What's worse... is that people have changed the 'motto' from "resolutions," to "goals," thinking that by changing the name, and breaking down the resolution into goals, this is somehow going to help. Or... giving it silly acronyms to make it easier to remember, or deal with. People, please! Your life is NOT an acronym. I can't even remember what DSMA stands for, half the frigging time! SMART goals my ass! How about actually being SMART about how putting ourselves on the spotlight has never worked for anyone? Spotlights are for people who pretend: Actors.
Let me see, how can I describe it a little better for you... I remember when I was 7 years old. The weight issues related to my PCOS had been taking quite the foothold in my body, and clothes were really not fitting me so well. I remember visiting shops looking for a First Communion dress, with my mother... and she'd openly, loudly, complain to the store clerks how she was tired of me being so overweight and me not being able to fit into things. Then, of course, the clerks would chime in... sharing some nonsense, or unhelpful comment or another... like "Honey, your mom wants to be able to dress you like a little princess, so you need to stop eating, okay?"
I am sure you have your OWN equivalent of being embarrassingly put on the spotlight.
Well, when you embrace a new year's resolution, goal, or what have you, you are doing THE SAME THING to yourself... It's very similar to you putting yourself on the spotlight, to either your own self perceptions, or the whole world: they'll constantly ask you how your goals are going, if you've stayed on them, if you've cheated, try to get you to cheat, or POLICE your behavior as much as they can because they will all see themselves as IN THEIR RIGHT to come and make sure you are being a GOOD GIRL. What's worse is that you end up feeling like hell, or embarrassed in front of others, when you do stumble, and ruin that "perfect" new year slate.
Let me suggest to you... an alternative: Living life... with a little awareness, acceptance, and perseverance.
Greaaaaaat, another empty motto, you might think.
Except... It's not a motto. It's reality. If you stop, and pay attention, life's themes sort of start revealing themselves to you, one at a time. Yes. Life has themes. And those themes require, you guessed it... awareness, acceptance, and perseverance.
If you are binging, ignoring your diabetes, if you are... smoking, not exercising, or whatever else that binds you... Those behaviors are NOT your themes. The themes are the underlying attitudes, and 'truths' you have allowed yourself to believe ABOUT yourself and life, which are enabling your behaviors. And you can't fix those on any given 1st of any January, on any given year. It is SILLY to try to spend all kinds of time mopping the basement, if you don't first fix the leaky pipe.
If we are not aware of our themes, we can't fix them. In order to effect positive change, in our lives, we need to have an ongoing awareness, and an ongoing dialogue with ourselves, and an ongoing acceptance. Do NOT abandon yourself.
We need to come to points, and places, where we accept our emotions, and try to help our inner persons cope with WHY we feel those emotions. I'm not talking about silly little 'goals' here, like "I resolve to put the toilette lid down, every time, from now on..." I am talking about the things that form, and shape, and cement our daily lives... into the WHO we are, right now... and tomorrow.
If we don't know our themes, we can break that resolution down into 20,000 goals, and we are still destined to FAIL and be right back at square one, next January. I KID YOU NOT.
Listen to me, here, people...
- Your internal dialogue... is not to be shared with unhelpful people. This conversation is between you, and yourself, and perhaps the 20,000 other people who might read your blog (God help me).
- Your internal dialogue has no beginning, and it has no end. It is happening right now, as we speak, yet you may go about your daily life ignoring it.
- Your internal dialogue is about perseverance... but once you learn a truth, you cannot unlearn it. It's like reading a book. Once you learn a deep truth about yourself, well... there's no turning back. It sort of magically sets you free... (I used to love Burger King. Burger King gives me EXTREME gastric upset, probably the equivalent of ten Metformin pills. After 4 or 5 episodes of this, I can guarantee you I shall NEVER unlearn this. It is NEVER up for debate.)
- EVERY day is a new year. Seriously. On any given day, you can say to yourself... "A year from now, I'll wish I would have started today." There is no reason to assign yourself a magical start date to pass/fail yourself like a child needing approval from Mrs. ShameMyself.
- A new year is NOT meant for these things! A new year is meant for you to EXAMINE your life: the things you are thankful for, the blessings you have been granted (by life, God, however you see it), and the LESSONS you learned from your trials and challenges, and your mistakes. YES, YOUR MISTAKES. Be thankful for those mistakes.Those lessons are probably the things that will help you with your life themes! Those lessons have already changed, and shaped your life and behavior, for a better 2012, without pre-assigned resolution. If you resolve to do anything, anything at all... Resolve to really EXAMINE your life with some amount of prudent, sober acceptance, every new year's eve. Heck, EVERY DAY.
Life is not about those boxes people want to put us in. Don't be the idiot debating whether the glass of life is half full, or half empty... when there's obviously more in store, in the fridge.