The Timing of Effective Resolutions (or Beyond the Wall)
16 Jan 2019
Resolve that every day is a new day and…
Every minute is a new minute. More so, every second is a new second. Keep that in mind as you continue to read.
Welcome to the end of January. It is dive time for resolutions and many personal promises. This is the time of year where people often say, “I made New Year’s resolutions and I…well, that didn’t work.” The air becomes filled with disappointment, recognition of mired expectations, self-defeating sarcastic comments and jokes that seek to fill the “I didn’t make it to my goal” void. Fear not, we have an entire year to blow it. Better yet, we also have time to define and achieve our goals.
Goals: To say, “You can do anything” may seem somewhat lofty. However, except for certain restrictions, (like a 5-year-old cannot be a fireman at the age of 5), it is not untrue. What is true is that we place restrictions upon ourselves that keep us from the place that we desire to go. We literally place things, as in: we deliberately put something in place (such as I put the toaster on the counter and not in the sink – that is deliberate). In the case of making and working toward resolutions (goals), we put something(s) in the way of where we want to go. In our efforts to forge a life that is satisfying, we create boundaries that act as a wall.
This wall runs between where we are and that which is in front of us. These walls are thick and solid, as if they are made of stone, (like you might see along a country road that divides one person’s property from another). These walls define what is ours. They define ownership and rights. Outside and within this metaphor, this is your life, and you have the right to travel that road and whatever is beyond it. However, you better think twice before you move to the other side of that wall. This separation has been made for a reason.
At times, we create these emotional walls because the “property” on the other side involves others and we do not want to trespass upon their circumstances. For instance, you want to become an actor (and do nothing else). However, you need a regular income to take care of your responsibilities. If you decided to forgo the “wall” and pursue that passion, you may do well but risk minimizing your income. So, you might decide to wait until your resources or responsibilities shift to take your place in the thespian realm.
It may also be that you own that “property” and want to keep it separate in case you want it later. Perhaps you want to write a book but do not have the time to write enough and develop this new skill. So, you wait until you have more time and opportunity. You do not stretch yourself and you do not neglect the things that need your focus.
Beyond such circumstances, the property is yours and you have placed that wall there. Resolve that you have the personal power to take it down – because you do. Think about it: You have created these boundaries and recognize that they are in place. They guide the way you travel through life. They keep you in line. What if you removed the wall? What if you removed every stone? As you drive along where that wall was, would you now pull over to check out the landscape? If you are walking, would you walk off the road and onto the grass or take your shoes off and step into the water? Chances are the answer is “yes”.
Being able to move past these boundaries tells you that when you move the stones out of your way new experiences are accessible to you. Yes, to you. There is nothing in your way. You are no longer fixated on not crashing in to the wall and staying on “your side”. Now you can consider and move toward new things, such as what is it like to walk through the field and into that beautiful water.
Resolutions? You can make them every day, every minute, every second. You ate that candy bar? Okay, it is a new second. Don’t eat another one. You texted and drove? It’s a new second. Put your phone down and leave it alone until you are stopped and parked. Yes, it is easier said than done - but persistence works. It’s a brain thing. Your brain will eventually comply with your wishes. Every chance you have, repeat the behavior that will take you to your goal. You want to quit smoking? Stop smoking (which means no vaping). If you “fall” just stand back up. After all, that is how your learned to walk or roll. Every day, every minute, every second is yours to do what you want.