Now that February is here it seems that the New Year and its resolutions is far behind us…
Maybe we are already in a state of regret, feeling that a whole month has gone by and we haven’t successfully executed a single resolution, or at best, only a minimum effort has been expended.
Right before the new year came upon us, a friend of mine proclaimed he was making no New Year’s resolutions. He had decided that over the years he seldom kept any of them up for any decent amount of time therefore there wasn’t much point making them.
He would only regret it later, he said.
I nodded, and pondered on all the resolutions I too had made over the years that didn’t seem to stick. But I had at the same time a resistance to just doing away with them, simply because I may fail at keeping them up. There is power in intention I thought, and even if only one step was made toward a goal, that was one step more than what would occur if I had no set goal at all.
What is it about the New Year that inspires us to make such lofty, and possibly unattainable, commitments? New beginnings are always powerful; rites of passage through any clearly appointed transition has carried great import in the human culture as far back as history has been recorded. We wake up to a new day every twenty-four hours—a new greeting of the sun as it rises above the horizon bringing light, warmth, and new hope with it. Some of us do greet the new day as a wonderful ritual of new beginnings as the ancient Egyptians once did. They saw each day as a complete microcosm of life, and each night the world was thrust into the darkness of trial and rebirth until the sun made its glorious reappearance the next morning.
Our modern culture does not make such a fuss about each new day, but does seem to put quite a bit of emphasis on the supposed transformative power of the New Year. If we treat each day as if it were a new year, with commitments and resolutions that fit that day, rather than what fit a whole year, we might find our goals and intentions to be a bit less overwhelming. Sure, we can still have the big resolutions, such as losing 50 pounds, or exercising more, or becoming a more loving and patient person, but we can then see each intention as it comes to life within each day. Once we focus on that twenty-four period we can keep tabs on our progress, bit by bit, and our larger New Year resolution goal may be much easier to maintain.
Make New Day Resolutions, and find yourself regretting much less.
Todd Hayen is a psychotherapist practicing in Aurora and Richmond Hill Ontario. Please leave comments by clicking the comments link below this post. I welcome any thoughts you may have.