The Importance of New Year's Beyond Resolutions
In every religion and culture - probably without a fault - there lies in it a rich tradition, annual in nature, that centers the individual and the community around reflection, introspection, and moving forward.
If all we do all day is drive ourselves to a goal, we will burn out. If all we do is reflect, then we will never accomplish anything.
I am glad that our ancestors divided our timespans on earth into days and weeks and years, so that we can have some sort of grasp and analysis of what just happened to us and to build some sort of anticipation for the future.
Of late, I've been studying Echart Tolle; and borrowing from some of his perspective, I would like to propose this framing of his philosophy: preparing for our future selves' experience.
We need to divide ourselves into three parts: past, present, and future versions of [insert your name here.]
The past you has had his/her trials and triumphs, experiences both good and bad. Learn what you can from your mistakes - don't ruminate. Rumination leads to paralysis of analysis and endless self-recrimination.
The present you is the part you experience the most. So, aim for the most balanced life you can attain and enjoy the rareness of life that the Universe has given you: the ability to be conscious and feel.
But, the future you has feelings too. Learn to build the best life for your future self. What you want for you kids. What you want for your job. How you want your home to look and be. The type of rhythm that would be ideal for your average day. Then do whatever you have to do in the present moment...to acheive that end.
You are important. Your future you is important. And the steps that you take today to create the best version of you possible in the future is important.
Trust me. The future you will thank you for it!
Therefore, the tradition of New Year's is more than resolutions. It's a time for all three "yous" to come together...and be one.