Ditching resolutions, one day at a time.

I haven’t written anything in a while.  Unlike in the past, I haven’t beaten myself up about that every day, but it has been on my heart for the last few weeks to get back to it and today seemed like a perfect day to do it.  You see, today is the first day of a fresh, new year.

In the past, I would have spent this day trying to figure out once and for all what I have to do to fix (meaning completely change) my “miserable” life.  I would have been trying to plan meals, talking myself into restricting whatever it is I decided to cut this year, while also clearing out closets and junk from every corner of my house and life.  I always got burned out around mid afternoon, and all the things I had pulled out of drawers and corners would stay out in the middle of the room for the next few weeks, until I could muster the energy to put it all into another box, to be dealt with some day soon, or more likely, next New Year’s Day.

I actually stopped making “diet” resolutions a few years ago, but I had really only renamed the resolution to be “lifestyle change” and as we all know, a diet by any other name… well, you know.  But this year is different.  I did still have the thought that I should be setting a resolution, and wondered how I would trick myself into not thinking of it as a resolution, because clearly calling it that destines it for failure.  But then I had a good internal dialogue with myself about a more realistic reason (besides destiny) that resolutions haven’t worked out for me in the past.

Some of the phrases that I’ve learned to love from EDA are “just for today,” or “one day at a time,” or “one step at a time.”  Resolutions are a commitment for the WHOLE YEAR.  I used to think that if I didn’t accomplish the gigantic feat I had tied my self worth to for the year, especially failing so quickly after setting it, it had to mean the bad things I believed about myself really were true.  But what those phrases remind me of is that progress doesn’t have to come in giant leaps.  In fact, I am much more likely to be successful one day at a time.  I’m in control of the choices I am making RIGHT NOW.  I don’t know what tomorrow looks like, or the day after that, or next month, or the next 12 months, that’s overwhelming to even think about, but this day, my next right choice, those are well within my reach.  Why should I sabotage myself by setting lofty goals for the whole year, when I can just DO the right thing right now.  Like just sitting down and writing a blog post when I am thinking about it.

In addition to setting manageable goals that are within time frames that I can commit to (ie one day at a time), I have another reason for ditching resolutions.  Resolutions tend to address fundamental flaws.  Something big that is wrong and needs fixing.  I talked about this in this other post a while ago, ACCEPTANCE was the only way out of self hatred for me.  I learned to accept myself, just as I am right now.  Accepting myself doesn’t mean that I don’t have to, or try to make an effort to make the next right choice and the next right choice after that, and it doesn’t mean that I’m never going to make mistakes, or have regrets, but it means that I no longer believe I am fundamentally flawed.  I don’t have to recreate myself, because I am perfectly imperfect, with a new opportunity in every new moment to choose wisely.

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