It’s that time of year. Full of excitement and hope. Making resolutions that ultimately generate a false sense of security that things stated will magically appear in the new year. Resolutions that, most years, fade quickly. When stepping back to look behind the scenes, we can find many ways that our resolutions for the new year become sabotaged.
As we often do, we rush to make our resolutions without ever stopping to reflect on where we have been or are today. To first find the good that we enjoyed during the year that now leaves us. To be thankful and to celebrate that good. Gracious and full of gratitude for those that fill our lives with texture, meaning, and love. Both new and old. Close and far.
We then forget what resolutions really challenge us to do. Resolutions always paint a picture of a different outcome. A more desired one. Leaving little for us to grab hold of to remind us of what we really are committing to do. When deconstructing them, we really are committing, honestly and forcefully, to change some of our habits, routines, and choices in the new year. Much more difficult to do than the words we just shared in the form of a resolution.
Nuance is hiding in every resolution. When not considered, it can lead us astray. For example, take weight loss. A popular new year’s resolution. The nuance hidden in this aspiration is will you eat less or eat differently? Radically different approaches to solving your weight problem. What path you choose could predetermine whether your weight loss is short-lived or life changing.
Add to this, the complexity of who we are. Pieced together with our weaknesses, urges, emotions, and the irrational stories we tell ourselves many times to protect us. Formidable enemies to the discipline needed to change our ways for our resolutions to come true. Weighing us down, by clinging to the past, like gravity impeding our ability to reach orbit.
Not meant to discourage you, these words are offered with hope. That you continue making your new year’s resolutions with a greater understanding of the pitfalls that will challenge you. Giving you a stronger head start into the winds of personal change that make life so surprising and interesting within the promise of each new year.