Forget the resolutions! This year I’m making three declarations. The concept of making resolutions implies that I must resolve to do this, less of that, a whole lot more of the other thing and never again do everything else I know I shouldn’t do.
While it may be true, the underlying negativity drags me down. Sure, my life skills need improvement, but no one knows I’m a work-in-progress more than I do. I also know that it would better serve me to realize I did OK this year and I’ll bet you did too.
The problem is we’re all too fixated on what we didn’t do well enough, the money we didn’t make (or spent too quickly), the goals we can’t yet cross off the to-do scroll (it hasn’t been a list since the ‘80s), the weight we didn’t yet lose, etc.
Enough is enough! I go through that all year long, then as January approaches, I try to pretend that setting the same old limits for myself is something new and ground-breaking. Then I’m supposed to get excited about it and see it through? Seriously! I resolve to put an end to the anxiety created by trying to be better. How’s that? That will be my only resolution, and the rest of my intentions will graduate.
My declarations are nothing more than a new set of rules designed to abolish the limiting beliefs of yesteryear’s resolutions. Did you get that? It’s about putting a positive spin on your resolutions. Try turning your own resolutions into declarations.
Here’s how I’m going to do it. My number one resolution usually relates to my work.
Declaration #1. I am a great (writer) who’s getting better all the time.
Rather than making my usual ridiculous promises like: to work while I’m sleeping, write while I’m jogging or magically inhabiting the body of J.K. Rowling when she’s not looking, I’m going to accept myself as I am for once, and resist the potential depression. It’s not worth it!
I will also not fail to recognize that I’ve actually made progress these past 365 days. Good progress! And the rate at which I’ve made that progress is good enough for now. It has to be because next year there won’t be 366 days to get everything done. I’m almost positive of that. This acceptance will give me the strength to keep going and resist the urge to kick myself for what I’ve yet to do. No modification necessary at this time!
Declaration #2. My body is aging gracefully, and I will trust myself to know how to take care of it.
Hanging on to my perfect weight of 20 years ago is exhausting and unrealistic. I’m resolving in this case to be who I am. I have the gift of intuitive eating, (not unlike eating with mindfulness), which means using my “gut feelings” to decide how to feed myself. For instance, some days I can eat chocolate and ice cream without it sticking to me, and some days I can’t. I’m going to trust myself to be self-nurturing and know the difference.
Intuitive eating is not a new practice, but one I believe is severely untapped. Analyzing food, its power over me and the results of eating has become an addiction I’d love to break, though I’m not sure how. I’m hoping it might be as simple as declaring inherent trust in my body’s understanding of itself.
This is an important one that weaves its way into everything I think and do.
Declaration #3. I am an artist.
In my world, being an artist means I wake up every single day, 365 days a year, with an itch that needs to be scratched. But throughout my life I’ve wondered if I should be doing something else in order to create more wealth. Finally, I will make this declaration to validate my need to honor myself because I know too well that not honoring yourself creates physical illness and dis-ease. My itch that eventually morphs into pain if not scratched is the need to express myself in some creative way. It’s a little like surgically removing a piece of myself and displaying it either sonically (in the form of music), verbally (in writing) or visually (in tangible art). So if I have to paint to stay well, or write music, or write words on paper, why wouldn’t I just do it and trust myself?