“Whatever you do or dream you can do – begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
All of us come equipped with a basic human drive. We appear to be born with an innate desire to grow and express to our fullest potential. Inherent in our nature is the impulse to do better and be better.
As we approach the new year many of us are inclined to focus on our personal plans for improvement. We incubate the seeds of our desires in this tender time of infinite possibilities. There’s a sense of magic in the air. Who doesn’t make a declaration of change of some sort? After all, this is the time of new beginnings.
As I consider the concept of a new beginning, I can not help but think of all the failed attempts to change we hear about during this time of the year. There’s plenty of snickering at the notion of New Year’s resolutions gone awry. I believe the statistics suggest that only 10 – 20% of resolutions make it past February, let alone through the year. I dare say, many don’t survive until the 3rd of January. All the good intentions appear to be cast asunder, swept aside by the lash of our engrained habits and ways of ‘being’ in the world.
How many of us have tried to quit smoking only to return at some point? How many have made every attempt to lose weight yet only temporarily see signs of success?
We swear this is the year we will stick to an exercise plan, listen to our mother’s, or speak the truth. Then we fall short.
Yes, we say we’re going to stop resenting our exes or strengthen our relationship with a particular family member. We swear we will keep a daily journal or overcome a fear. Then life happens. We miss a day, we backslide in our response. We entertain a feeling we’d rather eliminate for far too long.
Let’s face it. Sometimes the road to our deepest aspirations may be winding and arduous. We do not always move from point A to point B ‘as the crow flies’. More often than not, our path is two steps forward and one step back. It’s what occurs during the one step back that is critical.
Will this be the moment we’ throw in the towel’ and abandon our efforts, or can we overcome our all-or-nothing mindset?
Let us remember every day is a change to begin again. Every hour, an hour to begin again. Every minute is a minute to begin again. Something about this approach feels good to me. It means I have not lost sight of the goal, but I consider my humanity and carry on.
I like it better.
Perhaps my resolution will involve being the best version of myself I can possibly be each and every day. To realize I may be flawed, but I am doing the best I can at any given moment. If I stumble, if I fall short, I can get back on course.
I can learn to acknowledge my small successes. I can strive to be gentle with myself. Most importantly I can set reasonable goals.
Hooray to a new year! Use it as a chance to grow and move closer to our fullest potential.
Let us enjoy the process as we journey toward our greatness.
As seen in the Spring issue of 2014 in ‘All 4 Ur Addiction Recovery’ magazine.