Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those who celebrated the occasion! I guess you can say I celebrated this year, albeit a very different experience when sleeping in a beach hut on a tropical, primarily Buddhist country. Was Christmas good to you? Did you make a New Year resolution or two?
To be quite honest, I’ve never been huge on the concept of a New Year resolution (surprise, surprise, eh?), especially when people make multiple resolutions in one go. I think probably my distaste for them stems from my distaste for trends in general, including pretty much anything people do en masse because other people are doing the same thing. Lemming behavior, to put it smugly.
But that is not to say I have never dabbled with the resolutions myself! I just think that if you are going to make one, it is very important that you keep it to one and only one resolution, that you actually think about what is important enough in your life to do better at (not just compare yourself to magazines at the checkout stand), that you most importantly choose a resolution that will last a lifetime, not through to February, and ideally that you choose a resolution that improves more than just one thing in your life. Deal with the root of the problem, so to speak.
You see about a year ago, I was aware of a whole array of things I was really not happy about in my life: sleepless nights, being more overweight than normal, spending way too much money all the time, drinking too much, not exercising enough, not getting what I wanted out of life, not getting ahead in life, and just a general level of unhappiness. Being tired of always waiting to live, I later understood (post coming on that too, one of these days!)
A common and obvious reaction people might have had to my conundrum would be to pick the problem they think bothers them the most, and that they know of a way of easily solving, or at the very least improving on, and then spending a month or two down the obviously unnatural road of taking a stab at doing it. Picking the low-hanging fruit, as they say.
But the problem in my case a year ago, and I have to believe many other peoples’ cases every year, is that everything in that list was not a problem that needed to be dealt with directly at all. They were all symptoms of the real problem that needed to be addressed.
And so instead of slathering cream on one of the itches I had from my dietary intolerance towards the daily grind, I instead identified the root of it all and took the first step towards a life where the source to so many of my problems was no longer there. Since last year’s resolution I have been working very patiently and diligently towards a lifelong solution to the source of all those itches. I’m not there yet by any stretch, but each and every day it is being worked on in some way.
As a result I’ve naturally and effortlessly improved each one of those symptoms, without having to apply any creams at all. Work on the root of the problems, and the problems fix themselves, right? My hope is that after a few more years of working at it, you’ll see me on one of those magazine covers talking about how to get flat abs by typing blog posts on an iPhone in the back of a bouncy, Thai minibus.
I invite you to give your New Year resolution a quality check this year, and don’t be embarrassed if you decide it can be better, or more effective than it is. And just because you already told all your friends what it is, doesn’t mean it can’t be changed!
Oh, and lastly, if you’re like me and try hard to avoid making a New Year resolution, that doesn’t mean this article doesn’t apply to you :) Everyone has their problems, and whether or not the solution comes in the form of a New Year resolution, my advice still applies!