nice to feel like you have the opportunity to make a fresh start. The year has only just begun and there's really no way you could begin to imagine what this new year has in store. You will probably be pleasantly surprised. Or, incredibly disappointed. You will be deliriously happy. You will probably cry. Or laugh. Or realize something important about yourself you didn't know in 2011. Those things are guarantees, actually.
For me, I wish only one thing for myself: to have the courage to always follow my heart. That was my prayer for 2011 and it's still my prayer for 2012. It's ambiguous, yes, but it makes me feel incredibly inspired. That's all I want, really--to feel inspired every day of my life to do what my heart is telling me to do. Following your heart isn't always easy, you know. I think about what that means every single time I make a decision: am I doing this because I feel obligated to do it, is this what others expect of me, or is this what my heart tells me is right?
In life, people are constantly making decisions for you. Telling you what you should do, or making you feel like you have to do something because it's what everyone else does. Making you feel obligated to say or do one thing over another because it's socially acceptable or right in their eyes. We get caught up in that idea of expectations---and it's a tricky game to play. Personally, I think you should try to do something once each day that makes someone else gasp audibly. You know, in that oh-good-sweet-Jesus-I-cannot-believe-she-did-that kind of way. It really makes you feel alive to not give two you-know-whats what anyone else thinks. In your own bad ass way. Without apologizing afterwards.
I will always think of 2011 as the year I finally found peace. Peace with myself, and with my current position in life. It was a long road, the one that lead up to 2011; and it did not start out that way. But it was worth every bump in the road and every heartbreak along the way; I was stronger in 2011 than I ever was in 2010. And I know with great certainty that I will only continue to get better in 2012. Not because of some list I wrote of all the things I want to do this year. Beacuse I made the choice to move on, learn from the past and never let it weigh me down ever again. That's what true freedom feels like.
It's your life. It's your year---do with it as you please. Take chances. Use every opportunity. And do the things your heart wants for you. And try the making people gasp thing. It's much more fun than you think.