Making Resolutions That Don’t Suck

Yana Potter art

Happy new year, pals.

I wish I’d written this on the first. I was about to say the world feels so shiny then but on second thought, this is only in my imagination considering that I spent the day recovering from a cruel hangover on our sofa couch in the living room with R and two of our friends that crashed at after staying up until 3am playing video games with a soundtrack from the 90’s-early 2000’s featuring hits from faves like Fabolous and The Cardigans.

Not how I expected to spend the first few hours of 2020 but, you know—I wouldn’t change it.

We spent the following afternoon binging The Circle, a new reality show from Netflix. It’s essentially a social experiment straight out of a Black Mirror special and I fully expected to hate it but the production does a good job of humanizing the contestants and the experience they’re in. Overall, it’s a fun ride and we enjoyed it so much we were all shattered to find out we couldn’t keep watching after FOUR hours because new episodes are released in successive batches through the rest of the month. Ugh, quelle horreur.

This was our queue to peel ourselves off our respective couches and get our lives together.

I gave myself a pass until the third until I shook off the holiday vegetation. Since then, I’ve begun striving for my best self, that is if my best self is a compassionate queen that understands self-improvement is a lifelong journey that should be approached with grace, understanding, and consideration towards both achievements and limits.

And I’m really trying to grasp this limits thing.

I’m the type that will say “yes” to it all and later wonder why I’m over-committed, under-rested and cranky as all can be. While I was laying in bed the other night, I tried to sit with my own body and accept those limitations as a testament to own humanity instead of something to be resented.

All that said, I resolved to my resolutions that don’t suck this year. And by that, I mean don’t suck the life and joy out of my state of mind or well-being.

Resolution one: Be in the moment and not in a pithy coffee-mug saying kind of way but in a real sense of gratitude that allows moments to be whatever they may.

Recently, I looked over two years of photos I have saved on my hard drive. Memories from various bday parties, holidays, or weekends spent exploring with R. A common theme that stood out was how beautiful each of these moments stood on their own because they were spent among the people I love.

Yet so many of these times, I remember being stressed about being late, what to wear, wait – did I get a card, or whatever other tizzy of concern my mind conjured up. These worries seem so trivial in retrospect and I grieve they’ve ever kept me from just enjoying the privilege of being with my people.

In 2020, we’re saying no to worry and yes to the mystery of each moment.

Resolution two: Adopt a security mindset.

I didn’t expect to find a career as a consultant, writer, creative hybrid. It found me. And for all intents and purposes, it works. I’m fulfilled by the projects I have going and the right opportunities keep finding me as I plug away at my craft.

And yet (there it is again) when I’m between projects, I forget the thousands of times things have panned out the way they’re supposed to or how miraculously doors have opened at exactly the moment they’re supposed to.

Are you familiar with the enneagram test? It’s a personality test with a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I have a hard time putting a ton of weight into personality tests or their inconsequential cousins, er—astrology and Hogwarts House quizzes. But for the purpose of this discussion, I am a textbook Type 3 in the Enneagram model.

Type 3’s driving motivation factor is, “if I’m successful, I am worthy.” This is problematic. Clearly. The goal-posts are ever moving and no level of achievement or gold stars are enough. This might imply why my earning potential and productivity is an ongoing source of anxiety. It’s, quite frankly, an exhausting existence exasperated by our culture’s demand for performative perfection. You know that analogy, paddle like a duck while keeping things serene and cool above the water? That’s me, baby.

In 2020, I’d like to reorient my idea of security from one of performative perfection and achievement to an unmoved confidence in my place in the world, whether I produce another item of note or not. When I was going to bed last night, R slept next to me as some sleepy piano playlist played on the speaker next to our bed and I knew I needed nothing beyond that moment to feel secure in myself or my life.

I’d like to live in the reality of this knowledge with hands ever-open to the circumstances that shift around me.

Resolution three: Don’t give up.

There’s another lie I’ve been confronted with recently and it’s the idea that false starts are wasted. I’ve let myself believe that any prior intention towards healthy eating that has been abandoned too soon or fitness plan left unfinished were pointless. It’s just occurring to me now as a 28-year-old woman that these strings of attempts were strides of progress in and of themselves.

On the third, I decided to begin weightlifting again like I used to when I was a member of a CrossFit gym in NYC. The last time I picked up a barbell was 2015. Five years later, I remembered how to do a snatch, Romanian deadlift and other moves with much less weight than I used to, sure, but I took pride in the progress my body carried unforgotten.

The point is where I’ve been and how every inch I’ve made towards a more holistic existence may have been forgotten by me, but my body and my spirit remembered. The point is the journey and whether you will returning to the trail you’ve been assigned.

Whatever your resolutions are this year, hold fast to them as long as you can and give grace to yourself once you bend towards your own humanity again. Take comfort in knowing none of your efforts are wasted. And anyway, you can begin again.

Author photo

Author: RJ Bohyn

My name is RJ, I'm a writer and consultant based in the South. If you're reading this, you've arrived at the corner of the internet I've cultivated to share life, reflections on faith, style, and just about everything in between with those generous enough to read.

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