“No amount of regret changes the past, no amount of anxiety changes the future, any amount of gratitude changes the present.”
– Ann Voskamp
Every year just before the clock strikes midnight, many of us feel forced to once again pull out the box labeled “New Year Resolutions.” This dusty box can be found hidden in the back corner of a closet, high up on a shelf, or maybe under the bed—out of sight, out of mind. The box often holds resolutions titled “Last 10 LBs,” “Wine Free Weekdays” or maybe “Weekly Girls Night.” They are things we want to accomplish or incorporate into our new year and “new” life. I am all for setting a goal, creating a plan, and going after it. You would think I am all about resolutions, but the truth is I’m not—never have been. I wasn’t even sure what my issue with resolutions was, but I did have an issue with them, and so, I decided to figure out what it is.
After further thought, I realized it boiled down to one word, obligation. Every year there is an expectation that we are to come up with a new or better way to live our lives. It almost isn’t a choice, but something you “have” to do, or something you “should” do, and that just doesn’t suit me. I choose choice over obligation any day of the week.
How many times have we heard the phrase “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink?” New Year’s Eve resolutions = water, horse = me. I know myself, and I know many of you would agree. Until a change is truly felt or wanted, it’s not going to happen. I don’t care what day it is or what time it happens to be. I am changing all of the time. I have 1 trillion ideas a day, I want all of them to have come to fruition yesterday and love nothing more than building a plan as to how I am going to achieve them (and then sob like a baby when it actually happens).
Here’s the deal though, these goals or plans that I have are not static. They are not frozen in time on a piece of paper, stuffed in a box, shoved deep under my bed. They are alive and ready to adjust and move depending on what I need them to do. My goals evolve, they ebb and flow based on what I need from them, not the other way around. We’re the boss, not a holiday celebrated at the turn of each new year. So as we all prepare to close-out 2020 and begin reaching for the newness of 2021, I encourage you to think about what the goals you are making are doing to serve you. Think about what you expect from them, and then think about when you are ready to start accomplishing them. I choose to evolve, and not resolve this year… who’s coming with me?!