Reflections, Not Resolutions

Start the New Year with reflections, not resolutions. Why? It’s a simple reason – because they are much more effective.

When we reflect, we think deeply and carefully about something. Reflection is serious thought and consideration. We can reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and where we want to be in our lives. Self-reflection leads to good planning, goal setting, and general self-improvement. However, our plans and goals are not set in stone. They will change as we change, grow as we grow, to be added to, updated, and improved upon.

Resolute is not even a verb. It is not an action. It is a description meaning unwavering. A resolution is a firm decision is to do or not do something. It is set in stone. And that is the problem with a New Year’s resolution. Stick to it or don’t stick to it. There is no in between. We are winners if we stick to it and losers if we don’t. The odds are 50/50.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for resolutions. We started our country with declarations and resolutions – with unwavering stands. They were and still are good and necessary for law and government  and to publicly determine right from wrong. They are just not the right venue for setting personal goals on New Year’s Eve. Resolutions have nothing to do with growth.

So make a list in pencil, not stone. Set goals and make new plans as the new year starts. Remember that we are not perfect, so we won’t always act perfectly. Mistakes will be made, but our strength is to reflect on what is not working and why, and finding more supports to our goals to make them achievable (instead of beating ourselves up and giving up). The strong person continues on the path even after stumbling.

“Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself.” ~ Wayne Dyer ~ Happy New Year!

Hello, Baby New Year

Hello, Baby New Year. We welcome you with open arms. Do you welcome us back?  We have been awaiting your arrival. Were you counting down too?  We sure are happy to see you. Did you know that? You’re the symbol of our new beginning and our hopeful ever after. Welcome, welcome.

Your birth is met with revelry and celebration. Out with the old, and in with the new! (But honestly, Baby New Year, the last Baby New Year started out looking a lot like you.) At first everyone will embrace you, sing to you, hope for you. Everyone will make promises to you too, a lot of promises. (But not everyone will have your best interests at heart.)

Baby New Year, I am always amazed at your wide eyed innocence and wonder when you start out. You arrive with the  determination to survive and to thrive and to beat the odds. But you have to grow up so fast. Learn so much. Absorb so much. And you will grow quickly. You will reach adulthood in about 6 months, 9 months, tops.

By the time you reach adulthood, a lot of people will be mad at you. They will be blaming you. They will blame you for not living up to their expectations. But don’t worry, Baby New Year. We humans are really blaming ourselves. You are just the scapegoat for broken resolutions and unfulfilled dreams.

I’ve met more than a few Baby New Years in my life. So is it okay if I give you some advice, Baby New Year, you know, from a human?

We humans are mostly good; we just forget it sometimes. Remind us in gentle ways. When we make New Year’s resolutions, we do really want to keep them. It’s just harder than we thought it would be. Encourage  us, Baby New Year, to keep moving forward and do the best that we can. We want to grow with you, not rail at you. Can you forgive us when we falter and help us to forgive ourselves?

Baby New Year, my wish for you is the same wish for us. That at the end of the year you will be wiser and stronger than you have ever imagined. That you will have endured sorrow and experienced joy. And that you will look back at the year with gratitude for having lived it to the fullest.