New Year, New You!
Just fucking kidding.
Every social landscape is hellishly littered with self-improvement memes and programs and promises right now.
And it is so boring.
I really chafe at the idea that I am supposed to be better, faster, and hotter than I was last year. I mean, of course, everyone wants to be better and faster and hotter, but the obligatory nature of resolutions makes them feel, well, like obligations.
And the only thing more motivating than obligations is peer pressure, right?
If you’ve ever made a resolution and not stuck to it, it’s not because there’s something wrong with you. It’s not because you didn’t try. It’s not because you didn’t want it enough or whatever the fucking law of attraction woo-heads tell you.
It’s because you didn’t need it. And some part of you knew that you didn’t need it. And that very smart part of you said, “fuck yeah,” to king cake after you swore off sugar. Go you.
The problem with resolutions is they’re arbitrary. Sure, there’s a lot of them available (because we’re capitalists and we want choices), but none of them are actually yours. Resolutions are part of cultural conspiracy to make you better at being status quo.
(I desperately want to go on a Marxist diatribe right now, but I am restraining myself. This is what restraint looks like.)
You don’t need to be status quo and you don’t need no stinking resolutions.
What you need are solutions to the problems that you actually have. The for real problems. The shit that keeps you up at night or wakes you up in a cold sweat or makes you uncomfortable all day long.
Take me, for example. You wanna know what keeps me up at night? Fucking everything. General anxiety. Racing thoughts. I can’t shut down. You know why? Because I have spent the past three years disciplining and policing my body and mind into submission and I don’t know how to have a good time anymore because I am so obsessed with checking the boxes and doing the things that I never do anything just because I wanna do it.
So my solution for 2018 is to move towards pleasure. In every moment (read: when I can remember), I am asking myself, “What does my body/mind/spirit want right now? What would I do right now if there weren’t any consequences? What would I do if no one was watching and would never find out? What would I want right now if I hadn’t already been told what I am supposed to want?”
The answers to these questions are sometimes complicated and sometimes not. And sometimes I am so stuck in my programming that I can’t even figure out what I want. But I have figured out a few things few things that move me closer to pleasure:
- Chocolate. I had it for lunch yesterday. I’m breaking out like a mofo, but who cares?
- Money. I am tired of having to think so hard about how to make ends meet and I am tired of people telling me that I shouldn’t care about money because yoga. I like beautiful things. I like to travel. I’m not going to feel shitty about it anymore.
- Sex. I have spent the past decade desexualizing myself so that 1. I wouldn’t make anyone uncomfortable ever and 2. I wouldn’t inadvertently sexualize yoga. In other words, I hope it makes you as uncomfortable to read this as it makes me to write it. You’re welcome!
Look, I am not saying that I am trying to become a money grubbing, cacao-drunk sex addict. I’m just saying that all my discipline and self-control is stressing me out. It’s a problem. And pleasure is the solution.
So, now it’s your turn.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out how to get to some solutions for making 2018 better than 2017:
- What were your three biggest problems in 2017?
- Which one of them do you have the most control over?
- What is a possible solution to that problem? Do you need to DO something or will it require a mindset shift?
- How can you integrate that solution into your everyday life?
- How will you remember to apply that solution? This means two things: 1. Tangible reminders (like post it notes on the fridge) and 2. Accountability (who can you make yourself accountable to that you know will support your desire to enact change?)
- Rinse and repeat with the other problems if possible and necessary.
And definitely eat the fucking chocolate.