Five years ago, I stopped making new years resolutions. I realized the statements were empty chatter – eat better, work more, run more miles, go to sleep earlier, reduce screen time, and so forth. The open-ended goals had no context and were often imposed by others. So, instead of writing empty resolutions, I wrote specific, defined goals.
On January 1st, I reviewed my 2022 goals. As I read through the list, my stomach dropped as I realized only one goal, resembled who I was. Once again, the statements I wrote were a representation of what others expected me to be. Not who I was or what I wanted. A sense of emptiness washed over me as I stared at the paper. Who was this person that wrote these words? My stomach churned like an angry sea, as I wondered why had I written these goals. The awareness stung. I knew, achieving these goals would take me off course, again.
Awareness is a gift you can’t return. Once you gain new awareness, any previous perception of the situation evaporates, making it impossible to undo the awareness. I thought, whatever we tell ourselves at the beginning of each year must reflect our soul’s authenticity. Chasing hallow pursuits of others, chains us to the past and drains our precious energy. As I write this post, I thought – what if I write nothing this year, and instead, listen to my intuition? What if I take a leap of faith and trust that a road map will appear when needed? What if I make real, lasting changes, that I have longed to make?
As I contempt making changes, the thought scares the crap out of my ego. Who quickly searches the internet to delay me. However, this year is different. I am considering creating a modern Walden Pond experience by limiting screen time, spending more time outside, focusing on what matters most and then holding myself accountable. Most importantly, avoid being derailed. Often, we willingly give away ourselves (scrolling instead of pursing our dream, engaging in toxic relationships, ignoring our intuition, etc) without asking why.
On the second page of my 2023 calendar there are blank links to write yearly goals or resolutions. The empty space nudges and begs for my attention as I suspect it feels lost without definitive 2023 goalposts. For now, the lines remain blank. No longer can I lie to myself or write about society’s or someone else’s goals. While page waits impatiently, I seek within myself crystal transparency and raw honesty without any excuses. To make decisions about my life from a silent place instead of a crowded room with individual opinions disarming my internal compass.
To write our 2023 goals or affirmations, we need a quiet place, that is ours and ours only. A place we can explore who we are and what we seek to do and achieve, or not achieve. We have a choice to write or not write new year’s resolutions. We can do something different, select a theme word or affirmation statement. Or think about resolutions or goals we would have written as a child. We own what we write.
For now, my new year’s focus is being mindful about my thoughts and replace irrelevant and obsolete negative messages with positive affirmations as I envision the new year’s journey.