“I resolve never to make resolutions because all resolutions are restrictions for the future.” – Osho
I’ve always hated New Year’s resolutions. Okay, hate is a strong word, but let’s just get honest for a simple moment. Sure, creating a resolution is littered with good intentions, apparent reliability and a seemingly prepared commitment to an improvement in the quality of your life. However, in the same line, they are also breeding grounds for massive guilt, which is my personal most loathed emotion. Guilt has never done a single thing for me, and yet it constantly tries to return like a high school boyfriend that tries to maintain a platonic and useless relationship fourteen years later.
I think the notion behind setting and following a resolution is somewhat admirable but the truth is that if you want to stop drinking, smoking or begin a fitness regimen why not do it in September, July or yesterday even? If we actually had a burning desire for change we just jump and get to it, without a specific date to prompt us. I mean, why create more time to think about all the reasons why it is good, bad, difficult or indifferent? Sure, just jumping in takes leaps of courage, but I feel like it is the only way it sincerely works. There is something about just making a decision and doing it. Because you want to, because there is no better time than today, right now! I have this thing where when I have an early thought to exercise, I immediately start getting changed and tying my running shoes. Before I have time to consider what’s going on in the land of social media, or what my best friend is having for lunch (yes, I’ll find any reason to skip it), or what errands I have to run, I’m already moving out the door. It’s how I trick my brain into just moving forward. I know getting my workout in is ideal for my mind, body and spirit so to avoid allowing any other mess of thoughts to distract me, I just move.
Osho says resolution is struggle and ego. It is my best interest to do what feels good to me on any given day. To do the things that make me proud of myself and make me smile in good health and a sound mind. If I lock myself down in anything I am then restricting myself to this or that. I am then making arrangements for something outside of this moment. I am making arrangements that are not mindful or in acknowledgment of pure presence. When I am mindful, I am my most healthy anyway. When I am mindful and not ridden with anxiety, I automatically want to do the things that are best for both my body and long-term spiritual and mental health. I encourage you to plan only for the moment. If it is your personal goal or desire to stop smoking, being negative, or engaging in negative and toxic relationship then just retreat for a moment, for this moment. One single afternoon. It is well known that our habits make up our character; a man or woman is not what he or she chooses one time, but what he or she chooses over and over again every day, every week. I know that my repeated decisions make up my daily life and the nature of my overall life experience. It is in my power to decide who I want to be. Not on the first day of a year, but whenever I see fit. Also, it is important to know that when setting any resolution and sharing it with others can amount in a great deal of pressure. What if you embark and retreat, or in your critical eyes, fail at your resolution? What type of feelings will that create? If you guessed negative ones, you might be correct. When we promise others that we will do this or that we automatically give them the power to offer shame when and if we change our minds, fall down or realize that it wasn’t as important to us as we wanted to believe. The whole experience then becomes, as mentioned before, a stage for guilt and shame to perform on. And who needs more of that? I have made it a habit to not share much of my goals or personal lifestyle changes with others. Not because I don’t trust them or myself, but because I have a clear understanding that I am the one driving my own bus that is called my life. Also, I find that I am more successful in making necessary changes when I am just quiet about them. I keep my inner amendments to myself because I always believed that doing was more beautiful and effective than simply talking about it. I always believed that by just doing what was best for my life, others became inspired to make their own self-decided and influenced lifestyle changes. It is my desire that others become the best version of themselves for themselves, and I want that for myself too. Be gentle and Happy New Year!