Click bait? Nah. I don’t have time for that. This isn’t about some big money making secret or the best way to lose weight if you’re a Klingon. It’s just about the best New Year’s resolution I ever made. Ever.
Are you ready for it? Sitting down? Have a nice cup of tea warming you? Good. I’m gonna lay it on you now.
Don’t make a New Year’s resolution.
Yeah, that’s right. Fuck that noise. Everyone always makes such a big, ding-dang deal about enacting huge, sweeping changes to their lives starting January 1st. Really? Seriously?
I live in Maine so when I look out my window on January 1st, you know what I see? A cold, barren, mostly devoid of life, landscape. It’s grey, slippery and full of salt and dirt to try and keep the ice from killing us all. The days feel like they are 2 hours long and the nights seem to stretch out for days. That means your vitamin D production goes right out the window and when the sun does come out, it’s so low in the sky you have to constantly don welder’s glass to combat the glare from the sun itself as well as its reflection off the snow. And those long nights? You can hear the cold as it squeezes your house tighter, the frame snapping and cracking under the pressure. It wants to get inside.
In other words, this is not the ideal time to be making major life changes.
Am I Anti-Resolution? Anti-Winter?
Now before you start calling me a Negative Nolan, hear me out. I have nothing against resolutions and the making of them. I just don’t want to make them in the dead of fucking winter.
Furthermore, I actually enjoy winter. I like to ski, sled and snowshoe. Hell, I’ve been known to put on all the winter gear I own, walk out in a blizzard for no better reason than to just be out in the middle of it. I find the power of nature awe inspiring and it’s a rare day indeed when anyone hears me complain about the weather.
Also, if you happen to be in a place in your life where a life change is downright necessary and it happens to be the first of the year, don’t go against the advice of your doctor or whatever directive you might have received. If it needs to be now, then so be it. But if it can wait a little bit, give me a chance to explain myself.
So what’s my problem, then?
I personally think that a big reason most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions is because the energy of the season doesn’t support this kind of endeavor. If I’m going to accomplish something profound or fundamental to my existence, I want as much leverage as possible. Conversely, I also want to eliminate as many hindrances as possible. So, as much as I love winter and all the extreme power and magic it can bring, it is, at the end of the day, dead. Motivation is down overall, I’m not at peak health due to lack of vitamin D and there isn’t as much daylight to accomplish things that really benefit from bright sunshine being present. And I don’t even suffer from seasonal affective disorder. So if you are one who does endure SAD, then you have even more motivation to consider what I’m trying to say.
So What Am I Trying To Say?
Look, I make my resolutions but I do it at a time that makes sense. If I want the best New Year’s resolution I ever made to feel like some kind of rebirth in my life, I’ll do it in the spring. Think about it. The days are getting longer, warmer and brighter. Green starts to overcome the brown and grey palette of winter. There are smells other than wood smoke and yellow snow in the air. It just feels better. The world around me is being reborn. That’s the energy I want when making major life changes. As life itself is being reborn, so shall I. The best New Year’s resolution I ever made was about altering my view of resolutions and making changes to my life. It’s not exactly profound but it does make a difference. I’ve heard it said before: Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
The cool thing about this is it all depends on where the seasons fall in your location. In Maine, I usually end up kicking off my resolutions sometime in April, or even May. It varies from year to year. Farther south in the U.S., you might start earlier since the actual machine of spring will begin sooner. Sure, the official first day of spring is the same for everyone, every year (and you can certainly use that if it makes it easier for you), but since we’re eschewing the bullshit of January 1st, let’s do ourselves another favor and let Mother Nature tell us when spring really starts for each of us. It might be slightly different from one year to the next but if you’re like me, you’ll know when the right day comes along.
Of course, this will require a bit more discipline than the classic New Year’s process. I have to make sure I have all my shit together well before I start in with whatever change or changes I plan on making in my life. I don’t know exactly when I’ll begin; it all depends on what the each day brings. Usually, I can tell when I walk out the door on that day. I can smell and feel it. It’s a combination of warm sun, the odor of fresh earth and the sound of lots of birds all ready to get it on. Once that day happens, I flip the switch and begin what I have planned.
And Another Thing
Who says we have to wait for one particular day out of the year to make a change? When I stop to think about it, this New Year’s Resolution business is a fairly strange concept. If there is a change that needs to happen, I generally give it some thought and then do what I need to do. And, despite all that I just said, winter might actually be ideal for the goal you want to accomplish. Want to write the great American novel? The dead of winter might be the perfect time to do it. The beautiful weather of summer might provide too much of a distraction for that kind of solitary project.
So there you have it. If you can help it, don’t feel you must surrender to the pull of altering your life in the dead of winter just because everyone is compelled to do it. Maybe you can use winter to hunker down and plan your next moves in the springtime. Even better, don’t be afraid to tap into some Norwegian ideas for coping with winter. Koselig is a way of life in Norway and it involves a complete change of attitude (for most) when concerning winter. For me, it’s not about having a problem with winter itself. It’s more about aligning my efforts with the natural world around me. I generally enjoy winter but, as I have already said, the energy of the season doesn’t really lend itself to reinvention. That’s really what I mean when it comes the best New Year’s Resolution I ever made.
Give it some serious thought. Consider aligning yourself in tandem with world around you. You might find a better chance of success if you give it a shot.
Remember, I’m not a trained professional. If you are considering making a change in your life based on anything you find on my site, always consult with a therapist and/or doctor first. Have questions? Feel free to contact me!