New Year, new us?

A word, please. On New Year’s resolutions.

You probably think I am about to rail on the futility of New Year’s resolutions. There are plenty of articles out there debunking them. “You’re setting yourself up to fail,” they say. “Outlandish and unrealistic changes in your lifestyle are unsustainable.”

But me? I’m for ‘em. I love me a good New Year’s rezzie, and here’s why.

Okay, so time is a construct, nothing actually magically changes from the end of one year to the start of the next, etc, and yet. We collectively mark the moment in time. It’s an agreed upon time to turn a page; to celebrate a shift. A ball drops, people smooch, fireworks explode (dogs whimper, too many people share fireworks on their social media, we wake up the next morning with champagne headaches which are actually and certifiably the worst form of hangover). 

This was my New Year’s resolution painting from last year. Hiking Lazy. Anyone who’s ever done this haul knows you just take it one step at a time!

Generally we agree to celebrate one year ending and a new one beginning.

With that celebration tends to come reflection. What even happened last year? What were the high and low points? What do we want to keep going in the new year, and what might we want to shift or let go of entirely? What’s our word going into the new year, what’s our commitment – there are so many forms a resolution can take just in terms of how we apply our focus.

We are now one full month into 2021. The coronavirus apparently didn’t take a break to celebrate new year’s, in yet another chapter of its being a soulless virus. A new Administration officially took office, after a riot and before shenanigans on Wall Street. In many ways, the dreaded 2020 marches on, and yet. Didn’t we have a New Year’s? Didn’t those fireworks go off?

What about YOU, though? You and me – we are the rest of the world in so many ways, but also we are not. We have our own personal reflections on the years past and what we want(ed) going into this one. Did you resolve anything? Did you pick a word; a focus? How is it going?

In defense of New Year’s resolutions, yes, they may be based in an artificial notion of time and yes, some may be completely outlandish goals (like any goal, at any time). But there is power in choosing to reflect and then define a purpose and focus in moving forward. New Year’s provides a pivot point; an opportunity to decide what to aim for moving ahead. That aim might be something concrete, like a savings or fitness goal. Or it may be more amorphous, like choosing to focus on feeling or inhabiting your body and mind in a certain way.

There’s lots in this year we can’t control. But we’ve always got ourselves. I’m really happy, one month in to 2021, that I chose to double down again on art. It feels like something deep within me that I can grow and bring into the world more and more. I’m looking forward to where it takes me – and us!

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