Hey, fellow pipers. Been a while. How did you use the last 18 piper-less months? Were you a bastion of positivity and joy? Or did you give in to the whims of the Negativity Beast?
It’s okay. We all do from time to time.
The beauty of each new day is that we have the freedom to decide it’s going to be different than the rest. Just because we’ve spent days, weeks or even months wallowing in our own negative thoughts doesn’t mean we have to let today be the same. And the beginning of a new year often seems like the perfect time to make a change. In fact, you might even be about to proclaim your resolution to change.
Don’t do it!
The trouble with New Year’s resolutions
Here’s the thing y’all may not know about me: I HATE making resolutions each January 1. Sure, I’ve made my share of them. I’ve resolved to eat better, to exercise more, to go to bed at a normal time, watch less TV, be nicer to the people I don’t particularly like…and so on. I’ve made resolutions since I was a little girl, yet not one of them has ever allowed me to change my life.
Actually, I’d venture to say these resolutions have a way of making things worse.
I know, I know…How can a positive intention make things worse? In and of themselves, resolutions aren’t bad. Letting family and friends in on them can actually help keep us motivated and accountable. It all sounds very worthwhile when the exhaustion and lingering alcohol from New Year’s Eve is still wearing off.
Unfortunately, good intentions don’t amount to much in the real world. Things happen that can make it tough to meet the expectations you’ve placed on yourself. All those lofty resolutions that seemed totally reasonable before the ball dropped can become insurmountable obstacles in the light of day.
Whoa. How can a little resolution be such a feat to keep?
Simple. Let’s say your goal for the new year is to follow a rigorous exercise schedule. Maybe you leap out of bed on the 1st and complete your workout. Maybe you stick with it for the rest of the week. Or two weeks. Things are good and you feel good about yourself for being able to follow through with something you set out to do, as you should.
But what happens when life gets in the way of your shiny new resolution? For some of us, we’ll come down with the mother of all colds. For others, our children will catch it. Those of us with immune systems forged by the gods may discover an increased workload on the job.
Life will always happen.
So now, you’ve got an impossible schedule to maintain, the added time drain of your resolution and all your friends and family asking you how it’s going. Pressure much? It always was for me.
Being under pressure isn’t anything new for most of us, but breaking a resolutions feels somehow…wrong. Instead of deciding that your health is more important than your exercise schedule, you might be more tempted to stay with it, weakening your already weak system and increasing your instance of injury. Worse still, putting yourself under the constant pressure to do something just because you resolved to do it can make you grow to hate it, even if you’re doing something you’d otherwise love.
So, how can we make a positive change?
Ditch the resolutions, y’all.
Let’s face it; few people are able to stick with their resolutions for a few months, much less the entire year. That’s not a negative, pessimistic thought, either. It’s just the truth.
Instead of calling things a resolution and putting gobs of stress and pressure on something that doesn’t need it, just make the change. Wake up every morning with the intention of working out (or eating right or whatever your thing is). Then see how it goes. When your head hits the pillow at night, evaluate how you did and what you can do better tomorrow.
Remember, every new day is a fresh opportunity to make a change in your life. There’s nothing particularly magical or special about New Year’s Day. It’s just a day. The things we decide to do have no more weight than they would on any other day.
And, when you really think about it, isn’t it better that all days are the same? I mean, now no one has to feel guilty about not keeping their newest resolution. All they have to do is get up tomorrow with the intention of doing a little better than they did today.
The non-resolution, my friends, is my favorite type of resolution to make. What about you?
© 2013, Jen Whitten. All rights reserved. Using content from The Positive Piper without permission will cause the Negativity Beast to attack. BEWARE!