It’s cold. We just ate lots of pie and “they” want us to feel motivated. I feel motivated, sure, its a new year and blah blah..
Then you hear how none of us keep our New Year resolutions except that girl in front of you at Whole Foods wearing her exercise clothes. Sure she kept her resolution! (Said of course with no bitterness.)So where did resolutions start? Turning to my skill sets, I googled it:
The ancient Babylonians are
said to have
been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions
, some 4,000 years ago. They were
also the first to hold recorded celebrations in honor of the new year
—though for them the year
began not in January but in mid-March, when the crops were
Okay, this confirms why I don’t do New Years resolutions and am giving you permission to join me. Here are a few thoughts to churn on:
1) It’s cold in January. Our bodies are kinda wanting to hibernate. Literally everything just takes more effort in the cold. To get out of bed, we need more calories for our bodies to deal with cold weather. We need more layers (which personally I do love the clothing options). We need to more to heat our homes. Historically, winter was a time to nestle into our hearths and try to survive the depth of winter- to make it through the long months when we couldn’t grow things. This is of course for those that have European ancestry. It was cold, hard, and there were lots of conflicts. To simplify- because it was cold and people got hungry. So today we are supposed to feel motivated?
2) The tradition of making New Years Resolutions is apparently 4,000 years old but we are celebrating it at the wrong time of year! This is supposed to be a Spring time activity, were if the Babylonians didn’t get moving, they wouldn’t eat that summer or let alone that next winter.
3) And this is my main point- NO goal I can ever think of has been met and maintained by shame. Okay sure, when mom told us to brush our teeth we would go do it, but grudgingly. Yet once we discovered the opposite sex we were much more motivated to do a good job at brushing our teeth.
4) That girl, the one with the great abs in front of you at Whole Foods, she doesn’t look like that because on January 1st she decided to. She looks like that because of a habit that I would bet she didn’t make because of a resolution at New Years.
Where does this leave us? Resolutions are an old idea that make us feel even worse about ourselves at a un-motivating time of the year.
Yeppers. Said like that, no wonder most of us didn’t do well at maintaining our resolutions!
Might I suggest that instead of making resolutions, you spend the turn of the year recounting your blessing, gifts, and abundance of the year, like many of those that have gone before in the depths of winter. AS they walked into their storage room and found that they still had some salted meat, potatoes, and winter squash. Wouldn’t this turn of calendar carry more anticipation if we focused on what we have achieved? What we are? Rather than what we perceive we are not? I have a lot more to say about this. I approach goal setting differently than coming from a place of “I-am-not-enough-now”, as I believe that what we accomplish is not the same as who we are, namely people of character.
As a little tease for next month’s email, I will share with you a piece of how I do make goals and feel gratitude along my journey in doing so. I believe to my core that shame is from He Who Is Poopy, and I have found that when I listen to shame, I cannot hear the voice of Awesomeness. Shame has been used to sell things for too long and He Who is Awesome wants us to live in gratitude and peace. Even if our lives have turmoil, we can have peace. I give you permission to cuddle up with a good book (could be one of mine, hehe) after a long days work and feel deeply the gratitude for all you have. Perhaps even share that gratitude with those you love.