New year… New goals… New you…
There is all too often an assumption that life starts anew with each year. Somehow we expect to break away from who we have been for far too long and start from scratch. We forget that life doesn’t start over with a new year. Old obligations, old habits, and who we are as people aren’t connected to an on and off switch. Life runs with no pause button.
The older I get the more I realize that life doesn’t simply change overnight. Sure, there are events that can make us feel as though it has. Losing a loved one or a job can feel like the end of our world. Life does move along though, it runs on a continuum. What’s the mature, logical approach to setting goals in a new year? Is there a purpose to make goals that coincide with a new year or is something we keep doing more out of habit than out of a desire to really make change?
Last spring I set out on a goal for a new me. It wasn’t a new year’s resolution; it was just something I wanted for me. It was small at first. I saw a picture of myself and I hated the way I looked. Honestly, I hated the way I felt in my skin every day. Something sparked and slowly but surely over several months I found myself thirty pounds lighter and infinitely more confident. I found myself happy. It wasn’t an overnight change or just one thing. Mostly – it wasn’t easy all this change. It was hard work and a concentrated effort. It was me choosing to embrace all the beauty the world placed before me and leave my mark on it. It was me in the dirt learning how to grow food, teaching my children that the earth offers bounty if we work hard to make it a reality. It was me getting up and DOING rather than talking. And it was happiness.
A few months before the hands of time turned the page to a new year I found myself facing another life changing event. Then two short weeks later I was faced with the reality that the change that was supposed to be happening wasn’t going to. Life was placed in my womb and then fleetingly taken away. I had two choices – anger and giving up; or acceptance and a decision to push forward no matter what and make the changes I wanted for myself. I spent a few weeks wallowing in the self-pity and the despair. I was angry with the world, disappointed in my body. But then I was inspired to make even more changes. I kept finding that when I let it, this big universe started revealing more wonders and more hope to me than I could’ve ever dreamed up on my own. I was reminded that life is always fleeting and if we want to make something out of our short time here on this earth then we have to work for it. There is never just one way to a goal.
Life is laid out before us as one big map with lots of roads that we can choose to travel down. How far we go and how we get there is entirely up to us. And that my friends, well that’s a beautiful journey just waiting to happen.