I love pressing reset at the beginning of the new year. I’ve heard a lot of people going off about New Year’s resolutions the past couple of weeks.
“They never work.”
“They’re too much pressure and then you just feel like a failure when you don’t accomplish them.”
“Pass the chocolate.”
And you know how I like to get all Drops-of-Awesomey up in here. And chocolate. BUT. I still really like the feeling of making a fresh start on January One, or rather on the first day the kids go back to school after January One.
So, this year as I thought about why so many people are skipping out on resolutions, it occurred to me that the reason resolutions stress us out is because we’re perfectionists and we’re not resolving to be better, we’re resolving to be perfect immediately and our lack of flexibility and self-mercy put us in a mental place to feel like failures because we’re improving our lives but not COMPLETELY. NOW. And therefore we suck.
This is dumb. And stressful. And counter-productive. And un-Awesome.
For 2015, I have one resolution. And it’s not about what I’m going to do perfectly or stop doing completely. It’s about how I’m going to feel. And that feeling is peaceful.
For 2015 I am resolving to increase the level of peace in my heart and therefore in my home and thusly in the world. I am resolving to make peace on earth in 2015.
This may sound abstract and it could be, but I spent some time thinking about what peace looks like for me, what choices I make that lead to peace. Basically the practical side of this resolution is to ask myself as often as I can remember to be mindful, which of course won’t be all the time, “Is this choice adding to or subtracting from my personal peace?”
There are a few things I know will help me feel peaceful:
1. More spiritual devotional time
2. Less desire to control situations or people other than myself
3. More love
4. Fewer comments I regret
5. Less time spent in the bad hotel, or as Queen El-to-the-Sa would say, more “Let it Go!”
6. More gratitude.
7. More love – I know I have this one on the list twice, but I need to not only love others more, but also love myself.
In practical use, those might look like:
1. Pour my heart out to God in prayer, rather than watch one more episode of Gilmore Girls tonight.
2. When one of my kids does poorly on a report card, try to guide her gently without feeling personally injured by the setback.
3. If Dan is grumpy, give him a hug, rather than being annoyed. After all, that’s what I expect him to do for me.
4. Say one less TMI comment at the next book club.
5. When I share TMI at the next book club, I won’t obsess about it for days.
6. Be grateful that my 80s cabinets are sturdy enough to have lasted since the 80s.
7. Spend time tonight thinking about all the good I’ve contributed to the world today.
Any time I make one of those peaceful choices, I am adding to that feeling, I am succeeding in my resolution. Any time I make a choice that slurps the peace from my life, I can always make a different choice and add some peace back in.
How do you want to feel this year?