New Year’s resolutions

Did you make some serious New Year’s resolutions?

I used to like the few days leading up to New Years Eve. The old year was coming to an end, and the New Year felt so close, with all it’s promises and opportunities.

It is the sense of pure potential, a clean slate, a new day – a new me.

New year’s resolutions tend not to get carried out. I have broken more New Year resolutions than I even care to remember. It feels great to make them, but they are infamous for nor being implemented for long.

Why is that so?

The word “ resolution” is derived from the Latin word “ relsolvere” and it means  to “separate from something, cut it off, untie it, loosen it”. It means to depart from a habit that we somehow believe does not (bene)fit the person we are.

Popular New Years resolutions have to do with unhealthy life style choices – like eat less, or more healthy, stop smoking, spend less money and save more, be more disciplined, more organised, have an exercise routine, be more loving, more be less reactive, be more spiritual – finally become the person we really, really  are.

Maybe this is the allure of New Year’s resolutions – the impulse to be more authentic. To recognise and acknowledge certain areas in our life which are somehow not aligned, out of balance or even damaging to health and well-being.

We all know what it is – there is a certain feeling of unease, a sense that things are not quite right and something in us wants a change. It wants peace, well-being and liberation from the grasping and compulsion of suffering. It wants wholeness and an to the separation which we perceive as not right.

So we go and look for culprits. Maybe I am not happy with my weight, my physical appearance or the way my relationships work out. Maybe I am not happy in my job, or I am not satisfied with the choices I do around spending money or using my free time. So I want to “loosen it, cut it off or untie it”, because I believe that this specific behaviour is at the root of my not feeling fulfilled.

This is why New Years resolutions do not work. It is a great feeling to “finally do something about it”, but the approach is adding, instead of letting go. If I continue to hold on to the root of the problem, like my inner conflicts or what I do to control and manipulate my environment so I can continue to live in my dream-state, I soon will realise that replacing one behaviour with the other, does not bring the desired relief.

Because what I am truly looking for is not the resolution – it is a relief. Not to separate from an undesired situation, behaviour or compulsion – but to let go.

Letting go is about falling away. I have noticed that over the past two or three years many habits changed or simply disappeared. Some of them were “bad habits” in the conventional sense of the word, but there was also a lot vanishing, that would have been considered beneficial for personal growth, security, health and well-being. So in that sense, I do not make “resolutions” anymore, because now I am used to listen to needs of my whole being and it does tell me, in no unmistaken terms, what it needs regarding food, sleep, exercise, work or even areas of interest. It is simply coming to me and if it does, I do it and it turns out to be very easy pleasant and joyful, because it is bringing the relief from what has been previously perceived as heavy and limiting.

So I am here to advocate to completely and joyfully abandon New Year’s resolutions. Dump them. Forget about them – they are another trick of the ego to convince us that the solution to our problem lies in a “resolution”, for no determination in the world can force us to feel good about something we don’t. If it doesn’t do that now – will it ever in the future?

Instead I am introducing responsiveness to the needs of the moment, which is the only “resolution” we ever need – and I do not need to wait for the New Year before I start doing it, because if I do not start now – I will never get there.

What is it I need now – what does my body tell me, what are the movements of my mind and what is the longing of my soul. Just look at that and forget any resolutions at all.

How can anything that is not now, be in the future ?

About Michaela

I am a wanderer and a wonderer, like you are. I love our journey and to walk in the company of friends – to learn, experience, share, laugh, cry and above all I simply love this marvelous, magical, mysterious life. I have no plan (cannot believe I am saying this) and my only intention is to be truthful to myself and others.
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3 Responses to New Year’s resolutions

  1. Michaela,
    Have to agree with you here. I tend not to make resolutions at the beginning of the year, except perhaps to continue to work on myself, but that is hardly new or old or worthy of what I really want to say.

    My resolution for the year always comes into clarity toward the solstice, when I begin in earnest to reflect on whether there is any unresolved energy that may need closure brought to bear upon it, before I gratefully step into the New Year. Not that every day doesn’t present this challenge, but I add a little extra to the listening, to the action.

    So, I suppose that the more important time, from my small perspective on the world, is the end time, the peace that comes from bringing closure to loose ends, and the feeling that the Now begins now, even if only in my mind and in the mind and energy of the world, as a New Year opens before us, if only as a number.

    Warm regards in this new Now.


  2. Johanna11 says:

    I like it! One small resolution of mine was to record visits I make in connection with the YMCA – because I so often forget. But I can see this another way now – by being fully present at the time, I will make the record as a matter of completing the action.

    Just a small one, but I think the principle is great – no stress or strain, just living life consciously!

  3. Michaela says:

    Thank you my friends.

    Jerome, I like what you say about end times. I felt that strongly over the lats few weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year. Now the energy feels much different.

    Yes, allowing life to make the decisions takes a lit of stress out of the day…

    Happy New Year to you both 🙂

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