“The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a…person…made New Year resolutions, s/he would make no resolutions. Unless…someone…starts afresh about things, s/he will certainly do nothing effective.” G.K. Chesterton
Did you make a (or even several) New Years‘ resolution/s? Of course given all we have eaten over the holidays, the one most of us start with is to lose weight – that is the perennial one many make…and break! But did you do any besides that one? Still keeping them? I have my favorites that also tend to recycle, some of which I have accomplished and some of which I have barely gotten to. For example I finally succeeded at moving to North Carolina and writing my book – but exercising more starts strong then peters out, as does being on time, or spending more time walking, biking, or meditating!
As a child and young adult I tended to see things like Chesterton. I felt like the New Year was almost magical in its ability to let us start over, and that it was the next best thing to an obligation to try to remake myself into a better person in it.
This year I decided to rip a page out of Anaïs Nin‘s lifebook. She said, “I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event.” I want that to be true for me, too. I think it is wise. Most change does not come out of once a year, Saul on the road to Damascus, turning points, though all of us probably have those experiences. For me, at least, most life revisions have come as an evolution springing from my everyday choices.
And it’s what we do that counts. Not what we say we’ll do, but what we really do. My favorite example of this comes from that great philosopher, Yoda. (Smile) Luke keeps failing in his initial attempts to use the force. When he is challenged by Yoda to lift his starship from the sea he half-heartedly agrees, “All right, I’ll give it a try.” The diminutive Jedi master‘s next words have stuck with me since I first heard them in the 70s. “No. Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try.”
Resolutions are often too much about “trying.” Life is about “doing.” Trying is often doomed to failure. And while resolutions may be a great starting point, what our world desperately needs is for more of us to finish what we started.
So… do you want to change something in your life or in our world? Stop trying. Don’t just resolve. Do. Whatever it is may only be accomplished one small step at a time, but if that is so, take them. It may not be easy but…just do it. I know you can. And if you can, maybe I can too. Wait…uh oh…perhaps ‘maybe’ is like try. OK. I know. Let’s do it… together.
- Happy New Year – did you set any New Year’s Resolutions? (bodybym.wordpress.com)
- Deconstructing Resolutions (150677.com)
- Quotes I Love About Resolution(s) (talkativeangel.wordpress.com)
Great thoughts Joanne! I also think of something a friend of mine and psychiatrist used to tell me, “if you try you give yourself permission to fail, so don’t try, just do and do your best.”
Absolutely…and smart, too! Thanks, Micaela.
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