I don’t think resolutions are stupid or pointless. The idea of beginning again, opting for change, and starting over inherently comes with the beginning of a new year. Like spring, the new year is froth with possibilities, inciting a new energy that is hard to manufacture at other times during the year. (I know there are nay-sayers out there who think I’m full of bunk. Well, ya better stop reading now because it’s gunna get a whole lot bunkier up in here.)
I also think it is important to examine one’s life. Socrates said it, and you’ve heard it: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” For a person who is predisposed to investigate pretty much everything, the quote isn’t merely a saying, it’s a way of life. From time to time, I let myself get off-balance and I over do it, becoming unhappy with everything in and everything about my life. When that happens, I usually have a tremendously long resolution list that I can’t possibly keep.
This time last year I was feeling overwhelmed with all the change that my life seemed to need, and then I came across My One Word – “an experiment to move [people] beyond [the New Year’s resolution make and break] cycle . . . and instead pick one word, provid[ing] clarity by narrowing [the list] into a single focus.”
One word? Single focus? I’m in!
Last year’s word was Contentment.
Or was it Peace.
Crap, I can’t even remember.
Either way, it meant looking for and striving for the positive, being okay where I am right here and now. That didn’t mean that I didn’t want to progress. It meant that I needed to stop striving and be grateful for what I had. It meant that I needed to stop trying to make things better and see that my life wasn’t that bad where I was.
Low and behold, when I stopped and started seeing what I had and what it was worth, I was content and peaceful.
It wasn’t easy because I innately believe everything can be better and no one has ever “made it.” I don’t care what Barry Manilow says. I like to evaluate what’s not working, fix it, and move on, so to stop and smell the roses was an everyday struggle. Some days I failed miserably, some days I received gentle reminders from friends and family, and some days I had to have a strongly worded conversation with myself, but I ended 2012 with contentment and peace.
This year’s word is Better.
This year I am going to do and be better. That may seem huge and unattainable, but c’mon, I’m not shooting for the moon here people. I just want to be better. Even if it is an infinitesimal spec better, that’s progress (continuing to strive for contentment)!
I don’t have to beat myself up by not making big enough stides in becoming the best person I can be, because in reality, that goal is unattainable; however, I can be better. And if I don’t consult the devilish stick that measures me against other people and stick to one simple question – Am I better than I was? – then I can do it.
And so can you.
So . . . what’s your one word?