On the first of the year, loads of people will resolve to quit something.
Or quit all the things. And start doing different, better things.
Inevitably, some improvements might stick, most will fail.
It’s a lot of pressure.
So I’m here to say:
Stop trying to trade yourself in for a different model.
You can’t stop being yourself so please quit trying. Give THAT shit up for the New Year.
And you are pretty darling already. Today. Right now. It’s true.
Of course, I’m not saying you have to stop trying to be better.
By all means keep doing that.
Evolution is still on, people.
But be realistic. You will still be you. And if you hate yourself the way you are, no amount of kale and Pilates is going to change that.
One of my favorite things is the Buddhist saying slash paradox “You are perfect just the way you are and you could use a little work.”
There is a huge difference between 1. staying smarter than your habits so you can see what isn’t working and making edits and 2. wishing you were completely different so that you can finally be happy (read: stop having uncomfortable emotions for good).
Ahem. You have to like yourself before you can do any sustainable changing. You have to feel deserving, maybe even entitled to success. You have to have support. You have to be realistic about your commitments. Really realistic. And then show up to those realistic commitments. The end.
Here is my imperfect little 2014 plan. Or as I like to think of them… daily choices I put on repeat:
- I am going to say NO to the things that don’t directly serve the stability I want to create for myself and my son. I will keep doing the things that do serve that stability. When I forget this one, I will remember and have another go without a lot of drama.
- I’m going to yell less at my eleven year old son for being an eleven year old boy.
- I’m going to try to be less of an asshole in general. Even inside my thoughts. Especially inside my thoughts.
- I’m planning to sell/publish my memoir about being in prison, write a new ebook about soup and blog more about transparency in writing and overcoming obstacles as a misfit in the traditional business model, in addition to health. Because it’s all related.
- I will keep reminding myself to breathe and drink enough water, move my good body around, and to make space for peace.
And, I’m going to keep doing this work and engaging with YOU in (hopefully) increasingly helpful ways. It’s hard to express how much I appreciate spending another little trip around the axis together. The way this community grows and contributes is something I find continuously inspiring. It is a source of unlimited gratitude.
I think you are some of the finest people on the planet. Not in spite of, but because of, your imperfections, your scars, your vulnerabilities and the way you never quit. You really do deserve all the love. May 2014 bring it to you.
BONUS: THE BEST THINGS I’VE READ ON THE INTERNET THIS WEEK
- From Janelle Hanchett, a terrific article that accurately, and beautifully, illustrates what realistic goal setting and genuine gratitude looks like. God, I love this woman. I Hereby Resolve To Suck Less in 2014 Than Ever Before In My Life.
- From author, Kerry Cohen, a raw and gorgeous take on alcohol addiction. I know that what some of you might want to give up this year could be more dangerous or addictive substances and I have so much empathy for you around that. You aren’t ever alone in this messy bout of humanity. It’s rare to see as much insight and clarity on a thing as Kerry does in this piece. Please read this. It Happened To Me: I Developed A Drinking Problem Late in Life.
- Ann Lamott wrote this on Facebook about not setting resolutions, not dieting and not letting her jeans get in on shaming her. Win. Please Join Me In Not Starting a Diet January 1st.
- Hilarity from Andy Borowitz at The New Yorker. New Year’s Resolutions, Seven Months Later.
image credit: Rachael Rice