“New Year, New Me”…we’ve all heard that phrase uttered around the 31st of December, maybe even from your own mouth. There is a certain power that comes with the new year, a delicious opportunity to shake off whatever shit happened in the last twelve months and decide to be better…stronger…less stressed…more successful. Usually when the New Year comes around, everyone gets busy coming up with all these resolutions to ensure that the next year will be the best one yet. You know, resolutions such as:
Stop eating crap
Work out more
Be more conscious/mindful/present/zen
Live life to the fullest
Spend less/save more/buy less shit/buy better shit, and so on.
Resolutions are lovely little promises to yourself that you’re finally going to sort all your crap out and get the life you want. And there is absolutely no problem with that, except if you’re like me and write a lengthy list of perfect resolutions that don’t actually translate into everyday life. I mean, I can keep up the resolution act for five days or so, until a morning rolls around where my toddler has been up half the night, I haven’t been grocery shopping and run out of anything remotely ‘plant-based’, I’ve already spent that weeks money on a bunch of shit I didn’t need (that I needed at the time) and I really don’t want to do anything but sit on the couch eating Doritos. And honestly, we all know that exact situation is probably going to happen multiple times over the next twelve months, prompting me to end up writing the exact same resolutions come next New Year’s Eve.
How about just not making resolutions, you say? Nah – absolutely not! Making a resolution is just a way of getting more clear on what you want, and deciding exactly how you are going to get it. Resolutions – or intentions – are an extremely productive way to get through life. After all, what is a life without goals? Dreams? Desires?
So the question is, how do you make quality resolutions that you can actually keep?
Easy. You keep it simple.
You make one resolution.
Say what?? Just one? Yeah man, just one! One simple, all-bases covered resolution that ensures no matter what you come up against during the next twelve months, you will come away at the end of it knowing you gave it all you got.
So…what is that one, very simple resolution?
You need to make a resolution to be willing.
That’s it, my friends!
No faff, no lengthy lists full of things that make you feel great to write but seem impossible two days later, just the one, simple commitment to be 100% willing.
The best part of this resolution is that it’s kinda a blanket resolution; a one-size-fits-all approach to making your next year kick ass. Whatever life throws at you, whether it’s a new job opportunity, a shit-load of debt to pay off, or the entire bowl of spaghetti you just served your toddler that is now splattered artfully across your walls, just be willing to be open to it. (Alright, maybe not open to the spaghetti. Have a giggle, get some Dulux wash’n’wear, shit happens.)
That’s all you need to do this coming year. Show up. Be willing.
This little nugget of wisdom came to me via instagram (don’t they always?) when I was scrolling through my feed and came across a post by the lovely Ashley of journey_through_fear, an agoraphobia/panic disorder sufferer who conquers her fears on the regular. Ashley was talking about how she had to go to a friends house and was incredibly anxious, but she said she was willing to feel the anxiety to gain her independence, and spend time with friends/family. This statement hit me right in the feels as I realised what an important, empowering comment this was. She was willing. Willing to feel, willing to be afraid, willing to tackle her demons to gain the life she wants.
And the resolution to be willing doesn’t just apply to us anxious folk. Whether or not you have issues with anxiety or panic, I would bet my ass that you’ve felt fear at some point in your life that you really weren’t willing to feel a second time round. Or maybe, you haven’t been willing to follow your dreams. Maybe you haven’t been willing to ask that person out, drop the last few kg’s, take your finances seriously, go for a new job etc etc.
There is a common trait amongst many of us human beings in that we’re rarely willing to move from the middle of our comfort zone, regardless of what tasty treats lay just outside. And that’s okay, I get it, I am card-carrying, frequent-flyer member of the comfort zone myself – as someone who has spent majority of the last four years indoors, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.
But what if this year, you could make a promise to yourself that no matter what comes up – you will be willing to tackle it, to feel it, to overcome it? How many of your goals do you think you could reach if you were simply willing to do the work?
And don’t get me wrong, being willing doesn’t mean constantly saying yes. In fact, there are many times when you’ll have to be willing to say no. No to staying in the same job just because they’ve been good to you – because you’re willing to go after your dream career. No to streaming another episode, because it’s past 3am and you’re willing to give your body the rest it needs. No to staying comfortable, because you’re willing to get something new and interesting out of life, dammit! You don’t have to become a Yes-Man in order to be willing, you just need to show up.
Being willing doesn’t mean constantly saying yes. In fact, there are many times when you’ll have to be willing to say no. You don’t have to become a Yes-Man in order to be willing, you just need to show up.
I guarantee you that if you approach the new year with the intention of being willing, life will get a whole lot juicier for you. Those things you’ve always wanted to do but were too afraid/nervous/tired to do – if you approach them with the attitude of “All I’ve gotta do is give it a go“, instead of “ahh fuck it…I’ll do it tomorrow/next year/never” before you know it, you’ll be ticking those goals off your list. Or you might even end up realising that those goals were not actually in line with what you want out of life, and so you were willing to change the game at the last minute to go after something completely different.
The fears you’re so deeply afraid of that hold you back from X, Y or Z? Just be willing to feel the fear – boom. X Y and Z completed. Alright, it’s not that easy, but if you’re at least willing to give it a go rather than holding out just because you’re afraid – that’s progress. Facing fears is a helluva lot easier when you come at it from a position of willingness rather than all out dread.
The key thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if at the end of the day, you didn’t manage to achieve exactly what you set out to – sometimes you need to be willing to fail. The point is to try and see what happens, rather than not making a move at all.
Just be willing to strive, be willing to feel, be willing to become, be willing to let go, be willing to say YES to what lights you up and NO to what doesn’t, be willing to show up and grab life with both hands and say “It’s alright guys, I got this!”
Just be willing, and watch the magic happen.