I can hardly believe it, but a new year is here. And if you’re anything like me, you are probably toying with the idea of making a few resolutions. Part of me hates the pressure attached to resolutions, especially if I proclaim these resolutions aloud. What would it say about me if I fail to fulfill my pledges? The other half of me needs to make some personal promises for the new year, whether I ultimately fail to reach my expectations or not. I believe, as many people do, that a drive exists around the need for change. The human condition thrives around change despite the fear and resistance we tend to feel around it. The resolution merely puts words, and hopefully commitment, around that for which we know is important to our overall wellbeing.
Change allows for growth. At times, it forces us to feel things that can be uncomfortable, intimidating, and threatening. Reframed, it can be an opportunity to stretch, confront, conquer, learn, and achieve great things. Change inserts the new and exciting pieces of life that stimulates the brain and body as well as the spirit. However, we, as mothers, can find resolutions around change challenging amid the details of motherhood. Instead of getting to the gym three times a week, I find excuses around the loads of laundry that are waiting, the meals that must be prepared, and the bills that have to be paid. I’m usually scrambling to keep up with all the details swirling in my head; one thing after another, after another. There’s no wonder, I say to myself as a mom, that my resolutions are hard to keep.
But, but, but…make your resolutions and tune out the pessimist sitting on your shoulder because apart from the sabotage lurking around every corner of your house, and in all of the demands at your feet, a resolution holds the promise and expectation of the life you want to lead (and the woman you want to be). What better time than the arrival of New Year’s to aspire! What do you see in your mind’s eye? I’ve got to believe that you have an image of how you want to live, how you want to look and feel.
Think of your resolution this way: Over your lifetime, you have broadened your life experience and wisdom with every action you’ve taken, with every decision you’ve made, with each interaction you’ve had, and with all the failures and accomplishments you’ve known. You are a collection of resolutions, of desires and needs filled and yet to be fulfilled. Whether it was a conscious decision or not, you have already stretched, confronted, conquered, learned, and achieved many things. Sure, there have been times that you did not hit the mark, but who among us can say otherwise. You are as strong and determined as you believe you are. You are able, and blessed to have many options for growth and accomplishment.
Recognize that you are probably more afraid of what change will or won’t bring (i.e., the expectation) versus change itself. For instance, people tend to expect change to generate a loss of some kind, which can be unsettling. Change suggests letting go of one thing to embrace another; and letting go implies loss. Other times people equate change with pain (physical or emotional). And that, of course, puts the brakes on any resolution in the making. Not many people like the idea of experiencing the pain that may occur during the process of change, whether it’s pain to one self or to another. And lastly, people often fear the outcome related to the change they seek, believe it or not. The self-talk goes something like this, “What if things don’t work out like I thought or create results I didn’t expect or things actually get worse because I ventured down this road?” The words “what if” have stopped me in my tracks. I understand that change can be intimidating. Fortunately, I also understand that I need change; you need change.
So, resolve to change something in 2014, something you know will make a positive difference in your life. Focus on what you will gain and how that will make you feel. Believe that you will find better ways to manage stress, engage relationships, or achieve success in the area(s) of your life that you dream of achieving. Recognize that the choice is yours to allow things to remain the same or not. And that all change begins with a clear and precise vision for what you want to achieve. Be inspired. Be bold. Be unafraid. Happy New Year!!