You’ve probably already seen a bunch of memes popping up on Instagram or people complaining about the New Year’s bologna that’s going to be happening starting tomorrow. Things like “I’m going to get back to the gym”, or “I’m going to start saving more money” and “I’m going to be a better person”. I love resolutions, but people make a whole list of them. That’s the first mistake because lists are only short-term checklists. Think of every other time you make a list – it’s for grocery shopping to make sure you get the bread and butter, it’s for remembering what to do later that day or a few days from now. Lists help you remember to do things in the upcoming future so that you can check it off and move on with your life. Lists are limiting. So why would you add “going to the gym” or “being a better person” to a list? Do you plan on doing it once and then check that off the list too? Not necessarily. We create resolutions to make ourselves better people by making them habits because habits are what keep us going. Habit is the driving force behind “going to the gym” and “becoming a better person” that will eventually lead to “staying in the gym” and “being a better person”. Everybody needs to start somewhere but you shouldn’t have to wait until the first of the year to assess yourself because when the clock strikes 12, you’re still you.
At the end of the day, there are people that make resolutions and stick to them (for the most part) and people that make fun of resolutions but we all somehow end up in the same place. The new year gives us some psychological ease that we’re closing off another year and that we’re ready and perhaps better able to start a new one. Most people enjoy the idea of leaving behind their past because it often means letting go of our faults and mistakes in hopes that we don’t commit them again. We are always so anxious to move forward and create our future that we forget to live in the present like we really should be.
The one resolution – if it makes sense to call it that – that everyone should strive to make is to live. Not like “go for a run outside in the rain” type of live, but to really just live for yourself. Live to take risks and to be comfortable in the person that you have become because you are the only one that is responsible for your character. I’ve become more of an introvert over the last year – not because I’m anti-social, but because I want to surround myself with more positive people. I care less about being accepted by everyone and more about being there for those that accept me. Social media paints this imaginary picture where anyone can be in the spotlight if you post content that is interesting enough, but what more does it give you other than a little sense that you might be accepted by people you don’t even know? Living that way eventually becomes self-defeating because one day it will stop and the things you once relied on for gratification is no longer there. You know what that’s called? It’s called living for other people and when you live for other people, you stop doing it for yourself and once you stop doing it for yourself, you’re wasting the time you could be spending on you. Instead, live with the people that follow you on your path, not for the ones that try to run it.
I make resolutions and I have schedules tied to those resolutions. I do this because I am a utilitarian person but I don’t believe that my life is tied to them because living also means you’re playing and when you play, you will get curve balls. The point of all this is to create a resolution – that is to live – that ultimately encompasses everything that makes you a better you whether that is going to the gym or saving more money. So put the list away and focus on one thing… And through habit, everything usually falls into place. Create one resolution this year and next year, nothing should change because you don’t change life – you only change the way you live it.
Happy New Year everyone!