January, 2014. By now, the half-empty champagne glasses littered around the dining table should be cleaned up and all your friends should be nursing their well-earned hangovers. All holiday decorations should be tucked away neatly for next year. (Unless you're at my parent's house. They tend to leave their lights up for at least two more weeks.)
It's New Year, the time when those of us yearning for a fresh start make our lists. Exercise. Find a job. Fall in love. Check, check, and check.
Except wait. Resolutions never last. Not the ones that start in January, at least. So why bother? Instead, perhaps those of us really interested in making 2014 the best of the best should focus on the bigger picture, on the things that MAKE and BREAK our resolutions.
If your goal this year is to become the "after" picture in your P90X infomercial or to finally create the phone app that ends poverty, then what you're looking for isn't a resolution, it's a REVOLUTION. And that means this year is the one where we dig deeper, and get to the source of what's really important, the ROOT.
So grab a shovel. It's time to figure out what we're gonna need on this journey called 2014, and what other stuff we're gonna smash with Miley's wrecking ball. Here are some places to start:
1: That Nagging Voice That Tells You "I Can't Do It"
We've all heard it. That annoying voice in your head that reminds you there's not enough time in the day to work on your business and keep your day job. Or that eating that salad is pointless with your slow metabolism. Or there's no way anybody's finding a job in this market, so you might as well stay in a place you hate.
That voice often comes in the form of my Mom when she's annoyed with me, but more often than not it's my own voice, and what's sad is that sometimes I believe him. It's everywhere, it's annoying as hell and it's time for that voice to STFU.
Let's put that on our list of things to scrap. Even better, let's see that voice for what it REALLY is; a signal that we're on the right track, because it only seems to chime in when we're doing something big. And yes, as we get better it'll get louder, so let it be the thing screaming at us as we cross the finish line.
2. Bravery and Fear
Ever pray for something and realize you only get more of what you don't want? You ask the universe to help you out of a financial bind and it sends you more bills. You ask for wisdom to talk to a difficult lover and end up only having more to argue about.
The divine is a tricky chick, and she works in mysterious ways. If you want financial independence, the world will make it so you're broke and working twice as hard to make money. You want a loving relationship and it'll send you a needy partner that's gonna make you fight for it .
The same is true about the things you fear and the courage you need to overcome them. That's the ugly thing about bravery and fear; you can't have one without the other. Pay attention in your own life and you'll see this is true. You ask for strength and the universe will send you situations in which you will have to BE strong.
So, what's this mean? Do we retreat and surrender to being life's bi-otch? Or do we fight our way through our challenges?
The answer is neither -- and BOTH. You want results? You want change? Then our fears are going to be the things we make peace with AS we rise above them. We'll make our business plans AS we bag groceries or scoop ice cream. We'll update our Match.com profiles with our actual pictures AS we hit the gym. We'll kiss our kids and love them AS we send them out unto a scary, unpredictable world.
3: Wake-up calls/Health Scares/Loss
Actually, there is not really a whole lot we can do about the stuff we have no control over, especially when it comes to things like cancer scares, lost jobs and tragedy when it strikes our families. But maybe this can be the year we stop reacting to them the way we always do.
We all respond to crisis differently. Catastrophe strikes and some of us wallow in pity, others live in denial, while some of us handle it all with grace. Of course, if we're lucky enough to get through it, we all tend to go back to living life as if nothing ever happened. But perhaps this is the problem. Maybe returning to normal again is missing the point.
Anybody who's ever watched "Oprah" (and yes, perhaps I'm addicted to Oprah, don't judge) will tell you that all of life's tragedies are here to teach you LESSONS, once you can get past the part where this whole system totally sucks.
Those of us who have ever been challenged in life know this. Priorities change. Your boyfriend's irritating habits don't seem to bug so much anymore. Family members you used to avoid at all costs suddenly become inseparable. Tuesday's to-do list gets trashed and replaced with .
that bucket list you've been avoiding to write.
Anyone who has ever succeeded in this world has done so by surviving some war in their lives, and of those people, the ones who have thrived have done so by pulling out the lessons hidden within those battles.
4: You. (The real you, Boo Boo)
We live in a world where everything is customizable. Siri can turn your iPad into a personal assistant, cars can self-park now and the doors at your house can lock themselves with the flip of your switch from miles away. If you can afford it, there isn't a gadget that can't be augmented from it's original design and purpose -- except of course, for YOU.
Corny as it sounds, people are just as unique now as they were when Wilma and Fred were buying dinner with those shamrock thingies. I've met enough identical twins to know that no two beings are ever exactly alike, and one thing I know for sure is this: Although life shapes the people we become, we emerge from the womb as perfectly individualized individuals.
And the best of us, the ones who make the most of this existence, internalize this knowledge and run with it. So, why do we waste so much time fitting ourselves into molds that weren't made for us?
Those of us who were meant to be singers are MEANT to be singers. Writers, writers. Fighters, fighters, and so on and so forth till the end of time. This is what our resolutions should REALLY be about: Declarations that help us become the best versions of the people we're meant to be: OURSELVES.
This is the true New Year's Resolution, the only one everyone at Happiness is NOW will be aspiring to achieve. All other resolution are to be sent immediately to the recycling bin.
So now let's ask ourselves, are we ready to be ourselves, no apologies asked or given? Are you ready?