Reflections vs. Resolutions

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

"Well, we have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be a little more gentle with each other, and a little more loving, have a little more empathy, and maybe next year at this time we'd like each other a little more." - Judy Garland

Photo by Michael Skok on Unsplash

Every new year, almost without fail, we create a list of New Year’s Resolutions. Things we are going to do, want to accomplish, new habits we want to implement and old habits we intend to kick. Resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something. We start the year fresh, full of hope and promise armed with our resolutions and then life happens, and we backslide into our comfortable ways. Why is this so hard and why do we start off with good intentions only to lose our discipline sooner rather than later? It’s as if we’ve set ourselves up for failure before we ever get started.

A few years ago, I made the conscientious decision to not make resolutions any more. As I was journaling one morning of the new year, I began writing down all of my accomplishments for the year that had just ended. I included big things, small things, things that seemed insignificant at the time but had a meaningful impact later on and things that helped me learn more about myself. As the list grew, I realized it would have been impossible for me to list any of these as resolutions per se. These things were born out of a need for discovery, discernment and decision-making through experiences, lessons and relationships.

Reviewing these accomplishments provided a great sense of empowerment, self-recognition and pride. I had no idea that I had achieved so much over that year. It gave me a sense of myself and a frame of reference for how much progress I had made as well as motivation to keep the momentum going into the new year. Reflecting on this list helped me feel grounded, whole and empowered to continue the process. It provided validation of my evolution and tangible examples that I could refer to.

As we begin 2019, I encourage you to greet this new year with a new view, a new experience and a new outlook. There are many of us that had a difficult 2018 (and even 2017). Focus on your accomplishments from 2018, reflect on the positive impact they made and that you made on other people’s lives. A new year always holds the hope and promise that things will get better!

Wake up in the morning and feel anything is possible!

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