I’ll admit it: I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions anymore. I’m just not good at them. Like most people, I’ll make some promises to exercise regularly, eat right and reduce my stress only to break them within the first week. I like to eat popcorn for breakfast sometimes. And, although I stick to my yoga and meditation practices, I don’t always do enough cardio. I figure I get enough of it from chasing my six, four and two-year olds around while baby-snuggling my six-month old.
The reason many of us fail at our resolutions is because we promise to make specific lifestyle changes and, a lot of time, those changes were never a part of our lifestyle before. For example, promising to make healthier food choices is an admirable goal. However, if we don’t read labels, include foods from all the food groups or don’t cook those ingredients properly, we aren’t getting all of the benefits from our food that we should be. And then we aren’t keeping our resolution either.
In my opinion, making resolutions is like setting ourselves up for disaster. There’s nothing wrong with verbalizing our goals but I prefer to make small changes to what I already have in my life—improving on what’s there—than to make huge changes I may not either stick to or be comfortable with.
I believe that with the New Year comes another chance to begin again, to go back to something we’ve either chosen to or had to set aside and, most importantly, to breathe life back into our souls. I call these The New Year’s Triad or renewal, revival and rejuvenation. Allow me to explain.
Renewal: The New Year gives us a second chance. Whether it’s to get back on track, refocus our priorities or to go about something in an entirely new way, we’re given another 365 days to get to it. You see you aren’t promising to do or not to do something here; you’re merely saying, “Alright, I survived the last year, I didn’t do too badly but I think I need to try this ______ (fill in your activity/person/chore/object) again.” Seeing it from this perspective allows us to face that activity/person/chore/object with greater strength and the confidence that, hey, maybe I can actually do it this time!
Revival: A little different from renewal, revival is going back to something we’ve either had to or chosen to set aside in order to complete other tasks. Most times, it’s something we’re very fond of or passionate about and aren’t able to continue with it because something else comes up. It could be lunch with your girlfriends, picking up that half-finished craft you started or even completing that novel waiting for you in the deepest, darkest part of your computer memory. All of us have sacrifices we’ve made for the greater good. Go back to what you had to cut out and squeeze it into your schedule somewhere. See if you can ignite the passion you had for that activity again. I’ve often found doing this creates new energy for the everyday mundane tasks because you know once those are out of the way, you’ll be able to reward yourself with your funtime activity!
Rejuvenation: This has everything to do with you. Many of us reach the end of a year feeling drained, tired and completely used up. All of our everyday stresses, worries and hassles can really take a toll our poor minds and bodies. The New Year is a way to breathe new life into our souls and to reconnect with that part of ourselves that keeps us going. Do whatever it takes to recharge your batteries for all of the wonderful surprises lying ahead for us: read an inspiring, uplifting book; try out a new style of music; or just take some deserved time to yourself. We need to rejuvenate the soul because, as you know, it is the unity of mind, body and soul that gives us the strength to face another day.
Well, there you have it. The best part about the New Year’s Triad is that you aren’t giving up anything or making promises you may not be able to keep. You’re simply bringing things you truly love back into your life to inspire you and to keep you going.
Now, that’s a promise I know I can keep.