Reasonable, Not Radical New Year

New Year wooden road sign with shining blue sky background

It’s so easy at the start of the New Year to find something extreme to do to change your life. You’ll start exercising, getting off sugar, enroll in college, change your job, buy a car, etc. Anything to feel like you’re doing something different than the routine your life has fallen into. Anything that separates the Holidays from today.

But it’s just a construct, the “New Years, New You” thing. The fact is that today is no different than yesterday except we as humans need something to mark time with, so hello, a calendar was invented!

I recommend that instead of making resolutions, we invite something into our lives. Instead of getting rid of or running away from, we think about what to look forward to?

Think about allowing yourself something.
Think about permission to be enough?
Permission to be fine?

From that idea, close your eyes, take some deep breaths and think about what you want for yourself now? This moment?

My answer (almost exclusively) is peace.

I never get peace when I start with radical ideas of how to change, overcome or make something else new. I start pushing and it’s not a good push. It’s a push that comes from some deep seated message of “Not enough” “Not okay” “More” “Should be” etc.

People are not happy doing anything where those messages are the root of their motivations.

Those motivations feel very powerful for awhile. They get you to give up something, push against something, but are they sustainable in the long run? What did you allow? What did you give yourself permission for? What did you notice? What did you feel?

This is not a suggestion that people give up on their goals. I have goals. Giving up things that no longer work for you is the idea. I am suggesting that you notice your motivation for doing anything. Is it a change of behavior because you are allowing something else to come in where the old behavior/habit/thought was before? Or is it some radical response because you feel so badly about you or your life in this moment?

Peace is available to us even in the process of change and renewal. Coming from a peaceful heart gives us a chance to make changes and to reflect and feel those changes as they are occurring. It gives us a place to re-evaluate and renew the choices we are making. Can you take a moment, close your eyes and feel yourself forcing a change versus allowing yourself to make one? What do you notice in your body in those states?

Peaceful states may feel very unfamiliar to some of you. You may resist this because it isn’t something you have made friends with. Certainly we haven’t been taught to make changes through peaceful processes. We are taught that changes must be made in a radical difficult manner, with all sorts of discomfort and pushing to get the change made.

That is one way to make a change. But honestly, that kind of change tires me. I feel myself needing to be peaceful with myself and allowing myself to change. It isn’t the same as letting myself go or off the hook and I wouldn’t know how to do that anyway. I always strive to be the best version of myself. I just want to do it with a more peaceful heart.

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