Happy New Year!
The History Channel claims that people have been celebrating this idea of a New Year with resolutions all the way back to the ancient Babylonians, who celebrated their new crops each year with royal celebrations and promises made to the gods to do better. That is nearly 4,000 years of resolutions!
The crops that the ancient people planted gave them hope for a prosperous year. They were eager to improve their lives. It seems that not much has changed. People everywhere are making personal promises to themselves- planning to add all sorts of new practices to their lives- healthy food or a new exercise routine. This arbitrary new date at the beginning of January really creates a good starting place for goals, and many folks achieve crazy good results. Others, however, set themselves up for failure. They want to do too much, they don’t set realistic goals, and they give up too easily.
I, too, am guilty of making unattainable resolutions. In years past, I’ve declared all sorts of resolutions. One year I resolved to lose weight by doing a popular diet plan. I lost for a little while, but hit a plateau and lost nothing more than interest. Another year, I got a gym membership. I went once. Still another year, I vowed I would not use drive thru’s. That lasted a couple months. My intentions were always good, but never enough.
I have decided instead of ADDING new things to my life, as resolutions innocently do, I will opt for LEAVING BEHIND things I want OUT of my life. Perhaps we need to think of New Year’s as a time to “cleanse”- a time to get rid of things weighing us down!
Here are the TOP 3 things that I plan to “leave behind”:
- Stress. I began working on this in 2020 and it has had a noticeable impact on both my emotional and physical health. Stress is, quite possibly, mankind’s most vicious enemy. It creeps into a content life, disguised as something worthwhile. It is Grendel, Dracula, Darth Vader, and Krampus. It works it’s way into the heart, and pumps its bilious serum out to every appendage. Eventually, it steals sleep and begins to haunt the mind. This is one that I feel most passionate about leaving behind. I seek ways to do this around every bend. I will continue to battle this villain into 2021.
- Obligations that are not really obligations. I am famous for creating “obligations” in my life. Oftentimes, these things take away from other important things like relaxing, reading, writing, or playing my instruments- all things that relax me. If attending something that is not “required” is going to cause me more stress, than I need to remember item #1.
- Toxicity. This applies to so many things, but mostly people. I want to surround myself with people who want to lift up- not tear down. There may have been no other year, in my nearly 50, that has seemed more toxic than this one. I’m eager to leave the toxins behind. Letting toxicity into our lives creates stress, which means I need to refer back to #1.
So, cheers. I hope that you are thirsty for this fresh start that we all make for ourselves each year. Like those ancient Babylonians, I hope you are eager and motivated to have that bountiful crop!
I’d love to hear what things YOU would like to leave behind as we move into 2021!