Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Only New Year's Resolution

This year I’m only making one New Year’s Resolution. Broad enough that many things could count toward its progress, yet vague enough that if I miss the mark in some areas, I won’t feel like I’ve failed. My goal for 2012 is simple really;

Live Life On Purpose.

What kind of ridiculous resolution is that? you may be asking. How the heck else do people live life? On accident?  

Yes. Exactly my point. For a long time I’ve been living my life on accident. But no longer.

I’m no philosopher—heck, I’m mediocre across the board—but it occurs to me that many people want results in their lives but don’t actually want to change anything. We make resolutions to lose weight and then refuse to seriously cut out the calories or forgo the pasta and refined sugar. We vow to work out and exercise more, and then show up at the gym twice a week and only when it doesn’t interfere with our other commitments. We want the payoff without the pay; the prize without the contest rules.

Albert Einstein said it best when he said that, Insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

2011 showed me I’ve been insane for a long, long time.

But no longer! It’s a new year and I’m a new person and I’ve been given another chance to get it right. The good news is that everyday I wake up I get this chance again. It really doesn’t just happen on January 1st. That’s purely American Marketing talking.

I HATE exercising in the cold, but I know that I feel better when I go for my walks which clear my mind and help me put things into perspective. I’m going to go walking as much as possible, even when it’s snowing and freezing and I’m swearing under my breath about how damned cold it is. Normally I would stay in bed and relish my warm covers. But now I’m going to pull my sorry ass up, blindly yank on four layers of clothing, and go walking. On Purpose.

I LOVE posting my writing here on this blog, but tend to shelve this desire when life gets busy or stressful. But writing actually frees me, see, and even if I’m tired or stressed, maybe by writing and actually posting, I’ll get rid of some of the weight on my shoulders and feel better. Normally I would choose to sleep, but I’m going to resist that urge and make a decision to write. On Purpose.

2011 also made me realize that for far too long I’ve given the reigns of my life to the wrong people. There I’d sit in the passenger seat of my life and order the drivers around, telling them which way to go, yelling when they’d go too fast or when they’d fly by the patch of flowers I wanted to stop and admire. I’m not sure why I gave up those reigns or what I hoped to gain, but I’m in charge of driving my own buggy and taking care of my own horses and oiling my own leather saddle. It’s taken me a long time to find that joyous part of me again. I’m going to live each day with the joy and excitement I’ve shuttered for years because other people wouldn’t be joyful and excited with me. Or out of fear that they’d think I was crazy. Stupid. So what? So what if I’m the only person dancing in my living room to Lady Gaga while wearing my fuzzy, drawstring pants and sporting morning bed head? So what if no one laughs at my jokes, or acts silly or goofy with me? This year I am resurrecting my authentic self, dusting her off, and letting her shine once more. On Purpose.

My resolutions don’t involve doing anything more, or anything less. I’m not counting calories. I’m not striving to be more patient. When faced with a decision I’m simply going to ask myself, “What have I done in the past? Did I get the result that I wanted? Did my old actions/behaviors bring me joy? Is that what the REAL me would have done?” And based on those answers, I may make a different decision.

A decision made On Purpose. Not because I've always done it that way. Not because it's acceptable. Not because that's what other people want me to do. 

The only thing I’m giving up this year, is insanity.

Who's in YOUR driver's seat? How are YOU going to live differently in 2012?


Kristi said...

Love it. And I am copying it. Very nicely done. I disagree though that the insanity is going away.....mwahahahahaaa...insanity can be very very fun....

LiL Guppinator said...

That guys hair is AWESOME!!!!!

nikki said...

Great post, Rachel! Thank you. It chimes perfectly with so much I've been feeling and realising too. Enjoy the driving seat!! X

Anonymous said...

Do you think it possible that a COMPLETE and radical change might simply put you on a different and less rewarding path? Moderation is good! One step at a time.


Rachel said...

Kristi, I agree, if insanity is something I CHOOSE, then it can definitely be very fun!

Lil G, assuming that's not a spam comment, yes, I'd give anything to have the confidence to walk out of the house with hair like that.

Nikki, you are accomplishing so much and I LOVE to see your growth as an artist and person (virtually see it, of course!) You are going to set 2012 on fire!

Jim, moderation is good and was my mother's go-to mantra during all my formative years. One step at a time is my mantra as an adult... living 24 hours at a time. But changing the way I view the world and how I see myself and my role within that is definitely a change for the better, *more* rewarding path.

Thanks for weighing in everyone!

Anjuli said...

What a great I see where the 'on purpose' statement came from (I read the blog backwards...sorry)-- What a great way to start the year and I want to join you in this resolution!!!!

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Mary` said...

I love this! I'm going to take this as my own mission statement! To live life on purpose! Thank you. I found you from Pam's site.

JayaBidkar said...

very well written. nice message.

jessie said...

Life can and should be happy – I have worked most of my life with the simple goal, to be content. This has meant finding jobs that pay enough money to give me the things that I want, but more important that time to do the things that I want. I don’t like traveling across the country or around the world, but the resorts in Myrtle Beach SC are sweet – the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Take the time to arrange your life so that you can do the things you enjoy now. To me, that is painting and drawing pictures – and it is that time of year when I think about painting the Boardwalk and the Strand crowded with throngs of people!