Is there any sense in making new year resolutions?

Making new year resolutions can improve our lives if we diligently work on them. Even if we never carry on with them, by writing down resolutions it gives us the chance to dream of a better life. Yet, if we are wholeheartedly dedicated to our resolutions, there are a few tips to remember in order to avoid disappointment at the end of the year when we do the maths and we see that we are far away from reaching our goals.

When a new year is about to begin, some of us like to make a list of resolutions. For the last 4 or 5 years, I’ve made resolutions that would help me live my dreams.

Throughout the year, I would get entangled into the events that life brought in my way and I would lose focus of my resolutions. At the end of the year, I would have feelings of failure and disappointment coming from my incapability to kick-start or complete my personal or professional projects.

Dan Puric, a Romanian actor, once said “If you want God to laugh, tell him about your plans.” Many of us don’t see the point in making one year plans. Some of us succumb to higher forces of life and cope with life situations that require different skills, emotional reactions and actions than those that would lead to reaching goals.

I am somewhere in between pursuing goals with determination and waiting to see what plans the destiny has in store for me. For example, for years, I’ve been planning to write a book on spiritual development in a foreign environment. I’ve started two drafts already. But year after year, I faced other challenges, which required my energy and time that I would have otherwise put into writing my dream book.

I’ve learned a few things about reaching goals:

  1. Have a list of huge and ambitious goals to work on. Keep it short – two, three at maximum.
  2. Have some self-discipline and break the big goal into smaller steps to follow through each month of the year.
  3. Be ready to put on hold the work on a project in favour of more important life situations that you didn’t envisage in the beginning the year (i.e, the birth of your child, the illness of a parent, etc)
  4. Keep focus on what is more important, that is your wellbeing. Therefore, no matter what happens, don’t beat yourself up if at the end of the year, you have still to work on your list of top goals. As a matter of fact, it is very valuable what you’ve learned from the unexpected experiences you lived. What insights into yourself did you gain? For example, if you maintained your inner peacefulness through challenging times, most likely you’ll have the energy to get back to where you left your work-in-progress.
  5. Be flexible to revise and even change your new year resolutions throughout the year. Goals may be too idealistic or unrealistic. Unexpected opportunities may come along. You may lose interest in pursuing a certain goal. For example, you may have aimed at finding a job abroad but then something happens and you realise you want to stay close to your family. You may have aimed at losing 20 kg but by the time you lost 15 kg you feel that it is time to stop because the respective weight is just perfect for you. Life is about change, so allow your goals to change as you gain more insight into your life.

Reaching goals can give feelings of satisfaction, achievement and meaningfulness. Above all, it is a process that challenges our beliefs and skills. If at the end of the process we are better persons than before, than this is the most priceless achievement.

How about you, do you like making new year resolutions? How do you manage the process of turning them into reality?

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Living without desires?

Embracing braver attitude towards change

Who said that it is easy to follow your dreams

Why does falling in love not always have a happy ending?

“Because two people fell in love”. This is how it started the invitation to a friend’s wedding. My friend had been in love in previous relationships. Still, it was only once when falling in love took her all the way to the altar.

In the Western societies, we have the freedom to look for partners in love, the way we think it suits us the best. Some of us look for Mr Perfect, others look for someone to love, just the way he/she is. Irrespective of whom we are looking for, falling in love is the easy part. Without being aware, we, women are influenced by the romantic comedies we watch and the romance novels we read. I’d like to know if there is any woman who hasn’t read “Pride and Prejudice“, at least once in her life. Our minds get full of false expectations, which push us even further from understanding what real love is.

Another false expectation is for things to be easy when we feel real love. “There is no such thing as two people meant for each other.” says Michelle Givertz when she talks about successful relationships (http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201112/are-you-the-right-mate?page=5). She argues that one needs to adapt and to know oneself in order to get one’s needs fulfilled in a relationship. I totally agree on that. Relationships require deep understanding of ourselves and open communication with our partners.

The part which I disagree on is the one about two people not being meant for each other. I believe there is the hand of fate that orchestrates circumstances to enable the two people who fell in love to get united in the holy matrimony. By the time when the game of destiny is over, we say wholeheartedly, “I do!” in front of the priest, the family and friends. See for example, the story behind Elizabeth Gilbert ‘s marriage (Committed A Love Story). I keep on giving her as an example in my posts because I find her stories to be very inspiring (and I love her funny writing style). Another example is another friend whose first attempt to wed failed. She moved to another country where she met her present husband. In my case, the leaking ceiling in the flat triggered the chain of events, which led to our marriage decision. Today, it feels that the decision didn’t even belong to us and it was taken before we even met.

It took me some time after getting married to realise what an act of bravery my husband and I had committed. And everyone who gets married commits this act of bravery when you welcome in your bed, soul and mind, the person who is going to affect the most your well being. Do we really know the person we marry? Do we really know how we ourselves are going to change? We only have the hope and willingness to keep up with each other throughout life.

In the long-run, there is no guarantee that we won’t suffer. In some relationships, the harder we try, the more things don’t work out. We may transform ourselves into better persons. We may read loads of books, which offer tips about successful relationships, such as Christine Meinecke’s “Everybody Marries the Wrong Person” (don’t get fooled by the title, it is a book full of wisdom about relationships). The best thing we can do is to learn from sufferance and reinvent ourselves.

Sufferance is a part of good marriages also. But if after sufferance, we feel the sweet taste of harmony, then we are in a good marriage. Arguing is a part of good marriages too. But if after each argument, we feel that we’ve grown to understand ourselves better, then maybe we are meant to stay married for a longer period of time.

Two people are meant to fall in love. The hand of destiny decided if they’ll walk hand in hand in marriage or if they’ll remain the sweet-bitter memory of a lifetime.