I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. It seemed extremely counterintuitive to keep setting lofty goals that I would likely abandon before making it past the first 30 days of the year. There I was thinking that resolutions were supposed to get me pumped and excited about all that I was convinced I was going to accomplish while not once considering that perhaps the ingredients to this particular life recipe wasn’t something I would be good at cooking. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and started taking on my dreams and joys in Twix fun size pieces (fitting of course since it’s my favorite candy). No longer would I subject myself to believing that on this one day out of the year was I required to critically think about how to make my life better. Was I not equipped to do this on a regular basis? Is champagne and confetti somehow supposed to ignite an everlasting superpower that will make me want to run to the gym, open an IRA, eat more carrots, save my change from a Hamilton, sail the ocean blue (yeah right, I’m all about the Boeing), tell people who are simply taking up space to go fly a kite…I mean you get the picture. In my mind, that was a puzzle with a ton of missing pieces.
My “one day at a time”/nix the resolutions philosophy couldn’t have been more real than in 2016. Sans a whole lot of details, I can tell you that you begin to understand the multitude of privileges in each day when you wake up with pressure cuffs on your legs in the hospital, lose teammates to reorganizations, have to let go of relationships, get awakened by a phone call from the paramedics, and see a loved one intubated in the middle of a room that’s inhabited by professional strangers on a routine schedule. All of that was my 2016. And it reconfirmed my personal need to take each day in stride while taking on tasks fitting of the success for one specific day. So, whether that has meant slipping away to write one page for a multi-chapter book, buying enough food to cook meals for three days of the week as opposed to five, or spending 20 minutes catching up with a friend between meetings instead of listening to Alessia’s “Wild Things,” I’ve opted for the celebratory factor of crushing the small tasks to get me closer to the fulfillment of my own happiness.
It’s funny because on my 2016 vision board I had pasted the word “living” that I’m sure I cut from some fashion or home and garden magazine (I swear those things are magnets for cobwebs; we all know spiders ruin my life). I wanted to see those six letters every day so I could get about the business of embracing my sometimes ordinary yet often unpredictable journey that I had the power to fill with some of what I hoped for. Little did I know what meaning that word would take on throughout the year literally and figuratively. But, through the highs and the lows, I can say the days were more bearable and exhilarating because I chose to consider what I needed to do or how I could be better for the very moment in which I was breathing.
A new year will happen every 365 days whether we have new year’s resolutions ready or not. And the “new you” intimation that gets thrown around like that brown thing on Sundays happens in all of those days in between. Because it’s the tiny victories in a single day that are resolved into a living, thriving, and happy being whose inscription will sparkle well beyond the stroke of midnight.
Happy New Year, friends! xo