Happy New Year! Now What?
A Quick Take, by Dan Hess
Do people still make New Year’s resolutions? I wonder where all that started?
The last few years, as soon as the topic comes up, I usually find myself scrambling around in my brain, trying to think of something before I get asked. I haven’t made one in quite some time.
Resolutions don’t always have to wait for the new year. Sometimes, our doctors make them for us…less drinking, less eating, more exercising….We try, don’t we, or at least nod like we will try. I wonder what the doctor secretly thinks when they ask a patient to cut potatoes, rice and bread completely out of their diet (as I was not too long ago.) Do they think that is going to happen? I certainly didn’t. And yet I nodded, uh-uh, you got it.
But January 1st comes around, and now is our chance to do it ourselves! Change this, change that, and so on…come February 1st, are most of these vows even remembered, much less followed? Many professionals say that they can be counter-productive, even stressful. Where is the self-acceptance? Shouldn’t we be suspicious of the part of our brain that says we need to do better? Who left that taskmaster in charge?
I wonder if we should forget the whole thing…and yet, a few people do seem to be inspired by New Year’s resolutions, and even stick to them. Perhaps there is something to it after all?
They may have been ready. Ready to have some change, that happened to have coincided with the new year.
For the rest of us, I’d humbly suggest…maybe this is the year you accept yourself, warts and all. No matter how long I look in the mirror, I’ll never be that special blend of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brad Pitt with the brain of Steve Jobs. (I’m revealing my era). Most days I don’t even live up to my preferred version of myself. I’m just struggling along, one day at a time, doing what I can, just like yesterday.
It is enough.