I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~ Anaïs Nin
There is an illusion that comes with every New Year.
This illusion gives us a false sense of advantage and meaning, that with the resetting of the calendar so too should our former selves reset, providing us with a rebirth. But the truth is that the New Year is just another Tomorrow. You’re insecurities and self-doubt have flipped the calendar page into the New Year, and your negative internal dialogues sip the champagne along with you.
It takes 365 days (and 6 hours) for the Earth to complete its 360-degree orbit around the Sun, and to honor this momentous event, we’ve been taught to attempt our own 360-degree orbit around our faults and imperfections by resolving to change ourselves in this coming year.
The only problem is that the Gregorian calendar doesn’t care about your desires. Your lack of willpower and weaknesses aren’t going to explode along with the fireworks. January the 1st doesn’t give you a clean slate from your old patterns of mental habits.
Most of us have such little determination to change.
We procrastinate for a rare chance, a mythical date, and a good enough reason to change other than the intense desire to improve our lives. I have often even heard people waiting for a Monday in order to begin their new diet, but what’s so wrong with right now?
We put a lot of pressure on the first of January because it’s the socially ideal date to change, especially when everybody asks you each year: “So, what resolutions do you have for this year?” The fact is, you might not be ready to change, you may just have an ideal of what you’d like to improve on in the future. However, this capricious ideal is rarely the same as the burning desire we get in certain moments of our lives to really do something, and really change. Our desire to set New Year resolutions for ourselves is just the result of falling for a useless social idea.
There is also another downfall to resolutions, and that is complacency.
The majority of us have made resolutions we weren’t able to keep (barely used treadmills start occupying 2 pages of the For Sale classified ads every February). Breaking resolutions has become a common occurrence to hear about, even joke about. All this creates a cynical attitude about them, making our failures to accomplish our resolutions easy to dismiss and postpone for our next ‘ideal opportunity’. Furthermore, setting resolutions lowers our self-esteem when we feel like failures for mysteriously not achieving our targets. Each year, the confidence we have in ourselves slowly erodes, making it harder and harder to achieve the New Year resolution ideal the next time we try. There is no advantage and no luck when it comes to accomplishing something like changing ourselves.
It’s entirely up to ourselves and our own determination to change.
Any day is the perfect day, Thursday the 16 of April sounds like a terrific day to me. And anyway, who says our resolutions have to be a lifetime commitment? Set yourself a less daunting goal, perhaps 40 days and 40 nights. If someone told you the first time you washed the dishes that you’d be washing them 13,000 more times throughout your life, what attitude would you have held throughout that first experience?
After you’ve gained the sense of accomplishment and experienced the improvement to your life of those 40 days, you’re free to decide whether to continue another 40 or not. Take it one step at a time.
Happy Solar Earthly orbit completion!