Many of you hugged and kissed your way into 2017.
Some of you danced.
Perhaps many of you simply let it be, but it felt like you were actually doing an army-crawl.
It’s easy to talk about hope and possibility when you’re on the cusp of something. There’s a kind of magic in those feelings, and you hold onto them because it might be all that you have. But once midnight rolls around and the real work begins, accomplishing any resolution can seem like navigating an obstacle course with a load of bricks on your back. Either that, or you want to “get there” as soon as possible because you don’t want to waste any more time or live with regret.
I get it. There’s a sense of urgency in the air, especially in days like these. But the turning of a calendar year does not take away insecurities, change habits, or rebuild what has been broken down. You have to be the one to set goals, make the effort, and stick to it (even when it gets difficult). Yet consistency can be and often is a challenge because of how people approach trying to better themselves, along with the collective reasons for wanting to. The path to success/achievement is viewed as a straight shot, never mind that there are probably going to be cracks, rocks, and roadblocks along the way. It’s all about the hustle, and once you fall, you’re done and it’s no longer worth pursuing.
And that’s probably why resolutions lose their luster after January. It’s not a lack of realism or ambition or motivation, but a lack of loving and taking care of ourselves in the process. If you want to accomplish anything, you have to understand that you’re going to trip and stumble. You’re going to have setbacks. Failure might not be an option, but obstacles are a definite possibility. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide whether you’ll allow those things to define who you are and what you’re capable of, and whether you’ll choose to keep going or let challenges get the best of you.
I’m not sure if I resolve to do anything differently, as much as I resolve to continue what I’ve already been doing. That’s not to say change isn’t important, or that I’m avoiding making changes in my life all together. But life does get messy, and trying to ignore that reality has only led me in circles. When I make room for the mess, and I invite people into the mess, I’m able to do my part knowing that I love myself and am allowing others to love me too. And when I do my part, when I take control of what I actually have control over, the rest takes care of itself and the changes happen a bit more naturally. Approaching change with shame never works because you end up trying too hard, and you end up making choices for all the wrong reasons.
Yes, I want to accomplish things: I want to exercise as often as possible and eat healthier food so that I have more energy to actually have a career. I want to become a published writer and reach people with my words. I want to communicate (especially with text messages) in a way where I’m not constantly acting and reacting out of insecurity. These are not just goals to achieve, but habits to maintain after I achieve them. In terms of personal development, growth is never static and the work is never entirely done. There is rest and there is acknowledging the journey, yet I’m always evolving as a person. And I’m not sure if I really want to know if I’ve succeeded or not (in some respects), because I don’t want to take anything for granted.
I suppose I say all of this because the-end-of-one-beginning-of-another jargon has started to make me cringe. Yes, 2017 can be YOUR year, but why make three hundred sixty five days the end all, be all? Of course you have the capability of making it a good one, of writing a great chapter or even a great book…but that takes time, and writing anything great comes with a lot of sitting and editing. The best mentality that I can come up with is to take it all one day at a time, and put one foot in front of the other. Life is unpredictable, and you really don’t know how you’ll handle a situation until you’re in it. You can plan and map something out to a tee, but life can be turned upside-down at any given moment.
One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.
Remember that you’re brave, you are strong, and you can do hard things.
If nothing else, you never have to wait until midnight to start over. You can do it again and again, reinventing yourself every day if it means getting to where you want to be.