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The No resolution Solution

 Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle – ERIC ZORN

I recall the resolutions I made for 2010: 

Learn how to use the DVD player.

Get rid of fear of public-speaking.

Buy a pet. 

Eat gluten-free food.

 Learn a new language.

Write the next book.

Only one resolution was successfully achieved. No, I did not learn how to use the DVD player – the instructions were in Russian. A need had not arisen to speak in public, so didn’t bother with that. I didn’t buy a pet, but I bought a big house plant, who I’ve named Fred, and I share my feelings with. Gluten-free bread tastes like cardboard (The number of times I’ve moved house, trust me I must have tasted the packing material). I’m lazy when it comes to learning new languages, that resolution flew out the window two hours into the new year.

The only one that worked: I wrote the first draft of the next book.

I have come up with my own theory why resolutions end up as broken promises to self : if effort is needed, the mind will resist. There’s a constant tug-of-war: the mind working on two choices, and it becomes a to-do or not-to-do scenario. With all the brain-drain involved in the decision-making process and constant battle within, it’s no wonder, very often, the resolution is broken.

So what’s the point?

So I decided on the last day of 2010, mum is the word. No resolutions. I will be happy with who I am, be comfortable with what I have achieved, or not accomplished. If I still can’t use the DVD player, I will ask a family member to work it for me. Or I will watch videos instead. If I can’t speak the local lingo, I will use sign language. No drastic changes to my lifestyle, unless abso necessary. And if on February 20th I realise I have to make a resolution to do/be/change something, then that’s when I will  do it.

Life is about change, and no one can honestly claim that they were the same as last year. Resolution or no resolution, something has changed -good or bad – it happened. And when we fall in our own eyes because we didn’t meet certain expectations, then it becomes another obstacle to overcome. Very often we set high standards for ourselves, just because others expect us to achieve those standards. And oddly enough someone else’s expections become our own resolutions.

It’s what I realised in 2010.

At the end of each year, when you take stock of your own limitations, expectations, and achievements then that’s all that needs to be done. Don’t judge. Awareness is all that is needed. And being grateful for the experience, despite trying and not achieving, is preparation for future success. Accepting is better than denying. And the toughest challenge is facing our own faults. But it is better than suppressing them. And when the mind is content, it is open to change, then whatever one wants, will happen.

All  I would like to say now is:

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right – OPRAH WINFREY

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