Every year, I hear the same round of complaints against New Years resolutions – “they’re lazy,” “no one sticks to them anyways,” “if you really wanted to change your life, you wouldn’t wait until New Years.”
And every year, despite the New Years Grinches, I have a tremendous burst of enthusiasm towards making lofty resolutions and encouraging the resolutions of those around me. This time of year feels fresh with new opportunities, and I love making new goals even if they fade away as the months crawl on. Maybe it’s because my birthday is a few days away, making this time of year ripe with my own self reflection. Maybe it’s because I embrace the practice of making new goals every single day of our lives, and New Years Day is as perfect of a day as any to turn over a new leaf.
Or maybe it’s because I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that our mainstream society, so often rife with flaws and injustices and superficial priorities and frustrations, dedicates an entire cultural event (and even a National Holiday) to committing to new changes in our personal growth. How amazing is that?!
Here are some of my resolutions for 2013. Don’t hold me to them rigidly – just let me take steps day by day to embody them, offering your guidance if I seem to stray off the path:
1. Maintain good posture. As a dancer, posture has always been immaculately important to my sense of presence. After years of spending time behind computer screens, I am starting to find myself instinctively slumping forward or sitting in awkward and crooked positions. No longer!
2. Ask for help when I need it. This is something I hugely need to work on. I am graced with many people who love and support me (emotionally, materially, and otherwise) and although I know they would instantly offer their support if called on, I rarely let anyone know when I need help. I feel much safer in the roles of helper, listener, healer, comforter so I tend to stay in these roles and ultimately have refused to let my deepest vulnerabilities shine through.
3.Sign up for training in Reiki and/or Yoga. I have already been talking to some cool women I recently met in Naperville to officially go through Reiki Level I training/attunement this spring. Ultimately I want to go through 200-hour yoga teacher training too, but I’m not sure if that will be a 2013 or 2014 accomplishment.
4. Continue working every day to dissolve my trichotillomania. By now I have learned that “Stop pulling out my eyelashes” is an ineffective and guilt-inducing New Years resolution — the most powerful thing I can do is make this day-in-day-out commitment to my healing.
5. Write a Love Letter to Myself. My friend Jillie is coordinating a fabulous book project where women write love letters to themselves, and although I have written several drafts of my letter I have a long way to go before I have a finished product. More to come on this topic – I will soon start rallying my loved ones to write your own love letters too.
6. Manifest a supportive living situation that allows me to feel loved and free. This means figuring out where The Universe wants me to situate myself…. whether by myself, with family, or with friends… whether in the suburbs or in Chicago…
7. Keep in touch more actively with the people I love AND (an important corollary) forgive myself when I don’t. There are so many fabulous, inspiring members of my sphere of community that I wish I could call and e-mail and Skype and get brunch with constantly, blanketed in the comfort of their friendship. I want to make a larger commitment to carve time out of my days to catch up with people, but ultimately every hour I spend keeping in touch is an hour that I am not working to achieve my life goals. I hope 2013 will find me embracing this balance without beating myself up about how horrible of a friend I must be if I fall short.
8. Do the things that scare me. I have been inspired by the artist Kelly Rae Roberts to “do the thing you didn’t think you could do.” Two major things I never thought (and still don’t REALLY think) I could do are singing and anything acrobatic. Singing, flips, yoga poses that involve arm balances or generally being upside down, even cartwheels on my left hand side have always been reserved for “other people” in my mind, so I think this means I need to learn how to do them. Read my hula hoop blog post for more on this topic.
9. Go on a cool trip by myself. I have been researching writing and yoga festivals around the Midwest where I could create my own cost-effective mini-retreat and embrace new experiences, places, and people. I also want to definitely spend a weekend or two in Ann Arbor and hopefully spend time in Houston and Worcester to see some people I love, and I think Mark and I are heading to Florida in the spring… but I should probably iron out those details at some point…
10. Drink more green smoothies. And practice my French. And practice Spanish. And submit at least a few writing pieces to contests & magazines. And find somewhere to teach a writing-as-healing class….. I told you I make resolutions every day…
What are your resolutions for 2013? Feel free to share them in the comments section so we can continue to inspire one another!