I was flipping through the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine when Martha Beck’s piece caught my eye. It is titled, “You Say You Want a Resolution…” Before reading it, I looked over the subheadings: Gain weight. Spend more. Make messes. Be self-involved. Forget what I’ve learned.
It was as if she was turning traditional New Year’s resolutions on their head. The idea caught me by surprise because it was so freeing. As I read each section of the article, the wisdom of her message sank in. Just imagine not being burdened by goals that fill your year with guilt.
No, it’s not about going crazy by being undisciplined or self-destructive. I’m not going to gorge myself on everything I want to eat or never clean my house again. What this is about is cutting yourself some slack. Allowing yourself to breathe.
What if you replaced the pressure to overachieve or have lots of restrictions with tender appreciation for who you are? For example, if you want to lose weight, try shifting from always telling yourself “no” to saying “I love you” to your body.
Rather than start the year with a list of “no-no’s,” try beginning with a gentle commitment to be more of who you really are. To allow your authentic self to come out and play. To move past fear and release your gifts to the world. No oppressive list of major accomplishments to keep you feeling like you’re falling short. Substitute resolutions for intentions. Obligations for purpose.
Try the light approach. Let go of the “make-it-happen” driven mode in favor of releasing and allowing. As Martha Beck wrote, it’s okay to: “Oversleep. Fritter away more of your days.” There’s something magical that happens when you piddle. It opens breathing space. It makes room for something wonderful to come forth.
In two-oh-one-seven, let your life be heaven. Happy New Year!