Two feet standing next to a balloon on New Year’s day.

Regarding Resolutions, Once Again

By Chelyse Prevost
Blog Content Contributor

How ironic. I wrote the original Regarding Resolutions, as my first article for this blog back in 2018 and now I’m back again, in regards to resolutions. Back then, I went on and on about reducing the angst we have about reusing the resolutions we’ve already.

My idea was that resolutions have a way of coming full circle, and it’s true, even in the way I’m “recycling” this article title (as if that wasn’t redundant enough already).

Now, I could blow you away with another touching sentiment about speaking things into existence and the other euphemisms we all love so much, but I’m trying to paint a bigger picture here.

Before we get there, let’s all understand that we do take a stance in this. Either you care about new year resolutions or you’re completely indifferent about them. By “care”, I mean anything from going above and beyond to acknowledge your resolutions to criticizing those with/without them.

By “indifferent”, I mean anything between choosing not to feed into others’ resolutions (or lack thereof) and living beyond the need to validate social stipulations. Nonetheless, you’re still reading, so I must be onto something. I’ve resolved to speak my truth regarding 2020 and the great divide between solutions and resolutions. Whew… you ready?

Oh, and one more thing. The stances mentioned were to reiterate that neither side is inherently more valid or rational. Where you stand is essentially what you put together from your own reality, down to the very last figment of your own imagination. So, why is that important? Approach and perspective.

Yes, another cliché for the new year’s resolution article (boo, me) but I promise, it’s relevant. Why? Well, when we speak in regards to something, it elicits truth in respect to something already understood.

Yellow car parked in front of sunset.
See things through and disarm disappointment. Learn something and hardly believe in coincidences. Photo by Chelyse Prevost.

When I originally wrote Regarding Resolutions, I spoke with respect to the mishaps of the general public in our new year’s resolutions. What we want to “resolve” lends more to what we want to prove to ourselves, and less to what is understood about ourselves.

Because of that, we almost always approach these “resolutions” with enforced actions rather than reinforced ideas, which… sounds like it makes sense, doesn’t it? Would you reinforce an idea that didn’t get you to where you want to be?

You can’t do the same thing, and expect different results, right? That would be insane. Almost as insane as redoing a resolution when it didn’t work out the year before — or even crazier — not having a resolution at all because it didn’t work out the year before.

See, the issue is that we see our new year’s resolutions as a means to an end. You want to stop this thing and you want to start something else, with the sweet satisfaction of “I knew I would” or “I knew I could”.

What we intend to resolve is the less than ideal circumstances that leave us running back and forth to solutions for our relentlessly, needy fixes.

But self-actualization and the shelf life of our solutions have little to do with 365 days and more to do with projecting a superficial purpose for a newer and more romanticized time in our life. Truth is, solutions are just as temporary as the problems you’re solving.

The solutions we choose are relative to what we want to understand about ourselves immediately, while true resolutions in regards to ourselves are understood. What I mean is that solutions exist to fix, while our resolutions, however, are already fixed.

So, what does that mean for you? Are you unresolved because you’ve been complacent with banking on long term solutions? Are you resolved because a lack of tangible solutions leads you to be consistent with your resolutions? Who knows.

If anyone does, it would be you, but only you can distinguish what you want to understand about yourself and what you actually understand about yourself. Whether that means enforcing actions for placeholder solutions or reinforcing the same actions for ongoing resolutions.

Only you can decipher whether you’re choosing a solution for the time being or a resolution for the greater good.

The biggest takeaway regarding resolutions is doing better, not as a marker of knowing better, but because of understanding better. To understand the “you” enough to cultivate your better self is worth more than knowing the “you” enough to fabricate a better self.

That said, my truth is that 2020 is the year for seeing things through. Not because 2020 alludes to perfect vision and looks really good on paper, but because I’m willing and grateful enough to live in clarity.

There’s little opportunity for getting stuck in pretentious solutions when you opt-out on proving yourself the chance to really understand yourself. Where your enforced actions reinforce your ideas and your ideas reinforce those same actions is where resolutions come full circle.

Thus I’m actively choosing to release my inhibitions so I can rid myself of the idea of “new” resolutions, not because it’s what I should do or because I know better, but because it’s already written for me to do so.

Featured image by Aloysus Rudd.

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