Happy New Year! 2014 lies before you like an empty chapter in a book, waiting to be filled with your experiences, choices, celebrations, and memories. Doesn’t it seem like every year we launch into the next 12 months with list in hand and determined to stay the course with our latest resolutions? I have to look back and wonder how many years I actually made it through all 52 weeks without faltering. If I’m being really honest, I can’t even remember what my 2013 resolutions were. I picked a word of the year for 2013, and had hoped to join in the One Little Word project by Ali Edwards, but even that fizzled out after a few months. Rather than feeling disciplined and accomplished, I am left feeling fickle and lacking commitment. Broken resolutions are only added to the weight of the mountain of self-deprecation and defeat that already rests on my shoulders so often.
As the New Year has drawn close, I have been thinking a lot about this. What would my 2014 resolutions be? Do I dare even making a list? Should I even bother- aren’t I just setting myself up for more disappointment and frustration? Some of you may shake your heads, unfamiliar with the inability to follow through. I’d venture to say that you are young and single, and even then- you may not be entirely forthcoming on this point. Let’s be honest here- life is busy and New Years resolution expectations are awfully high.
“I am going to work out 5 days a week. Ok- 3. I am going to work out 3 days every week. I promise.”
Gym memberships are purchased, and the poor regular’s at the gym have to fight for their equipment for the first 6 weeks of every year.
“I am going to stop smoking.”
And you almost did, until that celebratory smoke, until that one upset, or until your next cup of coffee.
“I am going to call my grandmother every day on the way to work.”
Ok, we knew that wasn’t actually going to happen.
“I am going to stop cussing, damn it!”
Even I wouldn’t pretend on that one, it’s a waste of a resolution.
“I am going to be more patient with my kids.”
… until you’re not. Because lets face it, being a parent is really challenging some days.
So do we simply resolve not to resolve? Setting goals is a good thing actually; it provides us with benchmarks to guide us towards our ideal state. Where is the balance though? Perhaps we are just biting off more than we can chew, starting off every year determined to right all of our wrongs in one swoop. Maybe we just need more realistic resolutions? But surely some of our simple determinations can’t really be outdoing ourselves. How then, do we break the cycle of forgotten New Years promises?
I am taking a new approach this year. I am cutting myself some slack and calling a truce. I am striving for balance and embracing compromise. This year the concept of the “Evolving Resolution” is in- and I’m making it my new mantra. I resolve to clarify and reaffirm my convictions and to live in a manner that honors them. I will determine what matters most and then I will strive to keep those tenants at the center of my life, every day- for all of 2014. The compromise though, is admitting that this is an ever-evolving process. If you took the girl I was 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or even 1 year ago, you would observe some pretty significant changes. I have continued to grow, mature, and evolve as a person. Life experiences, exposure to ideas never before broached, and a willingness to challenge what was previously unchallenged has transformed me into a completely different woman. And the best part is, I’m not done yet. I haven’t yet arrived at my destination- I have still have a long way to go, and I am enjoying the process. The Evolving Resolution means there are no set actions to keep (or leave by the wayside in the busyness of life). The Evolving Resolution is recognizing that life is a moving target- unpredictable and unchartered, and that the real achievement is accomplishing overall growth as a person.
“The greatest thing is, at any moment,
to be willing to give up who we are in order to become all that we can be.”
– Max De Pree
In 2014 I resolve to evolve.
Here are the principles that will guide my growth:
- A life centered on my little family. Growing healthy and well rounded babies who are compassionate, conscientious, and who advocate for others.
“You have more freedom than you are using”
- A life connected to community. There are so many people who need. Need resources, need a friend, need to be accepted, need to be loved exactly as they are.
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived-
that is to have suceeded.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
- A life aware. Over the last several years my eyes have been opened to so much that I had never considered prior. Living life with eyes wide open has been refreshing- and I am excited to continue to learn and grown.
“I am behind the wheel of my life.”
– Denis Waitley
- And life that doesn’t over look me. My health, my nutrition, my friendships, my emotions. It is so often that parents get wrapped up in child rearing, job pursuing, home maintaining, and people pleasing that we completely overlook caring for ourselves. Case and point: I have had an unused gift certificate for a massage from Mother’s Day… 2011. 2014 is the year I am cashing that baby in.
“Don’t just make your lists- go out and live them”.
– Dan Zandra
2014 holds so much potential. I’ve got places I want to go, and this year is another step closer to those goals. In the same token, I don’t want to be so focused on milestones that I miss the moments at hand. I don’t want to be so task saturated, so goal focused that I blaze through another year only to look back and wonder, “Where did the time go? How did I miss this last year? My kids are growing up so fast….” Hopefully, in removing the pressure of yet another list to complete and instead focusing on the principles that matter most to me, I will live 2014 to its fullest and 365 days from now I will be blogging about the success of my first “Evolving Resolution”.
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!”
– Dr Seuss