There is an amazing air that comes along with each New Year. As our planet completes another full rotation around the sun we are presented with the feeling of a fresh slate. This is a time when many of us pledge ourselves to personal resolutions in the days and months ahead.. and though we’re all quite aware that change and growth can be initialed at anytime throughout our lives there is something about sitting at the door step of a fresh year that fills us with resolve, with energy to make changes to habits that hinder us or negatively affect us, and we brim with determination to transform and better ourselves toward the image of the selves we would like to be true to.
The biggest hurdle here, the challenge that keeps many of us side stepping, is that changing our habits is really difficult! These behavioral patterns that we so regularly follow become almost involuntary and so adjusting our daily actions to align with our intended resolutions is met with all kinds of resistance, mental and physical. The transition period of changing any habit can be incredibly trying. Take it from a X-smoker… I know how hard change can be. When life happens, stress and busyness show up it’s damn hard to stay on track but if the burning desire to make some changes have been coming up (even before making it a new years resolution) there is surely a strength within you that can help you to really dig in and continue to push toward your goal.
The thing to remember is that real, lasting and sustainable change TAKES TIME. This is a hard pill for us to swallow in our fairly instant western world and we don’t have a lot of encouragement when it comes to time, will and endurance. Though society has a bit of a cultural obsession with reinvention we seem very ill prepared for what true reinvention looks like. I’m not talking about the kind of reinvention that’s going to happen by booking a cosmetic surgery, becoming a contestant on one of a hundred reality series aimed at “bettering” people, or reading the latest released self-help book of this year. The changes that come from these experiences are fleeting and only temporarily satisfy our the hunger to be content with ourselves and our lives. What I’m talking about is taking our resolutions and turning them into an offering to ourselves by putting some serious thought and time into what and why we want to make changes in our lives and what steps we will likely have to take, and commit to, in order to get us headed in the right direction.
We must approach our resolutions gently and honestly and be prepared for the natural resistance we will surely feel in an attempt to bring positive change to our lives. We must be patient with our progress and realize that often multiple attempts will have to be made before we are really going to form new patterns and habits, and we have to be okay with this and not beat ourselves up when we hiccup along the way. I tried to quit smoking dozens of times before the true resolve to give my cigarettes up found me, and even then I had moments of weakness, but I chose to commit to changing my habits because I could clearly see that not smoking was going to be much much better for my life than smoking was. The process wasn’t easy but when I finally realized that I was indeed stronger than that bad habit I was met with a lasting satisfaction, not just about quitting smoking but about taking control of the things that I truly want for myself.
Making a New Years resolution, or any resolution at any time of year, is a really personal thing, a promise made to oneself from deep within. As we push into 2013 I wish to share my sincere love and support to all of us who are endeavoring to become truer, more aligned versions of ourselves.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama, 2008