‘Tis the time of year for the usual posts on New Year’s Resolutions and all the standard crap about changing your life by making yourself do a whole lot of stuff you absolutely hate doing just because someone on the Internet told you it was “good for you”.
Here’s my take on this: Instead of forcing yourself to give up coffee and chocolate or anything else that, you know, actually makes life worth living, why not resolve to give up all the things make you miserable, instead?
Make a vow to let go all the things that don’t serve you and focus on creating a year filled with awesomeness and joy! Give up making resolutions that you know you won’t ever keep (because, quite frankly, you don’t want to) and instead focus on doing things that you enjoy and which feel good to you.
So with that in mind, I’ve got a list of ten things to give up for the New Year…
#1. Give up negativity.
Stop focusing on everything that’s going wrong, and start looking for things that are going right. If that means you have to turn off the news and stay off Twitter, then do it.
We’re hardwired to focus on the bad stuff. Bad stuff could be dangerous, so it sends an instant “Hey! Pay attention to this!” signal through our systems when we come across it. But constantly focusing on doom, gloom, fear, and despair isn’t good for us. It keeps us in that “fight or flight” state of readiness, which is damned exhausting and which takes a toll on both our minds and our bodies.
And the problem with the Information Age we’re in is that we are constantly bombarded with negativity. So take a step back once in a while, turn all those outside channels off, and take some time to focus on things that make you happy, whatever they happen to be. Consider it a mental detox and make it a regular thing. Open your heart to hope instead of poisoning it with negativity.
#2. Give up guilt-tripping yourself over not going to the gym.
Just about everyone makes it a point at this time of year to “get in shape”. So the gyms all get packed in January (which annoys the crap out of the regulars there) and then things are back to normal in February when everyone’s resolutions have started to slide.
So let’s just face it, shall we? The gym isn’t for everyone. And you know what? THAT’S OK! Not everyone wants to spend half an hour commuting to a stinky gym where they can get sweaty with fifty strangers, shower in a communal facility, and then commute again.
And not everyone wants a damned six-pack all, right? Some people don’t WANT to look like an overly-muscled fitness models, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. If you’re one of those people, then stop trying to make yourself fit into that kind of mold!
Instead, why not just make it a point to get up from your computer once in a while and do some stretches? Or go for a walk every day – even fifteen minutes will help clear the cobwebs out of your head when you can’t concentrate.
Focus on doing things that feel good to you – because they feel good – rather than on trying to torture yourself into fitting someone else’s opinions about what’s “healthy”. If you go for a daily walk or take up yoga or Zumba because you enjoy it, you’re going to last a lot longer and get a lot more out of it than if you try to make yourself “work out” for an hour at the gym every day because somebody else has frightened or guilted you into thinking that you “should”.
#3. Give up your belief in either/or.
We have this pervading belief in our society that “you can’t always get what you want” and you “can’t have it all”. Well, who came up with those rules, anyway? Who says you can’t get what you want? THEY do, but who is “they” anyway? And why are you basing your life on someone else’s limitations? Just because they don’t believe they can have what they want, doesn’t mean that has to be YOUR guiding mantra, now does it?Start believing in AND rather than OR. Expand your perception about what is possible. Click To Tweet
Because here’s the thing: You can have your cake and eat it, too. Cakes are meant to be eaten, dammit – otherwise they just go stale and end up getting wasted. And when you’re done with that cake and thinking it was mighty tasty and you’d like another one – then go ahead and starting baking yourself up another one. Invite your kids to help; it’ll be fun.
Baking cakes or building dreams – it’s all the same. So let yourself start to believe that you really CAN have it all – and that there’s nothing wrong with that! Start believing in “AND” rather than “OR” and expand your perception about what is possible.
#4. Give up comparing yourself to others.
You are unique, so stop trying to compare yourself, your dreams and your accomplishments to anyone else. I’ve said this before, but you have a gift that you came here to give to this world, and you’re the ONLY one who can give it.
And that goes for each and every single one of us. There is a completely unique element that only you can give to this place, and you’re the only one who can figure out how to give your own particular gift – how to work that little bit of magic of yours into the whole.
And you can’t do that by trying to be like someone else. You can’t give their gift – you can only give yours, so what’s the point of trying to be like them?
When you compare yourself to other people, it means that you’re trying to be like them in some way, or that you think you should be like them. And that is a complete and utter waste of what you ARE.
All you have to do is be yourself. That’s all you have to do, and all you’ve ever had to do. Just be yourself. Be true to that unique thing that is inside of you and you will find the right way of letting it bloom into what it was always meant to be. But ONLY if you stop trying to turn it into something it’s not – only if you stop trying to turn yourself into something you’re not.
#5. Give up resenting what you don’t have.
Resentment leads to self-pity, which leads to anger, and that just lead to the Dark Side. So don’t go there. Remember that, just because you don’t yet have it — whatever “it” is — does not mean that you never will.
So instead of being upset that it isn’t here YET, focus on doing what you can to prepare for its arrival. Start working on making it happen, on both a vibrational and physical level.
When you are fully aligned with what you want, when you believe without doubt that it’s a given – that is when it will most likely appear. Resentment will not facilitate this alignment. Resentment is you still being focused on the fact that you don’t yet have what you want.
You must shift your focus before you can shift your reality.
#6. Give up the belief that you’re not good enough.
