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"Auld Lange Syne" And All That Other Crap

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It's that time of year again, the time of year everyone makes those New Year Resolutions. They steel themselves for the task they've laid out for themselves; gonna get up earlier and go to the gym, gonna stop eating too much, gonna quit smoking, and so on. 

Not that there's anything wrong with that, although I also believe there's an entire industry waiting to benefit from it as well. Let's face it, the salesman knows that treadmill he sold you will statistically end up a clothes hanger or on Craigslist. The gym owner knows that a large percentage of those new members will drop off after a month or two despite having paid for a year in advance. 

Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with an attempt at self improvement if done for the right reasons. Frankly I think the "new year, new me" mantra is a load of crap. We're being railroaded into feeling like we should do something we're not ready to do based on a calendar, slick advertising, or nosy people.

"So, you make a new Year resolution ?"

"Yeah, not talking to nosy assholes."

At least that's what I hear in my own head. But no, we'll play along, we'll post our goals and efforts on social media. And in doing so allow our successes and failures to be determined by others.

No thanks. 

Having said that, I admit to having my own self improvement project going on. But it's already happening, has been for a few weeks. On my terms. 

I'm going to be happy

That's it, simple enough. I have been, and will continue to, take steps to make sure I am leading a happier life. It's a multi-phase project, which as I said has already begun with the reduction of stress in my life. Not the elimination, there's no such thing, but the reduction. I am choosing which stress I will take on and why as opposed to enduring stress put on me by others or out of a sense of obligation. No more feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I guess you could say I'm telling the world to lose weight. HAH !

There are things beyond my control, I cannot change, and I'm no longer trying to. The voice in my head that has in the past said, "Well if you don't get involved, if you don't try, no one will." is now saying, "So be it."

It's not easy, and it doesn't mean I don't care. Just the opposite actually. In a book I recently read, the author writes, "True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving."  I'm just choosing between the problems I can handle and can actually change, and the ones that are just causing me undue stress and unhappiness. 

As for those who choose self improvement at the stroke of midnight Sunday, I wish you the best of luck. By all means quit smoking to avoid the disease it causes. Lose that 10 pounds to avoid the "dis-ease" when you bend over to tie your shoe. But make sure you define your progress. You define your successes and yes, your failures. You do it for you, on your terms. 




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I stopped making resolutions years ago so the stress of failing those resolutions   is  I was able to eliminate.  One I've been working on and struggling with for years is letting go. Not easy.

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1 hour ago, Ann said:

I stopped making resolutions years ago so the stress of failing those resolutions   is  I was able to eliminate.  One I've been working on and struggling with for years is letting go. Not easy.

Ann, there is an exercise where you write down the negative things you are unable to let go- get them on paper- then throw them into a fire to symbolically burn them from existence. It's actually a powerful exercise. There is a group facilitation of this on New Years at the Foundation of Light in Ithaca, although any old fire would/could do.

Chris, I hear you on the failed attempts. The majority of resolutions fail. The past few years I have been determined to lose weight. Made vision boards, wrote meal plans, set the clocks, bought new workout clothes, yadda yadda...and failed, miserably.

I know why I fail. I can pinpoint exactly where my weaknesses lie. Yet am I really, truly ready to take those elephants on, or can I work around them and still be successful?

I'm not sure.

Yet I didn't wait until Jan 1 to start the New Me, I started 12/26. After weeks of eating pure sugar and anything that had fat in it, I felt bloated and disgusted with myself. So ya, I bought some new workout clothes. Today I bought a box of protein pasta, LOL. Saved the date for a 5k. Might attend a personal improvement workshop tomorrow.

Still looking at the poster above my desk that I made last year for motivation- oh the discipline, the motivators, the purpose....

I'm scared, but I have to do something. This time has to be the time. For me. No excuses.

My partner and I are also looking to start a Gratitude Jar for 2018, where once a week we write down something we were grateful for, or a good memory, even something as simple as thank you for changing the toilet paper roll, and put them into the jar. At the end of they ear, we can dump them all out and look back at a year of positives.

Instead of looking at what is wrong, perhaps this change in perspective will have a positive effect.

On that note, I saw something the other day about perspective- instead of saying "I'm sorry for being late", you say "thank you for waiting for me"...in shifting your semantics you adjust your whole aura...

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If asked about New Year's resolutions, I may just mumble something about "support group" and "porn habit" and walk away. Could be a lot of socially awkward fun. 

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