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Mental Health

Intentions Over Resolutions This New Year

Ladies, we have begun a new decade! Now is your time for a fresh start with beautiful beginnings waiting for you ahead. Life is so mysterious and beautiful, and the Universe tends to work its magic in mysterious ways. Sometimes events seem to happen that don’t really make us happy, even when we try our hardest to make everything work out perfectly. Maybe you find yourself dedicating hours of time in hopes to manifest perfection in a task you’re working on, whether it be trivial or not. We have all been there. But, the reality of life is that nothing is perfect. And that’s okay. A lot of people set New Year’s Resolutions that they swear they will start on January 1st, and genuinely think they will stick with it for the duration of the new year and indefinitely. I know I’m not alone when I think about all the resolutions I’ve neglected within the first month of the year, for many years. It’s kind of really hard to make a lifestyle change over night, and we should stop beating ourselves up when we fall back into old habits.

I spent New Year’s Eve of 2020 with wonderful friends and people I love so dearly. I met them in college at the Rutgers University Yoga and Reiki Club and they have certainly changed my life for the better. One of the girls in the group often hosts what she calls a “Feminine Sacred Circle” that focuses on rebuilding the self, letting go of the past, and trusting our intuition and spirit guides. She hosts these circles monthly. I’m mentioning this because it’s essential to realize that we have a chance to “start over” or make a resolution each morning when we start our day, and even from moment to moment. If we act in a way that fails to reflect the person we wish to exist as, we have the opportunity to reflect and change how we act in the following moment. 

This year for 2020, I decided I was going to pass on making a resolution, because truthfully there are so many things about myself and my lifestyle I wish to improve on. I want to workout more, cook more, get better at doing my makeup, stay more organized, and the list goes on and on. I know I’m not alone, as some of my resolutions are fairly generic, but genuine. So I don’t want to make a resolution to change all of those things, because I know how unrealistic it is. Those skills take practice, self discipline, time, and most importantly having the humility to fail and try again. So I do work on those things, and instead I’ve made an intention. I’ve decided to dedicate 2020 to being calm and kind… 

My intention to be calm and kind is something that with careful thought should be woven into my life, moment to moment. And to live with intention is a beautiful thing. It helps us to be more mindful and truly appreciate what it feels like to be alive.

That may sound silly, or something to describe what a millennial would say. That’s fine. I don’t mind if people think it’s weird, or bougie or whatever. It’s me, and it’s something that’s actually somewhat attainable to attempt on a daily basis. Being kind and calm is something I struggle with. And no, I’m not an impatient jerk. But I have struggled with anxiety over the years and I have felt my heart pound over trivial experiences on more occasions than I can count. It might happen from being cut off while I’m driving, or reading a completely ignorant and absurd post on social media. When I feel my physical reactions of a clenched jaw, a burning sensation in my head, or tightness in my abdomen, I stop and think, “Just calm down.” It’s as simple as that. I release the tension from my body so easily by just bringing awareness to what my body is doing. With an intention to be more calm, that doesn’t mean my initial reactions to things will initially change. I don’t expect it to. The same triggers and circumstances that have gotten under my skin before may continue to do so until I get my practice of remaining calm under control. 

It’s important to recognize that some intentional ways of living we set for ourselves as adults may be completely foreign to the coping strategies we were raised with as children. I am patient with myself. I was raised in a family that used anger as an initial defense mechanism, because that would allow for strength to be seen and to mask vulnerability effectively. I developed a similar pattern of reacting to conflict in life, because it’s what I was exposed to. I didn’t know any different and was led to believe reacting with anger was reasonable and healthy. And as I realized anger wasn’t the best go-to emotion for every day conflict, I began to think it was a bad thing that I had been raised to believe this. But I now realize that nothing is really good or bad- it just is.

Now I am no philosophical expert, but at some point in my deep thoughts about the purpose of life amongst others of the sort, I came to realize that there really is good in all evil and evil in all good. Nothing is good or bad, it just is.

That way of thinking may sound negative to some, but it’s actually aided my anxiety and hopelessness towards the fate of humanity as a whole, and has especially helped me remind myself to be calm and to retract my typically explosive reactivity.

I really think it’s important to never stop improving ourselves on a regular basis, and to constantly check in and make resolutions on how we can improve our wellbeing, health, work ethic, lifestyle routines, relationships, mental awareness, and compassion. With that, I invite you this year to treat every morning as you’re starting your new year’s resolution, and keep intentional living with you, always.

Sending kindness and tranquility your way.

Xo, Susie 

Hi, I'm Susie! I have an undying passion for sharing my thoughts through words. I am an animal activist, yogi, singer, and tea drinker. My favorite things to write about are health and wellness, veganism, and self discovery.
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