I’m a little late to the game of New Year’s Resolutions. All this past week, a quick glance at social media yielded tidbits of “new year, new you,” “commit to losing those last 5 pounds,” and “getting your body in shape for spring.” People spoke negatively about the amount of Christmas cookies they had eaten, using cookies to measure their self-worth. I hope saying it like that makes it sound as ridiculous as it is. Maybe a cookie is just a cookie. Maybe our self-worth isn’t tied to what we eat or how we look.
Maybe a new year doesn’t mean looking for dissatisfaction and changing all the ways you think you don’t measure up.
Why start the year hating your body? Why start the year hating the way you live? Now, I’m all for change and challenges, for fresh starts and constantly improving. But there’s a difference. The first, unhealthy mindset says: I am a failure, what can I fix so that I like myself? The second, healthy mindset says: I am pretty darn great. But, I have a lot of potential. I think I can be even better. I like myself, but I want to see how I can be even more of myself than I thought possible.
People might do the exact same things with different mindsets. Person A (of the first mindset) starts running on January 1 and Person B (of the second mindset) starts running on January 1. Person A does it because they hate how they look, because they think they have to run to be healthy, because that’s what someone told them they have to do, etc. Person B does it because they love running, or they’ve heard running is fun, or because they’d like to be healthier and have heard running is a good way to do it. They could both be running to be healthier. But Person A is running out of obligation and fear. Person B is running out of enjoyment and exploration. Person A must rigidly adhere to her resolution because only that will pull her out of her “failure” status. Person B may amend her resolution if she finds out she doesn’t like running, or gets injured, or any number of reasons.
This year, I’m not making resolutions. Instead, I filled out this template.
This year, I challenge you to enhance, not to change. To embrace, not to erase. To thrive, not to survive. I challenge you to live life abundantly.