Resolutions and tree trimming …

Resolutions will probably be a big blogging topic over the next few days. When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions it seems to be the same every year … we make them, we break them, and they are forgotten until next year. That is why I was going to skip this as a topic .. what more is there to say? Since I stopped making official New Year’s Resolutions awhile back, it is not a topic I should even be expounding on. It is not that I do not see the value in the practice of making resolutions … it is the haphazard way that they are typically made on this holiday that I have a problem with.

Traditionally, these resolutions are promises you make to yourself to change and improve something in your life … and you start on New Year’s Day. Why is it so difficult to follow through with a positive promise made to yourself? It could be the fact that the easiest person to lie to is ourselves. It could be that we make them in haste without much thought. It could be that we pick a habit to change that will require a miracle (or several years) to eliminate because it is so deeply rooted in who we are. It could be because we choose our resolutions for someone else – something we assume (or were told) another person close to us would like us to change. It could be that what we choose is really not important enough to us to work for .. without a doubt, change is tough work.

The practice of making a New Year’s Resolution is not all bad. Some people need this forced starting date to take control of something they have been meaning to work on for a long time. For some people, the start of the new year is significant and they invest their hearts in the resolution process. For those who are serious about their resolutions, there are a lot of meaningful and worthwhile tips out there on how to choose your resolution, how to start gradually, how to stick with it, self help websites and books are everywhere, counselors and spiritual advisors are available, too. These are all great things and have helped people turn their lives around who took the process seriously.

Let’s face it, resolutions are only as good as the motivation behind making them in the first place. With a deep desire, change is possible. Without thought, planning, support and commitment to the task … we are sure to fail.

I guess the point I am trying to get to is that we do not have to make an arbitrary resolution to change something in our lives on New Year’s Eve just because tradition says so. It just cheapens the meaning of what a true resolution is. Sort of like the word “friend” on Facebook distorts what the word friend really means. (more on “friend” definition)

Real change can take place at anytime during the year … and personally, I find those smaller, daily resolutions more effect and achievable. Success with a resolution is easily achieved at any time if it is something down deep inside that we really want to change. And, that is the catch, isn’t it …. truly wanting the change. Most people have at least a small dose of fear when it comes to change. Some fear the newness and others the uncertainty change will bring to their lives. Change has a ripple effect … you never know what it will lead to and that unknown can cripple our attempts to change. This fear can prevent us from even attempting change.

Jason Gray is one of my favorite singer songwriters … because he writes from a deeply human perspective about spiritual ideals. On his Acoustic Storytime CD, he speaks and sings of trimming the parts of your life away that are not fruitful. And, in doing so, we can then see what matters the most. It makes logical sense but, like resolutions, it is also a difficult thing to do … trimming is just a less threatening word for loss. However, whether it is easy or difficult to cut away the deadwood in our lives, some involuntary trimming takes place in all of our lives from time to time due to the nature of life itself. (listen to Jason Gray’s latest work)

Compare a tree, with it’s sturdy trunk and root system, branches growing off in all directions to our lives. During the years, we have the freedom to wander off down different branches of life .. some of these branches end up being dead ends and need to be trimmed away to keep our life healthy. Other branches that are strong and healthy continue to grow to make our tree of life fuller and more beautiful. But, that trunk and root system is what is most important .. it is our core and we need to stay in contact with it.

Life is not just chance. I believe there is a higher power directing the flow of my life and that there are reasons some of the branches I have grown are cut away. I also realize that I am given the power to really mess my life up or improve it with the resolutions, choices, and decisions I make every day.

Change is a constant … everything and everyone is changing daily .. there are so many options and decisions. If we don’t trim out the deadwood, we will be blind to the things that truly are the most important to us, the things at our core. If we don’t guide our life by making daily resolutions to improve it, things about our lives are going to change anyway due to circumstances and other people. We have two choices … we can attempt to direct the changes in our lives and try to point it in a direction we wish to go or we can choose to just sit back and allow circumstantial change and trimming to be forced on us.

Before you make a resolution this year, take time to trim some of the dead branches away first, so that you can clearly see what is needed in your life to make a valid and meaningful promise to yourself. Change is inevitable … why not apply some of what matters most to us to that change with daily resolutions that will help get us there?

On the lighter side of New Year’s Resolutions.


~ by bearyweather on January 2, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: