Your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year!

My sense is that New Year’s Resolutions have gone out of style in the last several years, at least among those in my circles. Maybe they seem a little quaint. Maybe we have heard too many stories of people wasting money on unused gym memberships.

But I wonder how much of it comes down to so many of us being overwhelmed and burned out by our lives as they stand. We usually use our resolutions as a way to add more to our lives: new workout regimens or diets, some sort of professional training, a new creative project, a new instrument or hobby. The problem is: few of us have the time, space, and energy to take on new commitments. Most of us are at our very limit.

So here’s my invitation: For New Year’s this year, choose just one resolution. And instead of adding something new, make your resolution about letting go of some practice that drains, districts, or undermines you: perhaps drinking, cigarettes, cannabis, sweets, Instagram, a toxic or stale relationship, porn, staying at work past 6 pm, screen time after 9 pm, etc.

Such resolutions are often not at all easy. In fact, letting go of engrained habits or addictions can be among the most challenging endeavors we can take on. That’s why you just pick one.

But notice that letting go in this way doesn’t require you to commit any additional time or space from your life. Letting go of these habits actually gives you back space and time. And while letting go of engrained habits often requires some energy, before too long it will give you back the energy that your unwanted habit had taken from you.

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