Shed Your Skin
Who needs resolutions?
I have a good reason for why I don’t do resolutions. I think new year’s resolutions imply that I’ve been failing and starting today I’m going to do better. I think that concept is laden with shame and failure. I also think the absolutism of Starting Tomorrow can be deadly because the first time you fail your resolution it just proves the thesis that you weren’t good enough, to begin with. I believe that you are already perfect, whole and complete just as you are right now.
So, I’d like to offer a couple of alternatives to the dread New Year’s Resolutions. (Check out last year’s blog post about Monday Morning thinking.)
Shed Your Skin
First, consider the natural wonder of a snake shedding its skin. It’s the same snake, just with a fresh new skin. This is a great example of a different perspective. What if you aren’t becoming that mythical version of yourself who doesn’t overeat or stay up too late? What if you are actually the exact same person, just a fresher version of your authentic self? This year try letting go of the idea of change and instead focus on becoming more like what you really are inside.
Second, consider the Japanese principle of kaizen, or continuous improvement. Instead of starting over pick a very small change that will make you feel better. If you tired all the time what about going to bed 5 minutes earlier. If that helps, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier.
Third, just carry on. Instead of spending time thinking about what you want to change, consider what you want to keep. I’m a visual artist and this past year I decided to allow myself to play around more. It started with me using a sharpie (so no way to erase) and drawing on waste paper (literally the backside of printouts I no longer needed). The benefit of doing this was that I didn’t mind throwing drawings out or starting over. The surprising outcome was that I sketched more and I gained confidence in my own drawing skills. This year I’m just going to keep doing that and being relaxed and playful.
Go ahead try it. This year skip the resolutions and try believing you’re just fine as you are.
Wishing you the happiest year ever!