This year I have resolved not to have a resolution. In 2022 there will be no goals set, no targets committed and no deadlines firmed.
In previous years I have followed the established trend of deciding, sometime around the 30th December usually, what it is that year that I will lose (weight?) , gain (a promotion?) , avoid (alcohol? For January anyway…) or stop (biting my nails). I have usually set these goals before the ‘final splurge’ of new years eve, one final night to eat,drink and cut loose before January sets in and I start to be ‘good’ again. The timing means that I am usually quite delighted at the thought of doing anything saintly, convinced this time the change will become an unwavering habit that transforms my life for the better.
No this year, I am setting an intention. An intention just to be me, more of the time. Unforgivingly, honestly and exposingly, me. This intention is simple and yet I know will be incredibly challenging at the same time. It doesn’t have a start and end date, there will be no clear way to measure if I have achieved it, it’s highly subjective, and the object of the intention (me) is changing all the time anyway. So, why?
The act of setting a goal or target is alluring. When I get X, or stop Y, I will feel happy. I will feel accomplished. I will feel worthy. Anyone who has managed to actually fulfil their goal for the year will have a huge amount of pride in their achievements, and rightly so. But if you’re anything like me, the January weather and the change of pace post-Christmas can be a bit of a drain on momentum, and the power of the gluttonous mindset you were in when you made yourself the promise of scarcity or restraint, starts to wane after a few weeks. You might start taking breaks or skipping some workouts. This in itself isn’t a big deal, but we start sending the message to ourselves that we can’t stick to the thing we deemed so important for the year. More to the point, if one can summon the will and commitment to achieve the goal, what then? What does a post-goal week look like? Starting towards another more ambitious goal perhaps, to keep us moving forward. Or perhaps a few months ‘off’, taking a well deserved holiday from the goal which has become just as much work to maintain as a second job. The inherent danger of course is that we are always looking to a point in the future when we will have cracked it. All the while, the now which is just as much our life slips away, lost in the pursuit of something more glittery.
So this year my commitment is simply to ask myself, as much as I can: what do I really think about this; what do I feel inside; do I want to go to that thing or not? What are my choices now, for the person I am today in this moment.
In the past I have had a tendency, a perfectly common tendency, to feel I should be doing things, attending things, liking or disliking things. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a wallflower, or a sheep, but I am pervasively conscious of other people’s feelings and I have recently recognised that at times this gets in the way of my own personal needs.
So this year, 2022, is the year of me. And it doesn’t feel selfish, or narcissistic. It feels honest, and liberating. I have a good idea that bringing my true self, the self at my very core, into the light a little more, will have some positive repercussions not only for me, but for those around me who have chosen to love me, spend time with me and stick with me.
Happy new year, happy now me.