A New (and Improved) New Year’s Resolution
‘Tis the time of year when pretty much all of us look back and reflect. Some of us have met every single goal we set for ourselves; others started and changed course early on in the new year for various reasons; some of you may have completely abandoned your resolutions, vowing to do better next year.
Or maybe you’re like me and you don’t actually make them, nor do you look back and ponder on what you “coulda, shoulda” done differently to create an outcome different from the one you’re in.
I don’t know how you feel about December drawing to a close. Are you like me, a little bit edgier than you’d like to be because here you are, another year gone and some of your major objectives on your vision board are still left unchecked? Or are you super easy-going like my husband who has a tortoise – slow and steady wins the race – long-game mindset.
Regardless of what character traits you relate to best, I’m sure there is one thing we have in common: it is hard, almost impossible to believe that another year has come and gone. I, for one, think the clock of life has been sped up. That a minute is no longer a minute anymore, that we’ve lost some time. It feels to me like a minute is less than 60 seconds these days as life seems to zip by, and as I live and feel this way, like time is getting away from me, I find that there is something that helps me remain grounded and centred.
Whenever I feel like I’m falling behind,or not achieving on the schedule that I have laid out for myself, I take a moment to pause and remind myself sometimes two, maybe three times a day that, “What’s meant for me will never miss me.” I inhale deeply for six seconds, breathe out slowly for 10 … and repeat this until I feel calmer and more faithful.
I’m not naturally a “trust in the process” person – I wish I were. It would make life so much easier. Peaceful for me and pleasurable for those who love me most. But I’m not. I’m super A-type. The more plates I have in the air the better, and I’ve accomplished a great deal in my short life. The fact that I’ve raised three women into mentally healthy, independent, decent global citizens is more than most have done.
And even though I can accept and acknowledge that this is, in fact, amazing, I’ve always wanted to be more than somebody’s mom or wife. When the acting thing didn’t pan out, I immediately asked myself, “Well, what else would I enjoy doing?” And the floodgates opened. I’ve cheered professionally, I’ve owned a gym, I’ve written books, had a successful blog, created TV show concepts, found charities that I’m passionate about, built deep and wonderful friendships and, now, I own a marina. None of which I dreamed about doing when I was a little girl but all rich, rewarding and totally groovy.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always been open to “what’s next” that I’ve not felt the need to have resolutions. Maybe it has even more to do with the fact that I believe every single day is an opportunity to examine oneself and look for ways to dig deep and be a better version of myself.
I don’t rely on making one resolution to follow for the new year. Rather, I feel it’s more productive and organic to do this every single day, because I’m human and, as embarrassed as I am to say this, at 49 I find myself still falling short of being who I want to be every single day. I am, as they say, a work in progress. Maybe I let myself down by losing my temper in traffic or I may snap at Yannick or one of my girls, or I might see somebody and make up a story in my head about them, judging them based on how they look to be on the outside.
Some days I might eat or drink more than I planned to or let myself down by not working out as hard as I needed to … whatever it is for me or for you, the bottom line is that resolutions don’t need to be something that you make on one day that you need to stick to for an entire year. And if you drop the ball a couple of days into the year, you feel deflated, discouraged and end up throwing in the towel on the entire “new you” project.
Perhaps if you look at it as you’ll always be a work in progress, that there is no end to how you will evolve because as long as there is air in your lungs, chances are you will want to be better than you are today. Taking it moment by moment rather than biting off an entire year might actually achieve more. Better yourself and your life in small bites.
So, if I may inspire and encourage you to change things up this year, try what I did by picking a “New Year, New You” theme and then do something small every single day that fits with that theme to really change from the inside. I can tell you from experience this way of heading into each new year has been life-changing. I have moved mountains in my personal growth and my relationships by living my life as a daily resolution with a purpose and focus that I honestly would need to write an entire book to share all the ways this way of heading into each new year has worked out so beautifully for me.
But since none of us have the time for that, let me give you the Coles Notes on what I did in 2016 after reading Shonda Rhimes’ book The Year of Yes. I decided to start saying YES more and NO less. Then the next year I added being fearless; the following year was the year of wellness; and this year, well, I haven’t decided yet but I’m thinking it will have something to do with honouring my body. I’ll keep you posted on what my theme for 2019 is!
Until then, a safe, prosperous and blessed 2019 to you all.