This is the time of year when so many of us make resolutions for self improvement in the coming year. Those in the business of weight loss have already started their barrage of “you need to be thinner/in better shape/you are so wrong” ads. I would like to see a different direction for resolutions next year.
Let’s resolve to stop thinking about numbers on a scale, the amount of calories or food we eat, how much we hit the gym or any of things of that ilk. Let’s resolve to look at ourselves in the mirror and accept who we are. As is without qualifiers. Don’t say “I love myself but want to get in shape” or “i love myself but need to lose ten pounds” It’s “I love myself”.
That’s the easy part. Ready for the hard part?
I want you to resolve to take a whole year indulging yourself. That’s right, a whole year of not striving for goals. Of simply letting your inner self guide your outer. Want to take a walk? Go! Walk! Enjoy the outside! Not because you need to get in shape but because outside is wonderful. Want to stay in and read a cheesy bodice ripping book? Stay! Read! Lose yourself in a wonderful fantasyland of poor prose and 12th century zippers. Spend a day cleaning your house or a week letting it go. We spend so much time beating ourselves up over things instead of living our lives in joy.
A study came out just last week that says while we are living longer we are not living those years well. Resolve this year to stop trying to live longer and start trying to live well.
There has been an awful lot of anger and hate over the internet this past year. The election, the tragedy in Newtown, the controversy over “fake geek girls” and girl gamers showed just how easy it is to lash out at the faceless “them” . This year resolve to reach out to them and give them faces. Practice random acts of joy and kindness. How hard is it to give into kindness instead of anger?
Work for something you believe in. Some of the complaints from my friends over the last year are pretty valid in my eyes. Instead of just directing anger to the people on the other side of the issues get off the couch and DO something about them. Volunteer, attend a city council meeting, find a pen pal in a foreign country, go to a church or religious service of your choice, start a garden, reach out to fellow human beings. Use that time you would have spent sweating in the gym on a bike that goes nowhere to help something you are passionate about.
This year for resolutions let it be about your soul and not your body. You are totally worth the effort.