Resolutions Are Bad for Your Health
There we all go again. Resolute and rigid on January 1st. It is time once again for us all to throw any sensibility to the wind and suddenly adopt a devout practice of deprivation which can result in depraved behavior. Why? Well as human beings we are just not wired for self-imposed scarcity. There is a fine line between scarcity and abundance and that line is on a fault line. It is a shift in tectonic plates and it makes deprivation and scarcity a thing of the past.
How to Adopt a Practice of Renewal
1. I’m Only Eating Lettuce and Joining Crossfit. For me it was always Planet Fitness and their cheap monthly membership costs. I rationalized that when I stopped going after a month, I wouldn’t be losing too much money. If this hyperbolic resolution sounds familiar, I can assure you there is a better way. Instead of lacking how about abundance? Deprivation vs. Satisfaction-Mick Jagger might not have been able to get some… but hey you might.
2. Renew Your Membership With Yourself. What the hell does that mean? Well if you work in the coaching or counseling world, you understand that it is one of those catch phrases that we use to describe the presence of mind needed to know and love thyself. This practice is not always easy, but it is most definitely worth it. So, what is the practice you ask? Well, in its’ simplest terms it means stepping off the treadmill and diving into the deep end. Renewal of self only happens when we let go of the fears and the notion of lacking. It happens when we expect the amazing, the sublime, the good and plenty. Renewing our membership comes with the expectation that we are worthy of all of these things we so desire. That is the diving in at the deep end. That is the scary moment when we realize that all of these things are there, we just have to get on the other side of fear. The treadmill will have you staring at the tv, or listening to a podcast, while pounding your way toward nothing-you’ll know that when you get off and you’re still in the same space.
4. NYE’s Renewal Process. So now that you feel completely defeated about wanting to uphold and stick to those resolutions, let’s look at an alternative means by which we view the beginning of anything, including a new day, a new experience, a new moment. In my late 20’s, I believe it was, they changed the expectations of the Christian celebration of Lent. Now I am not a practicing Catholic, nor do I consider myself religious. I have a faith and believe strongly in my spiritual practice and I must say, I was quite impressed with the church making this shift. It was no longer about “giving something up” but rather, “doing something good.” Wow, what a breath of fresh air. You mean I don’t have to give up my beloved beer (my brother’s choice) or my delightful chocolate (my choice) but rather I can extend generosity and kindness as a loving practice. This was certainly revolutionary for me. Applying this idea to the New Year can be just as freeing.
A. I will honor my body and listen to it so that I can get healthier as time inevitably passes.
B. I will honor my emotional well-being by being kind to myself and in turn others and I will ask for help when the world feels scary and overwhelming.
C. I will practice gratitude every day of the year for all the abundance that surrounds me, big and small.
D. I will see each moment of my day as a gift and know that there will be good days and bad days, but no matter what, it beats the alternative.
Remember: When planning your year and constructing your goals, make it light and fun, leave out deprivation and resolve. Look at the deep end and know that even if you can’t swim, jump in anyway because life has a lifeguard ready to jump in and help you.
Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as at a feast. --Epictetus
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