We all want to turn over a new leaf, to start our lives fresh when the clock strikes 12 a.m. and the ball slowly falls and the world celebrates the ushering in of a new year. We hope against all odds that as we reset our calendars, our inner selves will also be reset. It’s as if we think our data centers will be wiped clean to make room for our “better selves” in the new year. Why should we ever want to pull the power plug on the selves we’ve constructed from the experiences we’ve worked through?
To preserve the honesty and patience that we owe to ourselves, we should remember that change takes time. We’re not starting from a blank slate. The self I’ve created can’t just be washed away, but I can work at polishing the tarnished parts and ironing out the wrinkles over time.
We’re never going to be exactly who we’re dreaming today that we’ll one day be. It’s too late to turn back the clock and think about who I could have been. I’ve got to work with the self that I’ve developed in these past 30 years, with whom I’ve grounded myself in over time.
It’s time to change the New Years resolution conversation to be less about making a fresh start and more about nurturing who we’ve already become. Lets make New Years resolutions that don’t involve restrictions or expectations or threats or self-denial. Lets instead try to accept who we are and start taking slow and steady steps to better ourselves.
This year, I’m keeping my New Years resolutions pretty simple. I’m going to be thoughtful and supportive of the people I care about, and to let go of those horrible nagging feelings of want and need. I resolve to make peace with the actions of others that are out of my control, and to trust myself to take the reins on situations I know I can handle. I resolve to try to see the good in all people, knowing none of us are perfect, and to hold myself to higher standards. I resolve to roll up my sleeves and take a stand for causes I believe in, and to do what I can to help make this world a better place. That’s all I’ve got for this year, but really, it’s all I need.
For more on defining success and finding self-acceptance, check out:
- “Daring Greatly: Exposing Vulnerabilities with Louis C.K.”
- “Unbounce Yourself and Embrace Your Inner Pooh”
- Inspiring quotes from my past self
- “Becoming, Evolving and Growing at 28”