Updated: Jan 11
This is it, Vibe Tribe - you’ve made it. The final day of what felt like a never-ending year. Time to take a deep breath, reflect on what we’ve experienced, and plan ahead for a brand new year.
Every year at this time, you hear a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions - almost as if it is some requirement for entering into a new calendar year. Did you ever wonder how that came about and why we do it?
According to Wikipedia, a New Year's resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life. It’s usually a promise or commitment one makes to themself in hopes of improving themself or some aspect of their life. Most resolutions, as we have come to recognize them, are aimed at breaking “bad” habits or creating new, “good” habits.
Research shows that as many as 50 percent of adults in the United States make New Year’s resolutions each year, but that fewer than 10 percent actually keep them for more than a few months. Giving up on New Year’s resolutions is often related to three main issues - difficulty breaking old habits, focusing on specific outcomes, and problems with purpose. Uncertainty and hardship related to COVID-19 may make it especially difficult to prioritize New Year’s resolutions for 2021.
It is human nature to set goals, and also very common to use the turning of the calendar as a marking point for making changes. January 1st and the start of a new year, for many, can be viewed as a fresh start, a clean slate, and a brand new opportunity. It is also human nature to seek improvement and hope for better. Incidentally, it is also human nature to have a hard time breaking habits - especially during difficult times. We are hard-wired to seek comfort, which can oftentimes be found in our habits, even if we know that those habits might not be good for us.
This year, I think we should try something new. Something different. Something a little bit more meaningful.
Every year, when making resolutions, we tend to create a “to-do” list for the year. This year, I recommend rethinking that. Scrap the “to-do” list. You have enough to do. And if the motivation isn’t there, if the purpose isn’t strong enough, if circumstances interfere like they are wont to do, you know what will happen. What starts out as a good idea becomes a chore, a burden, and then, oftentimes, just another disappointment.
This year, instead of a “to-do” list, let’s make a “to-be” list.
What has 2020 taught you about who you are? In relation to your family, to your community and in relation to the world at large. What has 2020 taught us about what we really need? What is truly most important to your family, to your community, and, yes, to the world at large.
We have an opportunity in this moment to recreate so much. To improve so much. To make such a difference in many important and impactful ways. And the meaningful changes cannot simply happen with “to-do” lists. They depend more on the people that we are determined to be.
So take a moment and look at what truly matters to you. What resonates with you. What you truly connect with. Reflect on how you want to bring that into this world.
You truly have an opportunity here to BE anything you choose.
And that’s where the change will happen. Start by asking yourself what you want to be, and then think about the habits, activities and traits of someone who embodies that.
This can also be tied to something more concrete. Maybe you want to be an artist. Or an author. Or a translator. Or a chef.
Even if you’ve never studied languages or picked up a paintbrush or turned on your oven - whatever it is you choose to BE, you can become.
There is nothing stopping you.
Since we were children, we’ve been taught what the world expects of us. Rules, both written and unwritten, laying out expectations as to who we need to be in order to be seen as “worthy” by the standards of our society. “Sit like a lady,” “you have to go to the right college,” “you’ll never get a job if you…,” “you need to look a certain way,” and so on and so on with more expectations dictating our thoughts as to the people we need to be in order to add value.
So today I am proposing that what we resolve to change in this new year is the habit of needing to “do” specific things for reasons we didn’t choose. The pattern of seeking our worth in rules that we didn’t make for ourselves. The routine of thinking that the only way that we add value to this world is by fitting into a system that we did not create.
Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year. Let it be the year that you become who it is you were truly meant to be - even if you don’t quite know yet who that is. Let it be the year that you allow yourself to be rather than force yourself to do. Let it be the year that we make a real change - one that sets our hearts, souls and VIBES free.