New year means new me, right?
Let’s all roll our eyes collectively. The only thing that will change when the clock strikes midnight is the year and even that will take a few months to sink in. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the motivation to change what we don’t like about ourselves and the turning of the new year is a obvious time to start over.
The problem is, and I most definitely could be wrong, but, the problem as I see it is that we all feel obligated to make drastic changes every year. It is as if the moment the Swarovski crystal ball drops there is a magical portal to change that opens and if we don’t make promises to do or be better, well, we have lost our chance. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that change has to happen yearly and it has to happen in January.
But then what happens? February happens. It is cold and dark and our motivation to exercise/eat better/stop smoking/be (more) amazing has gone out the window. We are left feeling like failures and it is only the second month of the year. That doesn’t really bode well for the remaining 10 months now does it?
This year I have decided that I am going to do a few things differently. First, I am going to try to make peace with who I am. Sure, I could eat better and swear a little less. But why? Because someone else thinks I should? What if my “flaws” are simply who I am and should be accepted as such? And second, the things I DO want to change will be done slowly, over time. Bad habits don’t develop overnight and likely won’t go away as quickly either. Instead, every month I am going to make tiny micro-resolutions. It is said that it only take 21 days to form a new habit. Even the teeniest of months has 28 days, that gives me a full week to screw up and still succeed.
If I lower my expectations of what I can ACTUALLY accomplish I may be able to follow through on a few things.
I go into every new year with the hopes of counting down 365 days later a changed person. I am realizing that I don’t really want to be a changed person, I want to be a better version of myself, whatever that may mean at any given moment. I want to feel good about who I am, “flaws” included.
That leads me to my very first micro-resolution: my flaws are only perceived as flaws because, at some point in time, I allowed someone else to convince me so. For example, as I mentioned before, I swear. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes a little. I have been told not to say “bad” words and that it isn’t ladylike to swear. Once, I was even told that it made me sound stupid and that no man would ever want to marry a stupid woman with a potty mouth. Joke’s on them, my goals in life never included marrying a pearl-clutcher or caring if others thought I was stupid. Furthermore, I did get married (he swears too!!) and a friend told me today that I was the wisest person she knows. Ha!
My point is, I don’t mind swearing. I love words. ALL words. So, if I jam my finger on a car seat buckle or step on a Barbie shoe, I am absolutely going to swear. I am not going to change that, it is who I am and I like who I am. To me, it seems like an enormous waste of energy to try to change something based on other’s critiques. Instead, I am going to use that energy to accept, and maybe even enjoy, who I am.
And, if I have any energy left over, maybe I will clean the playroom so I don’t have to swear when I walk through it. Look at that, February’s micro-resolution just made itself!
I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year. Thank you for joining me on this adventure another year. Can’t wait to share 2018 with you!