In the words of the great Oscar Wilde, ‘I can resist anything but temptation.’ Which is partly why my plan to NOT make a heap of new year’s resolutions seemed so clever to me. There’s nothing like a pile of prohibitions to bring out the hedonist in me. One day I may grow up and stop behaving like a naughty schoolgirl but in the meantime it’s best to be practical and accept my limitations.
So, two weeks in how am I doing with my one simple resolution?
The simple answer is: really well. I’m contented and generally feel like I am making some small but positive changes in my life. Step by painless step. My life hasn’t changed radically overnight but that’s possibly the point. Real, lasting change is not about a 10 hour makeover. It’s about slow, steady, sustained movement towards positive goals.
Don’t get me wrong – dangle the potential of a whirlwind whisking me into effortless and instantaneous happiness in front of me and I’m as much of a sucker as the next person. Possibly more. But that is also how I have accumulated enough experience to realize that that kind of stuff doesn’t stick.
So, for example, I haven’t made any rash promises to give up alcohol entirely in 2013. However, having not given up alcohol I have found that I have barely drunk any. This has been easy, because I haven’t been focused on alcohol and thinking about giving it up…..and ergo thinking about alcohol more than usual.
I have been simply trying to focus on ‘being the uncarved block’ and trying to do what feels right at every juncture of every day. I have been asking myself the question: ‘does this feel right?’ and, crucially, stopping to listen to the answer. It’s amazing how powerful this can be and, conversely, how it deflates the power from temptations.
I may not yet have *quite* achieved Winnie the Pooh levels of ‘uncarved block’ -ness but that’s okay because it’s not about resolutions it’s about the road.