We Can All Use a Fresh Start – But Not Through Resolutions
If you’re like me, you’ve been tossing around some ideas for New Year’s Resolutions to get a fresh start on January 1st. If you’re not like me, you may have actually made some.
For many people, the first week of January is the only one where they actually stick to their New Years Resolutions. I know this because my January 5 birthday dinner has to accommodate at least three of the following: (1) no carbs, (2) no booze, (3) no meat, (4) no sweets, and/or (5) the ability to exercise while eating because someone’s already slacking on their morning workout resolution. By January 10, these resolutions will be long forgotten.
Let’s face it: New Years Resolutions are made to be broken (and to cause self-induced guilt). If you’re divorced, you’ve already had some big things break, including your heart, so why add more to that pile?
Resolve to Show Up
This year, take a different approach, one that involves fear less angst, drudgery and guilt: simply show up for your life. Show up for whatever is happening right now, in the present moment. That makes every one of them a fresh start.
Most of us spend nearly all our time rehashing the past and/or worrying about the future. One makes you depressed, and the other makes you anxious – and those are the last things you need when you’re recovering from divorce and creating a new life for yourself.
Your Happiness May Depend on It
Research shows that people who make a practice of living in the present moment are far happier than those who don’t. They are more flexible and open. They see opportunities rather than challenges and failure. They don’t beat the crap outta themselves and still manage to be effective. And, perhaps most importantly, they don’t miss the good and the beauty that’s often right in front of them. It’s like a continuous cleanse without having to do anything weird.
When you’re divorcing or divorced, there are countless things you could obsess about, from ‘Did I make the right choice?’ to ‘What will I do now?’ to ten billion other things. But here’s the question: does obsessing about any of those give you the energy and inspiration to take action? Does it make you feel happy – or even competent? No. It only keeps you stuck – in your own head. Reality is, you can’t do a damn thing about the past, and you can’t predict the future, no matter how hard you try. You have the power to be truly effective right now because the present moment is the only one when you can actually do something about getting that fresh start you crave.
When you find your mind playing all your past mistakes over and over or freaking out that you’ll become a bag lady, turn off the Doom-and-Gloom Show and tune into the here-and-now. What do you need? What do you need to let go of, even just for a little while? What’s going well in this moment? What are your options – and your resources? What can you do now that will move you closer to being who you want to be and feeling how you want to feel?
Simple but Not Easy
Just showing up sounds simple because it is. It is NOT easy – far from it, or we’d all be enlightened. It requires awareness, intention, and lots of practice. Fortunately, we have plenty of opportunities.
Every Moment Can be a Fresh Start
Every moment is an opportunity to start with a clean slate, a chance to cleanse whatever happened before, no matter what it was, just by focusing on this moment. It’s 86,400 do-overs a day – who doesn’t want that? You just show up right now, notice what’s happening within you and around you, and move forward from there. Then repeat again and again.
How do you write that next kickass chapter of your life? You show up and do it moment by moment by moment. Share how your New Year is going on our Facebook page. Welcome to 2017 – here’s to you!