I’m not really into resolutions, mostly because I don’t stick to them. Making a New Year’s resolution is like setting myself up for failure. It forces me to admit that I don’t keep my word to myself. This betrayal of myself is mostly due to the kind of New Year’s resolution I always pursue – to lose weight. Weight has been an issue for me since I was a little girl. My grandmother used to tease me for being chubby, and it devastated me. Although I’ve had slender moments in my life, my weight has been much harder to control in my 30s, and that’s mostly because the steps required to lose weight make me unhappy.
I still want to lose weight, but I’ve decided not to make that my resolution this year. I was inspired by a sister-blogger to enter into a much simpler resolution in 2015, she calls it the “Happiness Plan.” This challenge requires that you simply do things that make you happy, and nourish your soul.
I’ve never been on a journey like this before, a journey with no road map. I’m a bit of a planner; I feel to have true success, you must plan. You know, “Failing to plan is like planning to fail.” So I must admit this “happiness” challenge appears a little helter-skelter. But I guess the point is to live abundantly and in the moment. Some of the happiest times of my life have been spontaneous. Like, when I road a bike for the first time in 20 years, I never felt more free and alive. So maybe I need to make a point to ride a bike more often. And if I did that I might fulfill two of my other goals, goals that would’ve been resolutions this year – to spend more time outdoors and to exercise. Another recent happy moment was snorkeling with my mother, aunt and cousin in the middle of the ocean. So now I have an excuse for more girl’s trips.
So instead of burdening yourself with resolutions, getting stressed-out trying to fulfill them, and becoming depressed over not accomplishing them, why not just agree to make yourself happy. Let your soul lead the way. When you make a simple pledge of happiness, the rest of your life plan falls into place. If you want to curb your spending and pay down those credit cards, you’ll become happiest when you take the steps to lower your credit card balance. It’s a different perspective on goal-fulfilling, but it’s one that alleviates the unhappiness associated with getting to the finish line.
The idea of being “happy” can be challenging. Many of us really don’t understand what makes us happy. Are we happiest eating the chocolate cake, are we happier eating the salad which gives us nourishment, energy, and strength and gets us closer to our goal of a healthier lifestyle? I would say we are happy doing both, but the happy feelings of that chocolate cake might soon be followed by feelings of guilt, anger or emptiness once the sugar high gives way. While the salad has lasting effects of happiness that nourish the soul.
So think about what really makes you happy, what really makes you feel good inside permanently and pursue those moments on a daily basis. Your “happy steps” will be littered with facades that are not easily identified, and that’s okay. Happiness doesn’t have to be perfect, that would make it stressful and unreasonable. But as you go along your journey, you’ll find that those moments of happiness become easier to purse and identify.
Happy New Year… with an emphasis on “HAPPY!”