Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions...

The New Year is a great time to start something new. It's the perfect time to embark on improving one's self and have twelve fresh months to work at it. The sad part is that most of us begin January with a big bang and somewhere around February or March, our resolutions fizzle out and we fall back into the same hustle and bustle that we were caught up in the previous year.

I think this has to do with two things: making realistic resolutions and committing thirty days to creating (or breaking) habits. An example of a realistic resolution is working out more or thinking positively. The more broad or vague the resolution is,  I believe, the easier it is to achieve. If you say you're going to commit to working out six days a week, whereas last year you worked out none, it will be really hard to maintain this if you're a commuter or have a large amount of family and work obligations. Halfway through February, you'll feel like a failure and donuts will sound really good at this point. Aiming to get two days of working out for the first thirty days of January sounds more realistic because they say it take thirty days to create a habit. Once you get two days under your belt, you can add one more in February and then another in March. By the end of the year, you've worked your way up to five or six days. The change happened gradually and you've achieved your goal. You can use this approach to other aspects of your life.

Thinking positively is an example of giving yourself a goal that has to do with your mind. Most often times, we make goals that deal with something outside of us--quit that job, quit smoking, get out of debt--but sometimes we need to take a closer look at how we perceive things and ourselves. My goal for this year is to let myself be happy. Trust me, even at day 6 of January, I'm still struggling with this. This is because for years I've allowed myself to be sensitive and worrisome and it's only preventing me from stepping forward. There is this invisible rope around me that I must cut. The only way I can do this---truly--is to let things go and embrace my current state.

Too many times I've let the woes of others weigh me down. I was discussing this with my mom yesterday and I said, "Why is it that I feel like if something great happens, I almost feel guilty for enjoying it?" And she said she felt this way too but that it was time for us to stop feeling guilty and to enjoy all of the blessings in our lives.

When I was a little girl, there was a lot of sadness in the house I lived in. There were some happy moments but they were overshadowed by a film of dark haze that lingered in our home. I learned how to hide my happiness inside and learned how to bury laughter in my heart. I was truly afraid that I would never be able to be who I knew I was. As I got older, that part of myself burst out and the energy I felt was liberating. Every year of my life, this energy grows stronger but somewhere in my mind, that lingering film still follows me.

Whether it's a nightmare, something on TV, a conversation with my family, an old poem or song that I find--I am reminded of those times. But this year, the year where I become something greater than myself, I am choosing to not forget those times but to let them go. Let them disperse into the air and blow into the wind like leaves from the trees. My heart is bursting with love to give and shower upon my new adventure...

So in essence, this year doesn't have to be about something completely tangible--maybe you'd like to love yourself more or simply love others. Don't aim for something that has a definitive plan but something that you can work on for not only the whole year but the rest of your life. If we change the way we think and the way we see ourselves, we can change the world we live in.


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