I can’t decide which is more trite: making new year’s resolutions or hating new year’s resolutions. Or even commenting on how trite both of those are. A paradox of platitudes.
Ana Marie Cox (of Crooked Media’s “With Friends Like These”) decided that instead of resolutions she would set intentions, because resolutions can be won or lost but intentions can only grow and be made stronger. She described it as the intention to drink more water in 2019 can’t be broken like a resolution to work out everyday or to lose twenty pounds because it is lacking in specificity and thus creates an environment where growth is delighted in rather than mandated.
Looking back over the past year, the times when I felt the most happy were when I felt the most good, when I was more honest, when I was vulnerable, when I listened and stopped interrupting, when I could be there for people who needed someone to be there.
I was not consistently good, in fact I wasn’t very good most of the time. I was selfish and I was closed off and I let harsh words pour out of my mouth more times than I can count. I was messy and I was lazy and I flaked on people and broke promises.
The only reason I was able to be good at all was because of all of the ABSOLUTELY terrible things that happened. I had a client who farms long-needled pine trees tell me that every three years you have to burn the ground around the trees because the fire activates the seeds that have been waiting to grow. I think that I needed the ground around me to burn to show me how to grow.
So this is what I want for the next year. Not a resolution or a goal or anything too specific.
This year I am setting the intention to grow in goodness. To be more and more good to myself and to others. And I don’t think there’s anything trite about it.