January. A month of new beginnings, of starting fresh. A new year where anything is possible, and when everyone celebrates this event by making resolutions. I want to first go on the record by saying I am all for resolutions. I love goal setting, I am achievement oriented by nature, and so any opportunity to set my sights on a new challenge, achieve a milestone, or even kick a bad habit in my life is something I welcome with enthusiasm. But this time of year always gets me to thinking, why do we wait until January to set a resolution? Why not set goals all year through? Or better still, why not internalize that fresh, exciting, anything is possible feeling and make it part of our being. Make it part of who we are, rather than some temporal event which is triggered when the ball drops, once every 365 days.
Of course we all need to press that reset button sometimes, to declare a “do over”, and wipe the slate clean. And a big celebratory event like New Year’s where everyone else is doing the same thing, can be a great motivator for our own goals. But taking this a step further, all of the strength, self-realization, discipline and willpower we summon up inside ourselves to accomplish our resolutions, can be in and of itself an achievement, can it not? The mere act of deciding you are not where you want to be in whatever facet of your life your resolution lies, and crafting a plan to get there, takes guts. It takes resolve.
It’s just a subtle shift in language, but a major shift in how you view yourself and your goal. Instead of saying “my diet starts tomorrow”. You decide you are going to be resolved to eating heathier for the rest of your life. You are resolved your lifestyle will change and it will be a major priority of yours to have healthy foods instead of “low-fat”, “sugar-free” corner cutting alternatives. Making a resolution can be fantastic, but once it’s achieved, what happens? Do you slip back into the same bad habit months later, only to set the same resolution the following New Year's Day? Having resolve is a permanent part of who you are. A “diet” is a resolution, a “lifestyle change” is having resolve.
A resolution is an external statement that we can bring up at cocktail parties, having resolve is a raw, honest look at yourself and saying "I am not happy with where my life is in this facet and I am going to take steps to change it". I want us all to make resolutions. I want us all to keep them. But the real thing I wish for you and for myself, is to have the resolve to live those resolutions permanently and to carry that resolve with us into any situation that requires it. For January, for 2016, and for life.