I am a strong believer in setting new goals for the new year. Many consider New Year’s resolutions to be silly because they think most people won’t follow through. That people will live out their resolution for a couple weeks and then go back to their old ways. Hey, maybe they’re right. But who cares? I’m doing it anyway!
I took some time out on New Year’s Eve to think about the resolutions I set in the past years and how close or beyond those goals I had gotten. This led me to realize that many of my resolutions have usually been based on a quality/skill I want to gain or discover about myself. For example, in 2015, one of my resolutions was to find myself. This was probably one of the most developmental years of my early adulthood simply because I was asking myself all these big questions: Who am I? What does sex feel like? Do I want to stay in the United States after college? Should I go to Grad school? This was the same year that I got my tattoo mentioned in a previous post; I went with “freewoman” in cursive – handwritten. This was the first time I had ever, actively, felt empowered. I became more carefree and outgoing after this experience – not that I wasn’t already. But even the tattoo itself, “freewoman”, was an idea, deeply infused with my experiences and my hopes, plans, wishes for the future. Here is a photo:
I remember when I had discovered this word for myself while reading Huey Newton’s Revolutionary Suicide on the shore of Rodeo Beach in Marin Headlands. I had come across a man in the book whose last name was “Freeman” and I thought to myself, “How come I’ve never heard of the last name, Freewoman?” So I drew out “freewoman” in the sand and took a picture of it. That name stayed with me and when it came time to spontaneously put something permanent on my body, I went with what was for me at the time, a totem. Unfortunately, I cannot find that picture in my files, but here are a few pictures of a my view at the time:
So, with all this said, I want to share with you my biggest resolution for the New Year – to build greater endurance. Before I explain what this resolution entails, let’s first look at the definition of “endurance“:
the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
The most important part of this definition in relation to my resolution is “without giving way” because it speaks to a weakness I have identified in myself that I want to address. That weakness is a lack of commitment. Although I am committed to many things in my life, there are certain aspects of my lifestyle that I feel I have a lack of greater endurance for, i.e., fitness, diet, meditation, etc.. Obviously, I am quite hard on myself. Still, it is important to me that I develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of these elements in my world in order to feel more balanced. There are so many distractions around me. So many opportunities to get lost in something other than what is essential to my well-being. “All in moderation!” someone will tell me. But that doesn’t work for me. Moderation turns into indulgence and indulgence just brings me all the way back to the starting point. What I need is not moderation, but endurance. For example, when it comes to eating clean, I am successful about 60% of the time. The other 40% involves me eating fast food, processed food, or not eating enough. This is usually due to there only being 24 hours in a day, me being one person, my schedule being packed, and consequently my priorities shifting throughout the day. This shift in priorities is where my endurance comes in because it usually means that I choose the easiest/quickest way to complete a task for the sake of getting a good night’s sleep and being sane the next day. It’s really just a big ass circle of decisions that I make on a daily basis, many of those decisions bringing me closer to my goals and some taking me farther from them.
At the end of the day, what I’m trying to say is that regardless of how busy my life gets or how stressed out my mind feels, I should be able to push through and choose the option that aligns with my resolutions/goals, which are rooted in my center. There are countless examples of women doing this everyday, making decisions that are hard but good for them, taking the steps necessary to be the person they can look at in the mirror and be proud of. Of course, we all have our limits, however, in the midst of chaos, I find it better to have discipline than to let myself go. This is by no means meant to be a damnation of flexibility, self-grace, and all that has to do with giving yourself a break. This is meant to be a statement of action. An exclamation! That I want to have greater endurance for working out 150 mintues a week even when I’m tired and eating a clean diet that consists of whole foods even when tacos are life. Because these are things that matter to me. Being super fit and eating a clean diet, no matter how how simple they may sound or how difficult they can be to achieve in the midst of alternative options, make me FEEL GOOD. And that’s what New Year’s resolutions are about – setting goals that, simply the thought of, make you feel good about yourself. Whether or not you reach them should really only matter to you and how determined you are. But don’t beat yourself up about it if you fall off along the way. Get that ass up and keep it pushin’.