A call to revise ‘resolutions’

Photo by Sarah King.

I never understood the annual month-long craze of the ‘new year, new me’ trend. Every January, millions of people tell themselves they’re going to turn over a new leaf and make a better life for themselves: they’re going to go to the gym again, they’re going to stop procrastinating, they’re going to achieve a sense of accomplishment—only, that rarely ever is the result. It’s possible that the reason why so many fail at their resolutions is because they’re restricted by their view of time.

Many civilizations conceive the timeline of their lives as linear, where yesterday is the past, today is the present, and tomorrow is the future. Things that happened yesterday and before are over, and they have brought us to our present; our present is laid out in its own lineation of A, B, C, D, etc., that lead us into tomorrow; tomorrow is the consequence for what we do today, and we further concern ourselves with what will happen after, and we worry about next week, next month, and so on. It is a continuous progression of consequence.

People are so dictated by their consequences that they become blinded by their passions and get distracted from motivation. Who’s to say that pushing an event or task back another day won’t guarantee achievement—it happens all the time.

We can become constricted by worry and anxiety that we begin to overthink the possibility of opportunity and success that we give up our whole so as not to get our hearts broken; and that is a waste.

In December, I had a conversation with my father about how I had begun to perceive time as a cyclical concept, like few civilizations still do, in which everything that ever was or will be does not matter in my present day-to-day life. The only thing that matters to me is what I am doing in every moment I take a breath, and every action that I take.

What happened to me this morning is over—it will do no good right now, so I don’t think about it. Business Insider does a fantastic way of providing visual explanations for time perceptions.

I have numerous long-term goals, things I want to be, things I want to accomplish, and I sometimes become overwhelmed thinking about what all I must set in place for myself in order to achieve and succeed. These goals, intertwined with a cyclical concept of time, has made me shift my focus from “it’s going to happen” to “it’s happening.”

This semester of college I increased my course hours, I’ve begun participating in a work study, and I’ve made the changes in my life to make my goals a reality, in which I didn’t need January 1st to be the deciding date—I just woke up and I began doing. I decided, in that moment, that I wanted to change my life in a way that benefited me, and I’ve been succeeding daily ever since.

Our goals should not be limited to a consequential time period. Too often are our lives determined by a calendar, with every event in our lives fixed in a spot, and if we miss it, then it’s too late…so why not just do it?

There was a newspaper clipping my mother kept taped to the kitchen cabinet—the cliché phrase, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

It is a shame that clichés are glossed over, merely since they’re used so frequently, and people become tired; but, nevertheless, there is still truth in it. If you repeat your actions and expect a different outcome, then you are relying on external forces to come and aide in your success.

If you cannot make the decision and change for yourself, then you need to rethink what your motivations are, and perhaps reconsider if your goal may not be what you thought you wanted.

Three important words of advice that I can give is the renowned “don’t say, do.” Work hard, stay humble, and keep your plans to yourself. If, by chance, your expectations don’t pan out to how your heart desires, save yourself the humiliation and energy of explaining for the shortcoming.

If nothing is certain, then don’t bring it up, and let your actions and your merit speak for themselves, rather than your personally chosen accolades.

Throw out resolutions and bring in a reality. There is no such thing as “speaking it into existence,” but only what happens. You are your own consequence, and you deserve what you put forth.

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