There's something about the transition to a new year that just feels so...well...new. Even though essentially nothing has changed from the day before, January 1 just feels like a clean slate. Or maybe it's that we all just want to will it to be a clean slate.
As humans, we love the idea of a fresh start, a time for new promise and possibility, the chance that we just may finally do the things that we wanted to accomplish over the past year or years, or heck, even the past month. Are we fooling ourselves that our lives and, more importantly, our mindsets have just suddenly changed with the number of the year? Perhaps. It really doesn't make much sense, does it?
But there is just something about a new year...and there's something about the resolutions that we make with it every time, even when we roll our eyes and say, "yup, I'll probably only stick with it for a week or two." It doesn't matter how silly they may sound...the chance of new hope is magical.
But we all go through the same struggles. We start our new resolutions with a bang (the crowded gym, the packed yoga class, the stack of books on our night tables that we vow to read) and then...after a few weeks (or less) the follow-through just isn't there. Maybe these resolutions we make are unrealistic. If we weren't doing them before, why will we now? It's tiresome how our resolutions seem to never truly stick. Why is that? Why can't we just make a real, lasting change? The answer to that question is illusive.
Maybe it's the KIND of resolutions that we make that keep them from sticking. The "get six pack abs" type, ridiculous for most of us, and only pertaining to the physical being. Or the "get organized" one, the kind of resolutions that focus strictly on end results. Perhaps let's make different kinds of resolutions this year, the kind that don't necessarily focus on how we look (let's be honest, that's what most resolutions focus on) or on something that has an absolutely tangible end point (I know, I know, my OCD flares too when I don't have a defined end goal in mind).
But sometimes it's the end goal that actually messes us up...it's just too hard to get to that goal. Maybe this year we can focus on the inside, on how our minds work and the simple deeds we can do to make us feel better, both about ourselves and the world around us.
Here at Gallery Drinkware, we've decided to focus on the more mindful types of resolutions, the ones that affect us on the inside the most and the world around us. These are the five we are going to focus on this year:
1) Be kind. To oneself and others. It's really hard sometimes, patience often wears thin in this chaotic thing called life. From feeling frustrated with other drivers on the road or even our own children, it's easy to snap at people and be nasty. And look also at your inner dialogue. Are you kind to yourself or are you constantly criticizing? It's hard to be nice to others when you can't even be gentle with yourself. Make the effort to be kind. It goes a long way.
2) Rejoice in the success of others, even when your own journey feels impossible. Swallow pride and express admiration for family members, colleagues, and friends, even if you feel like you're not keeping up. You'd want them to do the same for you.
3) See challenges and obstacles as opportunities to learn. Especially as small business owners, we feel like we are constantly in a "lesson learning" phase after something we try doesn't work or something we've been working on is a slower or harder journey than we predicted. Realize that every difficulty in life, whether it's personal or professional, is a chance to learn how to do better next time.
4) Express gratitude. Every day. In this often-dark world, it's so easy to get mired in negativity and what we DON'T have. Be thankful and appreciative for what you do have. As hokey as it may say, every morning when you wake up, utter a soft "thank you." For another day on this planet, for another chance to learn, another chance to love, and to succeed.
5) Accept the things that we cannot change. Sometimes things suck. Sometimes things aren't exactly how we want them to be. And sometimes these things are exactly as they're supposed to be, even when it's not obvious. Work on what we can change, live with what we can't.