Welcome to a new year and welcome to a new you. You have got to love the start of a new year, brimming with hope and excitement and ripe with potential. Amazing change is right at your doorstep and it all begins with your New Year’s resolutions, your blueprint to an exciting, new life. I cannot overemphasize the importance of writing down your resolutions. It is the necessary act of articulating what you want and what is important to you. Perhaps you believe that your resolutions are pretty much standard and do not require a lot of thought- lose ten pounds, make more money, find the perfect relationship, etc… Well, if you wrote out your resolutions in such a general way e.g. ‘lose x pounds’ then yes, it is probably on everybody’s list. But what makes written resolutions unique to the individual and an incredibly effective tool in creating life changes are the details. How do you want to lose that extra weight? At the gym, running outdoors or learning to play tennis? How do you want to better your financial situation? Finding a higher paying job, getting a second job or starting your own business? And how are you going to find ‘the one?’ Going out to more social events, getting set-up by one of your friends or online? These choices and all the fine yummy details are staggering and only you can answer them. The more specific the resolution, the greater the chance the resolution will materialize and thus, a happier new you.
I would venture to guess that your response would be along the lines of ‘Well, if resolutions were so important, then why don’t more people change for the better year after year?’ Good question. My answer would be that as people grow older, they become more comfortable with their daily routine, i.e. where they go, what they do and who they see, making change difficult. Interestingly, the people around them are also comfortable with seeing them the same way and may inadvertently keep them stuck in a rut. Even though on the inside they are earnestly searching for something new, different and better, there is a fear of change that keeps them from exploring the world and living up to their full potential. I truly understand the routine mentality. I like knowing what the schedule is days beforehand. Anything less would make me anxious. I do not do well with uncertainty, surprises and spontaneity. But these are the conditions where change thrives. My ninety-year old violin teacher, the sweetest most wholesome woman with fiery Lucille Ball hair once told me that ‘A life without change is a life full of regrets.’ Through the years, I have taken that wisdom to heart and have been less resistant to change. I have come to think of change not as an intruder but more as a welcome visitor.
How does one invite change into their lives, without leaving it all behind to go backpacking in Tibet or riding a motorcycle all over South America? Perhaps the key is allowing a little of the extraordinary to enter your everyday ordinary. I came across an interesting music video the other day where a handsome couple was doing normal everyday errands together such as going to the drugstore, the cleaners and even pumping gas. Seems pretty mundane, however he was dressed as a pimp with a gold silk suit wielding a leopard cane and she had thigh high silver boots and electric blue hair. With their smiles and laughter, they looked like they were having the time of their lives at a space-aged party instead of running around doing chores. The well-chosen title of this video was ‘When We Walk In The Place,’ by Millennium. I am not suggesting that you run to the nearest thrift shop or dye your hair some funky color, although if those actions call to you for some reason, then maybe you should try it. The point is that change first begins with the mind. We can learn something from these ‘Sultans of Swag’ about opening our minds to the multitude of possibilities and realizing that we have some control over our life and happiness. Whether your life is mundane or magical, it is all up to you. I admit I felt a little bit liberated after watching this video.
It is not too late to write down your New Year’s resolutions. Take your time with it and enjoy flushing in the details. Call me old-fashioned but I think keeping that list visible every single day will actually ensure that those resolutions will manifest and not get swept under the rug again this year. It is your personal letter to the universe saying ‘this year is the year that I will make things happen’ and the universe responds with a helping hand or a nudge in the right direction along the way. I wish you all an eventful and extraordinary year!