As usual, there’s a lot of tough talk on the internet and Facebook about how New Years resolutions are useless. And I get it, I understand that for many people, resolutions fail year after year after year. Especially big, “unrealistic” resolutions… HOWEVER…
No, I’m not sharing the missing adjective, that’s between me and me.
Sometimes these resolutions fail because the stakes aren’t high enough, the commitment isn’t solid enough, or maybe the time isn’t right. But the past doesn’t matter, what you can do now and change now does matter. If drawing a line in the sand when the calendar flips over to a new year helps, then do it.
There’s a reason all these 21-day, 30-day, 45-day, 60-day, 90-day challenges exist–people want a chance to start over. And while the implementation of these things is often faulty or flawed, there’s no real reason to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
Not to sound too macho or anything, but there’s a lot I don’t talk about, and that’s just the way it is. There’s no particular individual thing that’s especially horrible, but I’m not a big “talk it out” type of person. But, I will tell you this: about 5 years ago or so I drew a line in the sand. A big one. And I had no idea how I’d accomplish it, but the “boats” would be set ablaze because there would be no going back. And it worked.
Think big, dream big, and keep having adventures. A little over five years ago, when I found myself only having old stories of adventures and little to no prospect of new epic horizons I knew that if I didn’t make a big change then I’d simply begun to die. Not acceptable. Since that time I’ve had so many incredible experiences, lessons, victories, failures (that weren’t so bad really), that it’s amazing. And it’s not even half over… not even close.
I often jokingly (actually no so jokingly) say that I am grateful and proud of the problems that I have now. This means three things: the issues I am working with are things that I can handle, I’ve taken steps to change my circumstances, and have improved my ability to deal with things. While nothing is ever perfect, it helps to take stock in what we have accomplished and survived so far, and to be grateful for where we are now.
Draw your line in the sand, then do whatever it is that needs to be done to make it happen. To me it’s nearly life and death. If there’s some outmoded bit of thinking that’s holding you back, banish it. Start practicing standing up for yourself when some know-it-all ninny starts to correct you with “well, actually…” before they complete their usually incorrect (and often cobbled together from the internet) “advice”. I don’t even argue anymore, and usually folks have now realized that they’re just going to be wasting their time with me if they’re a ninny. Learn the power of smile, nod, and get outta dodge. In my mind I’m repeating a really evil line from an old Ren and Stimpy cartoon, “Ha Ha, ohh ok, honey if that’s what’s important to ya…” as I walk away. They can tell themselves what they need to tell themselves, but I don’t have to hear it and neither do you. The dweeb that keeps bothering you at the gym (or wherever), you can tell him/her to buzz off, and that you need your space. You have that right. Use it.
A good friend of mine just got out of a ton of so-called “women’s empowerment groups” after discovering it was just a bunch of gossip and stuff better suited to high schoolers than grown, working adults. Just because it “sounds right” doesn’t mean it is. Be the example. Lead by example. Just DO THE THING. Put down the cupcake, flick the bird, scoff at staged photoshop constructions with weird lenses and fast shutters, sneer at the trite “fitspo” fake motivational word pictures that we’re bombarded with online. Forge your own path. Become what you know you can be, even if it’s something you’ve never seen before, and especially if others in your life doubt you can do it.
Right now, everything can change.