Resolutions for 2023

Posted by Whole Earth | 12.30.2022

Sunrise on the road into the new year


Resolutions for 2023


As the New Year approaches, we may find ourselves encouraged to make a resolution or two for the coming year. For many of us, our track record for sticking with or even achieving our New Year's goals over the years may be less than stellar.  It’s not that the goal or goals that we’ve set for ourselves or the changes that we want to make aren't worthy but finding the time to implement them or the willpower to stick to them seems to be in frustratingly short supply. Is there a better way? Perhaps.


 Let’s start with timing. Is New Year’s really the best time to begin something new? The past six weeks have been anything but normal for most of us. We’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of travel, holiday preparations, and celebrations with family and friends. Our daily schedules have been disrupted. We’re tired and the thought of hibernation sounds very tempting.


While the New Year has traditionally been a time for new beginnings, perhaps our ancestors were on to something when they celebrated the New Year at the Spring Equinox. It’s a time when the Earth’s energy turns to new growth after a time of rest. The return of Spring with its warmth and hope for the future seems a much more reasonable time for making and keeping resolutions.


But short of waiting until March to devise and implement our resolutions, what can we do here in the deep midwinter of the year to jumpstart our motivation and willpower? To borrow from Henry David Thoreau, the answer may be to "Simplify, simplify, simplify!"


Let's look at our usual resolutions. Some are fairly predictable given the excesses of the holiday season. Diet, exercise, and fiscal responsibility are reasonable but what huge and amorphous goals to take on! It seems better that they should be broken down into smaller simpler increments like eating one consciously healthy meal a week, or if the gym is out of reach, exercising at home with your favorite television or online workout guru, or finally, cutting back on that budget-busting habit and keeping a tab on how much you saved.


Think smaller, focus on the weakest link, and build up slowly. Start for a week. Like the way you feel after a week? Try for two weeks or a month. Build up your resolution willpower slowly but surely. And if it’s not working for you, don’t abandon ship. Go back and look again at what you’d like to accomplish and why you suspect it didn’t work. No drama, just an honest look and assessment and then a new approach to your goal.


 And remember, not all resolutions involve limitations. Love being outdoors but it just hasn’t been happening lately. Resolve to get outside, if possible, every day. A short walk around the block counts, and see if you can fit in a short hike on the weekend. Miss seeing your friends, even though you’re in touch through texts? Get together with a friend for coffee or a walk each week. If it’s something you love to do, but you’re not doing it, resolve to make room for it in your New Year!


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