I’m calling this a resolution-free new year, and I’m saying it loudly because I feel proud that I’m bucking the trend. (I’m a Trend-Bucker! Look out, Trends! You’re about to be Bucked!)
But that’s not exactly true. I did make one, I’m just sort of embarrassed about it.
Here it is: I resolved to not just eat food to be polite.
I do this all the time. Maybe we’re having a small get together, and somebody brings over a snack, like, say, Lays Brand Potato Chips. I am under the (apparent) misconception that like if I don’t wolf down the whole bowl, snatching it away others people and making audible gobbling noises, the person is going to have their feelings hurt because their chip-bringing wasn’t met with sufficient enthusiasm. Like that person’s entire self-worth is wrapped up in what percentage of the bowl of Lays has been eaten.
I hate hurting people’s feelings. I never, ever play jokes on people. Ever. I don’t like making people look dumb. And that’s fine. But this isn’t hurting people, right? And frankly, it can’t be great for my cholesterol, I’m guessing?
So my resolution, in a nutshell, is this: Don’t risk having a premature heart attack to protect people’s feelings who frankly aren’t even noticing whether or not you ate the potato chips they picked up five minutes before coming over.
Okay, so that one aside, I’ve made nary a resolution. And lemme tell you something – that’s a feeling of freedom, right there. Why? Because it means I don’t have to constantly find new sources of motivation to keep a resolution that I never really wanted to make in the first place.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, because I’m currently doing this series for this Huffington Post based on a talk I gave one time, focusing on the difference between motivation and inspiration.
To me, motivation is a kick start. Inspiration is something that gets in you and propels you forward, every day. I don’t think they are the same. In fact, inspiration, if it is true inspiration, actually mitigates the need for constant motivation, if that makes sense. Not that you don’t need the kick-start – you just don’t need continuous restarting.
Even without making resolutions, I am trying to live life better. I’m already working harder this year, which I wanted to do. I’m finding time to get regular exercise – something I’ve been putting off. I’ve been motivated by a need to improve in those areas, as I talked about in my last blog. But I’m not fooling myself into thinking “Okay, since I’ve done this in the first few days of 2012, I’ll continue it every day for the rest of my life.” Not at all.
But what I am finding is this: the very act of writing about inspiration and motivation, reading books about it by brilliant minds (there are a ton of amazing books on motivation out there), and keeping a notebook with me to keep track of my own thoughts on it…well, that’s inspiring me. Writing about things keeps me honest, and inspiration is rooted in honesty. Honesty about yourself and what you really, deeply want out of life.
So in this Resolution-Free New Year (except for the whole being-polite-by-eating-potato-chips thing…did I mention that?), I’m off to a good start. I’m letting the things that truly inspire me, inspire me, and I’m not letting them go. I’m working hard at them.
I’m also sure I’ll falter along the way. But you know what? Who cares? Because they weren’t etched in stone, right? And maybe I’ll need a kick start along the way. That’s okay too. Whatever keeps us going.
And man, now talking about those potato chips has me craving them. Anyone want to come over tonight? Just to hang out. No need to bring anything! Unless you want to pick up chips on the way or whatever. No biggie.