As the new year rolls in, the inclination is to set resolutions to abide by. Out with the old and in with the new! Or so they say. Well, I agree that positive intent is crucial to making any sort of change.
This year, I made just one resolution. It is the basis for other changes I intend to make in my life, but the core is as follows. My 2015 new years resolution is: to do whatever the fuck I want.
Yep. That’s it! That old college friend who never talks to me anymore except to send me a Facebook invite to her birthday party? Normally, I would feel obligated to attend because of years of past friendship that after some analysis may not fall under the category of “friendship” at all. Well, this year, guess what? I’m not going! And I’m not going to feel guilty about it either. If I want to eat a cookie, I’m going to stop that negative thinking cycle right in its tracks when it tries to tell me that I will put on a few extra pounds. From one cookie?! Please! And even if I do, it’s what I want in this moment and I refuse to feel bad about it. That guy that I really like that I keep thinking about? Normally, I would listen to all of that advice women are given about waiting for him to call first, but if I want to talk to him, why can’t I reach out?
The way I see it, the only reason we don’t already do all of the things we want to do is out of fear. Fear of people’s reactions, what they will think, if they will judge us, fear of failure, of falling behind, of taking a step back. 2015 is the year I stop letting fear get the best of me, once and for all. So far I’m only 8 days in and already I feel great. I highly suggest to anyone who is looking to make a huge, major, lasting change to stop letting fear drive their lives.
Letting go of the fear of an outcome or what people are going to think of you is difficult but I promise you it is liberating. The key is in the not feeling bad about putting yourself first and going after the things that you truly want. After all, if you’re not happy, how can you expect to make other people happy? The examples I gave are small and fairly insignificant, but fear can slow us down or stop us from reaching for our lifelong and important dreams. I would hate to see that happen to myself or to anyone else. People who have given up on their dreams are sad, lost, confused, broken. We have dreams for a reason! And time is valuable. The time and energy we spend doing things we don’t want to do or worrying about things we have done only take away those resources we could be pouring into our passions and things that will better ourselves and ultimately everyone around us.
You may have heard the saying, “We are all ‘should’-ing on ourselves and we need to stop.” I couldn’t agree more. Thoughts like, “I should go to the gym” “I should go to that” “I shouldn’t eat that” “I should read that” – they don’t help us at all! They only draw attention to things that we don’t want to be doing. So I am only going to do the things I really want to do in 2015. From now on, I either want to do things, or I don’t do them at all. Is that selfish? I don’t believe so. I think that making yourself happy is the most important thing because we are here to make ourselves happy and not to be “people-pleasers”. The irony is that the only way for others to be truly happy and comfortable is for you yourself to be genuinely happy and comfortable with yourself. Another thing I have found is that the happier I make myself, the more social I feel, the more I feel like taking good care of myself, and I actually WANT to do those things I would normally avoid!
If you only make one resolution for 2015, I highly suggest this one: Do whatever the fuck you want*!!
This article is relevant: http://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck
*Hopefully this disclaimer is common sense, but I’ll add it anyway. When I say “Do what you want” I mean as long as it’s not harmful to others or to yourself. Hopefully you don’t want to do anything that would hurt another human (or animal) but if you do, you may want to dig deeper and find out why. I think you’ll find that fear is at the core of the issue, and I promise there is a solution that doesn’t involve endangering yourself or another person.