The number of dreams that wither and die before they ever see the light of day is sometimes frightening to me. So many people have these wonderful ambitions and brilliant ideas, but they get so scared of the scope of these ideas that they back away.
All these horrible thoughts start circling round and around through their heads:
- “Who am I to think I can do this? I don’t have the experience or talent to make it work.”
- “I don’t know anyone who’s ever done this before, why should I be any different?”
- “I don’t even know where I would even begin!”
The fear takes over. They convince themselves that they just don’t have what it takes to pull off that kind of dream. So they give up before they’ve even tried. They’ve made themselves believe that they’re not good enough to succeed.
But here’s the thing: your dreams are in your heart for a reason. You deserve to have them come true. And everything that you need to get yourself there is already inside you. You ARE good enough. You just have to start believing it.
#7. Give up thinking that this is all there is.
Stop stressing and despairing about the state of the world or the state of your life. All things are changeable, given the will to make it so. You want things to change? That’s awesome. All big things begin with a dream about another possible reality – a desire, in other words, for something to change.
Where you are now doesn’t matter as much as where you’re going from here. This is just the beginning. It’s your starting point. Your springboard to your dreams.Always seeking, always growing, always curious to see what could be. That is what WE ARE. Click To Tweet
If this is all there is, or all you’ll ever be, then what’s the point of it all? And I mean that on a grand, cosmic level, because growth, change, expansion and evolution are the normal state of any living thing and any system. If you can’t adapt to change, you’re obsolete.
Which is a long-winded way of saying: YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WANT NEW THINGS AND EXPERIENCES!
Human beings are, by nature, goal-seeking creatures. We are driven to always be striving towards something. When we reach that something, we’re supposed to invent a new goal and start working towards that. Always seeking, always growing, always curious to see what could be. That is what we are.
Stop thinking that wanting something more or different is a bad thing. It’s not. You’re supposed to keep reaching for the next thing. It’s how you’re designed. There will always be a new dream. That’s how it works. Just remember that it’s not the destination that’s important – it’s the journey itself – the ongoing, never-ending process of getting there that matters.
#8. Give up your struggle.
Stop making things hard for yourself. Your belief that you don’t deserve what you want, or that you can’t have what you want, or that you have to suffer or “hustle hard” before you’ll earn or be worthy of what you want – all of this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you believe that struggle is necessary – when you believe that things have to be hard – that’s what you get. That’s what you create for yourself.
You don’t have to “earn” your dream, and there are no dues that you have to pay before you become worthy of them. You were born worthy, my friend. Yes, you’re going to have to take action in order to build that dream, but it doesn’t have to be hard or painful.
And it’s not action being taken as payment up front for something some outside force will choose whether or not to bestow upon you. YOU CREATE YOUR DREAM. And creation comes from within.
So practice allowing what you want. Allow yourself to believe that all good things flow naturally to you and from you. Use this energy as part of your own creative force. Dissolve the barriers that you’ve unintentionally put in place to prevent these things from coming into being. Ask your barriers what they need from you, and then let them go. And then create…
#9. Give up your belief in “no pain, no gain”.
I took a self-defence course when I was in my first year of university, and on the first day our instructor told us: “Forget ‘no pain, no gain’; our motto here is ‘no pain, no pain’.” That has stayed with me ever since. And I think it’s a much better belief to have – not just in martial arts classes, but in life in general.
A belief that good things only come through suffering is not only outmoded, it’s harmful. It’s this very belief that has led us to the irrational, contradictory belief that in order to earn happiness, we have to be miserable. According to this belief, misery = virtue.
B.S., I say. Misery just leads to bitterness and vindictiveness and people who’ve given up on their dreams altogether. Nothing good comes from pain and martyrdom.
Let go of your belief that suffering is a necessary precursor to building your dream. Again, you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone or anything. Your scars don’t make you any more worthy of your dreams than you were before you got them. You were born worthy and you will always be worthy. All you need to do is go out there and start building. And you know what? It’s perfectly OK if that building part is FUN!
#10. Give up being stuck.
Finally, there’s no such thing as “stuck” – there is only “temporarily stalled”. The more you stew about being stuck, the worse that feeling is going to get, and the longer it’s going to take to get you out of it. Trust me, I know. My blog and podcast floundered over the second half of 2016 because I completely stressed out over my feeling of being stuck with writer’s block.
The point here, and I’ve said this before, is that what we resist, persists. So if you push against that feeling of “stuck-ness”, you’re only going to create more of it. And what started out as a minor inconvenience is going to magically morph into a major setback.Tired of #resolutions that don't work? Check out these 10 things to give up for the #NewYear! Click To Tweet
So instead, just take a breather. Oftentimes, feeling stuck or stalled is an indicator that you need a break. It’s like the check engine light coming on in your car. Sure, you can ignore it and try to keep going – until smoke comes pouring out from under your hood and the car refuses to move at all.
When you feel stuck, try doing something else for a while. When you take your mind off the current obstacle, the answer to your problem often comes while you’re busy working on something completely unrelated.
Remember that flow is the natural state of life. When the river encounters a rock it does not complain; it just goes around it.
Summing it Up
So there you have it – ten things to give up for the New Year, rather than making New Year’s Resolutions that you know you won’t keep. Finally, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and may health and happiness fill your heart and your homes over the coming year. Let’s make it an awesome one, shall we? 🙂
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)