The New Year’s Resolution Revolt – Just Say No

calvin-hobbes-new-years-resolutionsYou don’t need a New Year’s resolution.  I like you just as you are.

In fact, the whole New Year’s resolution premise is inherently flawed.  You are not.

The premise is that you have to do something better and different next year, and it’s something that you’ve been struggling with this previous year.  As if something about swiping your calendar to the next page is going to improve your resolve.

You’ve already been working on it, why create a promise to yourself that statistically speaking you’re likely to break?

Set yourself up for success instead.  I wish to start a New Year’s Resolution Revolution. Instead of focusing on how we’re going to do better next year, we’re going to focus on, and be grateful for, how we are doing right now.  I don’t know about you, but the people I know respond better to praise and encouragement than judgment and criticism. And just because the criticism about you comes from you doesn’t mean it’s constructive.  I’m working toward my strengths, not focusing on my weaknesses. My weaknesses are not going to change and my strengths are not going to improve by trying to change who I am.

I’m going to be the test subject for my Revolution.  Here goes:

  • I am doing a good job channeling my new-found energy and creativity in a positive way.
  • I am growing as an individual: personally, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally (note I left off “physically”).  I didn’t even know I had growth available on all those measures until it happened.
  • I am reinforcing my relationships with my family, my closest friends and am building connections with some new friends
  • I am focusing on using my empathy, compassion, and strategic thinking more effectively for mentoring my students
  • I am open to the possibilities, and in so doing, clarified my knowledge and passion in new areas
  • I am better at applying my philosophy of providing active love to myself, instead of just applying that to others.

Areas I can do better:

  • Not going to dwell on it, just keep trying to do the best I can without self-recrimination.

In 2013, I’m going to spend my time, energy and resources continuing to build in these areas of success, and maybe discover new ones.  In particular, being open to the possibilities, taking a chance and investing in unexplored, but possibly scary areas, has been the most transformative aspect of 2012.  I don’t want to make a resolution.  I don’t want to limit myself to a preconceived notion that may or may not be right for me.

I believe that all of us, every single one of us, has talent and potential in abundance. We all have good in us.  We all try our best to be our best.  Since we are flawed humans, by definition, we will not always achieve our potential, so it is our responsibility to discover and cultivate our potential to the best of our current abilities.  Actualizing our potential does not occur by blaming self or others, self-criticism, unrealistic expectations, seeking external cures for internal ails.  It comes from forgiveness, gratitude, optimism, positivity, not only for ourselves but for others.  If we wish for growth, we should provide nourishment, not toxicity.

This year, if you must make a resolution, resolve to feed yourself and others spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, creatively.  You accomplishments may surprise you.  Happy 2013!

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