Now Is the Time to Decide What You’re Better Off Without

It’s time to make those silly resolutions again, isn’t it?

Time and time again, when the year ends, most of us feel like we have to make promises to ourselves like observing proper diet, being nicer, being cooler, being better–most of which we essentially forget soon as the New Year’s Eve high wears off. No worries, we’ve all had them.

What’s good about resolutions and the New Year in general is that they remind us of the things we need to fix. They remind us about the areas of our life that need improvement. They remind of the things we did or didn’t do the past year. Best of all, they remind us of the person we aspire to be thus, the New Year gives us a clear picture of where we are in life and why we should keep going.

But instead of resolutions and promises, why don’t you start evaluating? Most resolutions fail because most people only list the things they want to have; and while that’s an admirable trait of someone who’s goal-oriented, the first step in making resolutions work is deciding what you’re better off without.

To start over, you need to be without extra luggage. Starting over is an uphill climb and it will be way easier if you’re travelling light.

Be delivered from your past.

Maybe, 2013 didn’t quite work out for you. Maybe, it’s the worst year of your life. Maybe, 2013 is the worst idea you’ve ever had. But right now, you’re almost at the end of it. You are wherever you are about to embark on a new journey ahead. As cliche is this sounds and as overused as it may be, this is the final opportunity you have to take one last look at the year that had gone by, relive all the memories, and let them all go all at once.

You have to stop looking back because that’s not where you’re headed.

Nothing good comes out in holding on to grudges and negative emotions. It’ll weigh you down until it becomes heavy enough to drag you away from yourself. The best thing you can do about pain is to let it go. It’s not always easy but we all have to start from somewhere.

Every time the pain threatens you, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let it go. Do it repeatedly until it works. Just remember that it doesn’t actually work on first try, letting go is something you remind yourself of everyday; everyday until it becomes easier, until it becomes your second nature.

Forgive them.

Easier said than done, they say. Perhaps, they’re right, forgiving someone who caused you pain isn’t easy. The people who hurt us leave us battle scars that remind us, everyday, about the amount of suffering we endured amid betrayal and false hopes. It’s okay to feel angry and mad. It’s a feeling that us, humans, are designed to feel every time someone we love and trust disappoints us.

But the key word is endured.

Despite the pain that they have caused you, you are wherever you are right now, about to welcome the new year. And though you’re not as whole as you wish you are, it’s okay. Becoming whole again is a whole new different process, rather an easier step once you learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is like nursing an ankle injury. The first few attempts to walk again could be though but you push through it anyway. You push through the pain again and again until it doesn’t threaten you anymore. You push through the pain until it doesn’t hurt you anymore.

It takes time but you’re strong enough to complete the process.

Forgive yourself and go from there.

This is, perhaps, the best thing you can reward yourself with after a long, hard battle that is 2013.

We all make mistakes day in and day out. We make wrong decisions. Most of these mistakes and wrong decisions lead to another mistake. They pile up until it all becomes too much, until they all turn into one big mess and most days, that one big mess becomes our life.

As much as we want to blame it on others, we know–deep down–that our life is a collection of the decisions we made for ourselves; that no matter how we put it, we are our own responsibility. We know this, that’s why it’s harder to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive others.

But start by admitting your faults.

Start by accepting that you are responsible for your pain, for your healing; that no one other than you is responsible for your wounds. Start by accepting the fact that you did this to yourself.

But always remember to forgive yourself for it. Forgive yourself–everyday if you have to.

Make up your damn mind.

You’re never gonna get far if you don’t have a destination in mind.

Make brave decisions: travel alone, quit your job, get a driver’s license, go vegan. Whatever it is, just remember that It is important that you start the new year with a clear image of the person you want to become. It doesn’t have to be a specific career or body built. It only has to be someone that you will like. You have to be someone you like.

Do you want next year to be a repeat of this year? Or do you want to it to be different?

No one has it all figured out but you have a decision to make: do you want to be the same person next year?

Make up your mind. You pretty much had all year to see whether you want to continue becoming who you are right now.

Square your shoulders, keep your head up.

There’s a reason why we celebrate the new year.

It symbolizes hope above all things.

It tells you that no matter how bad the last 365 days had been, you’re at the verge of facing Day One of the next 365 days and you have the opportunity to turn your life back around. There’s no such thing as too late, only too slow and too scared.

So, square your shoulders and keep your head up because here is a chance for you to become whatever you didn’t become in 2013. Just remember that the first step is to brace yourself for it.

So, I wrote this for The Magic Room Project. Cross-posting this for lack of a proper year-ender.
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