As this year begins to wind down while simultaneously speeding up, I reflect on resolutions. This would normally be the time of year when I would begin to think about the resolutions that I would want to make for the coming year, and think about the resolutions I made the year before, and whether or not I kept any of them.
I’ve never understood how the year from October 31st to December 31st seems to fly by in seconds, while the rest of the year flows at its regular, meandering pace.Nevertheless, it’s the time when I reflect on what has already transpired in the year and look forward to what is to come in the next year. Everyone knows the common resolutions- lose weight, get healthy, be a better person, save money, quit smoking or drinking, and finish that book you’ve been working on.
Sometimes I make resolutions, and sometimes I don’t. I believe that there is no wrong time to make a “resolution.” There’s no wrong or right time of year to make changes to yourself, your life, your habits, and there is always room for improvement. You don’t have to wait for a new year to roll over so that you can be a better you. Change is a constant process that happens every day, a choice you make daily. When you wake up in the morning, it can either be a good day, or a bad day. You can make good choices or bad choices. You can be the change, or you can be the problem. Maybe your resolution could simply be to make good choices every day, to wake up and say “Today is the day that I make it. My attitude determines where I go and how I react and interact with people. I will exude positivity and be the light that I want to be.”
I’ve never consciously made a resolution and stuck to it for an entire year. Life is too unpredictable to say that I’m going to go to the gym 5 nights a week. I can’t make commitments that way. If that works for you, then I salute you. I prefer to work on myself as I see the need. When I reflect upon my behavior, attitude, and actions and notice that something needs to change, I change it. Right then and there, no questions, no excuses. One year, I decided in January that I wouldn’t drink any more energy drinks, I was ditching the Red Bull. In August, I broke down and had one. I didn’t beat myself up over it, and acknowledged that I had done a great job of not caving in for the previous 8 months. After that, I told myself that it was ok that I had had an energy drink, and that if I continued drinking them, to do so in moderation. After all, isn’t that the secret to life? Another year, I decided that I was going to give up eating fried food. That lasted for three days. Chick-fil-a, I will never be able to resist your delicious greasiness.
There’s no shame if you can’t hold down a resolution for an entire year, a lot of people can’t. The most important thing is that you work on yourself, and be the best you that you can be. Change is inevitable, so we should embrace it. If you’re not changing, you’re not growing. No growth means that you’ve become complacent with life, you’re stagnant. Stagnation is never a good thing, and that’s a good way to lose friends and loved ones that are close to you. Keep growing, keep changing, keep challenging yourself, and keep true to yourself. As the great Garth Brooks said, “life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.”