Well, it is that time of year again, the time when thousands of people across the country make a flurry of resolutions. Losing weight, getting organized, and learning a foreign language are among the top resolutions made time and again. Personally, I cannot recall when was the last time I made a resolution, although, I am almost positive that at the time it had something to do with losing weight and/or learning a foreign language (I have all but given up on becoming an organizational guru). In recent times, I have resolved not to make resolutions, the catalyst being that I no longer wished to place undue pressure on myself at the beginning of a new year. Don’t know about others, but for me resolutions usually involved trying to achieve unrealistic feats for an individual who works full-time and as a human being requires sleep. For instance, one year I resolved to become fluent in Japanese by December 3oth. Another year, I resolved to run in the New York City marathon, nevermind that I had never run a race in my life, let alone trained for one. Undoubtedly, when I didn’t achieve these lofty goals, I’d beat myself up repeatedly.
Resolutions in and of themselves are not bad. On the contrary, pledging to accomplish things like losing weight or learning a new language are generally positive and could add interesting new dimensions to ones life. It is when we blur the intent to enhance our life with the expectation that we reach our sometimes unreasonable resolutions with perfect ease and timing that resolutions harm. Life is life, and as such, things happen that sometimes knock us off the track to achieving our goals. Should that stop us from resolving to set goals? No, of course not, but I think that there is an inherent expectation built into the New Year’s resolution that doesn’t allow for the things of life. Rather, any failure to achieve the resolution is almost crafted to be an epic fail on the part of the individual who set the resolution. Perhaps I am reading too much into what lies behind the resolution, however, I can’t help but to think about the soon to be released slew of commercials in February essentially berating people for not keeping up with the fitness resolutions they set in January.
For me, resolving to achieve a goal should be an organic process that needn’t be set at a specific time or on a specific date. While time restrictive goals are a part of life, there are goals that can be approached as a daily exercise to sharpen our minds, bodies, and spirits. So, this year, as in years past, I am approaching the new year as a gift of continued life, a chance to balance out my mind, body, and spirit in the time I have left to roam the earth. Hope everyone gets to do the same… Happy New Year!!