Reflections on Resolution

by Orly Wahba

A resolution is more than something we make at the beginning of a New Year; it’s something we contemplate at the end of one as well. The concept of resolving something means that before you begin a new chapter, you must first take an accounting of the chapter that’s just about to close. Afterall, how can we figure out where we’re going before we take the time and effort to understand where we’ve been; the mistakes we’ve made, the accomplishments we’ve achieved, the person we’ve become, the hopes realized and dreams pursued, the missteps and the choices that led us to where we are in the here and now.

For most, we create lists upon lists of what we hope for the future – what we envision the new year to bring. However, we don’t invest ample time evaluating the past. For some, looking at the past is scary. It brings up emotions that we may rather stay hidden, locked away. But we can’t hide from our past. Whether we like it or not it’s a part of who we are but it doesn’t have to define where we will go. For some, the past makes us feel sad. Perhaps we’ve strayed from the person we had hoped we would become, perhaps we have lost sight of what’s important in life, of who is important in life. Or perhaps looking back makes us feel guilty of the things, the people and the memories we left behind. Creating meaningful resolutions isn’t easy because it requires that we shed light on the darkest parts of ourselves. For some, remaining in the darkness is preferable. After all if you ignore what you need to change, you have no responsibilities. But responsibilities and “growing pains” are the reasons we live life. We are here for one thing – to improve our character. Not to compare ourselves to this person or the other, but to compare ourselves to who we are meant to be. Feeling guilty never helps anyone. When resolving to make resolutions be careful not to allow the gap of where you are to where you want to be crush you and stop you in your tracks, preventing you from taking the first step. We can’t climb a mountain overnight, but we can take steps each day to ensure we reach the top.

Resolution comes from the Latin word resolvere which means to loosen or release. When we think of resolution – the concepts of being determined, firm and strong willed come to mind. But when we look a little closer we learn that to make a lasting resolution – one that will stick – we need to loosen our grip. We need to take a moment to step back, reflect and experience true release. Only by doing so can we begin to break things down into its parts. Once we do that, we now have a blueprint instead of one larger than life goal. As I always say, Dream BIG, but think small! Don’t forget to list the small steps you will need to take to turn that dream into a reality.

But be aware – just because breaking things down into their parts is an important process in creating a resolution, focusing too much on the exact pathway you think you need to take to get you there is dangerous. It can blind you from seeing other pathways you never knew existed. A true resolution is a perfect meld of both release and control; of being cautious and taking a risk. Too much of either can leave you feeling frustrated.