Updated: Jan 1
It’s that time again. People start to subconsciously project what life can be like in the coming year. That inner dialogue about what will be different, what will be left behind and, what will grow. A long time ago, I started to buck the idea of the tradition of a New Years resolution. Primarily because I forgot what my resolution was by January 3rd, or it was a sad reminder that the previous years resolution did not eventuate. So why make a resolution? Here is the tricky things about traditions, they all originate from somewhere and provide sentimentality and reason for our actions (or lack thereof). A New Years resolution brings about individual hope, a hope for a better version of oneself. Ancient Babylonians made promises to pay back debts and celebrated the turning of the year. The Romans made promises to the God Janus. Now in 2019, the practice of a New Year resolution is still prominent, derived from these ideas of hope and settlement.
In a nutshell, the meaning of resolution is ‘to solve or to promise’. In the context of my life, resolutions had lost its weight in this context. One statement to sum up a change I was willing to commit to for a year didn’t quite register in importance, as it was forced from a tradition I no longer believed in. However, I couldn’t deny the fact that this little tradition made people reflect and think about positive change! In 2018, I read a blog (not sure by whom), where it was suggested that singular resolution was an outdated concept for this day and age, as society had developed a mindset of forward conceptual thinking. Instead of a singular resolution, it suggested to pick a word or phrase of meaning to live your life by for the coming year. Something that would inspire, and be applicable to life holistically. I gave it a try on the NYE of 2018. Why not, the worst that could happen is that I would forget about it by January 3rd! 2019, for me, was painted with the word ‘Intrepidity’. There were times that this word gave me a completely different way to view scenarios that occurred. It gave me a purpose on how I proactively made decisions too. It became a compass to how I approached change.
Our desired goals and the want to live our best life is designed far beyond a ‘promise’ made on the 31st December every year. How we make our way towards the life we truly want is through knowing yourself, living consciously and making goals and fulfilling actions that are authentic to you. On the eve of the next year (and decade), solve the resolution quandary, and promise instead, to choose a word, phrase or mantra that inspires hope and progress in every aspect of your life. I wonder what my 2020 word will be? Watch this space...
Vanessa is a professional & business coach with experience in marketing & communications, small business operations, organisational culture & learning. She is currently undergoing further training & qualification with the LCA Australia and the International Coaching Federation. Vanessa has recently completed certification as a Wellness Facilitation Coach. Most importantly, she is a mother of two, teaching them to see the world with compassionate eyes and to act in kindness.