Beyond the Surface: A Revolution in New Year's Resolutions

goal-setting self-awareness self-learning whole-hearted living Dec 29, 2023
New Year New Me text in open notepad in woman's hand on table at home. Setting goals and new year's resolutions.


Oh, the new year… it comes every 365 days and yet, it never feels the same. One thing that’s been consistent is that it feels like a time of renewal, intention-setting, and new beginnings. But something that’s seemed to consistently change for me is the nature of that renewal, those intentions, and beginnings. In this blog post, I want to share with you the evolution of my new year’s resolutions, as a reflection of who I’ve been and am becoming, and simultaneously ask you– what’s been the evolution of your resolutions and goals for your life?


The Vanity Era: Chasing Superficial Ideals


As I reminisce about the evolution of my resolutions, it’s not long before I see that, for a long time, they have been reflections of societal expectations and therefore fixated on superficial things: shedding pounds and sculpting an attractive body. It wasn’t too long ago, about 12 years I’d say, when my resolutions were dictated by the world's obsession with appearances. It was the stage of my life devoted to fitting into molds that society deemed perfect — an endless pursuit of looking good. And not just looking good, but being good, being successful, being… I weighed 110 lbs. and my physique resembled that of Lindsay Lohan (despite my body type being nothing of the sort) when I got my PhD 10 years ago.


The Quiet Revolution: Resolutions Find a Deeper Home


Over the last 12 or so years, a gradual and quite profound shift occurred inside me. My resolutions slowly stopped dwelling in the realm of appearance and instead found a home in the essence of who I am. I (and my resolutions, as a byproduct) underwent a quiet revolution. Much less focused on the superficial, they started to be more about the very core of who I am.



Cultivating Self-Love


The very core of who I am cares little about chasing an elusive image in the mirror. It cares much more about how I treat and care for myself. One pivotal shift I vividly remember was from desiring a 'perfect' body to simply nourishing and loving the one I’ve got. The mirror, once my harshest critic, started to reflect the growth of my character– who I am as a person. My resolutions went from being about 'looking good' to 'feeling good' so that I could embrace my inherent joy much more so than obsess about perfection. It took years, but soon enough the focus of my new year’s resolutions (and goals in general) shifted from the number of inches I could lose to the joy I could gain from how I loved and took care of myself.


Mindfulness Matters: Prioritizing Mental Well-Being


It wasn’t long before my resolutions began to express the value I’d started placing on qualities of mind like mindfulness. Prioritizing mental well-being over societal standards, practices like meditation and self-reflection became some of my greatest anchors. The emphasis shifted from outer appearances to inner peace and my ability to cultivate a resilient inner self amid life's storms grew.

Not only that, but the joy of learning started to take precedence over external validations. Around 2017, my resolutions started to involve acquiring new skills and fostering my creativity. I started taking partner dance classes which filled a hole inside me I wasn’t aware was there. People calling me “Dr” became much less important as the shift from 'looking accomplished' to 'being continuously enriched' infused my life.


Embracing Authenticity: The Freedom and Joy of Being Ourselves


Amidst the evolution of my resolutions was an unfolding in embracing my authenticity. As I started to get more in touch with the core of who I am, my resolutions started to reflect that awareness more. Once tangled in societal expectations, my goals and resolutions found a renewed vigor as I embraced the truth of who I really was and what I really wanted. And I felt much more free! The joy of being true to myself became a guiding light, infusing each of my intentions and resolutions with a sense of genuine fulfillment. For the first time in a long time, I was proud to be who I am, no matter what anyone else thought.

My goals and resolutions found a renewed vigor as I embraced the truth of who I really was and what I really wanted.


And part of being true to myself in the deepest way was defining and living by my core values. Aligning my resolutions with my values brought a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment. With my deepest values being authenticity and connection, the next evolution and focus of my resolutions was an easy and natural one… to nurture authentic, honest, heart-opening connections with people close to me and strangers alike.


Relationships at the Center: From External Gestures to Presence and Intention


Relationships are something that has always been dear to me, and I put a lot of effort into nurturing mine. But I also made a lot of mistakes as I learned what it truly means to create and maintain healthy, fulfilling relationships. As my understanding of what makes relationships healthy grew, so did my awareness of my part…my role… in it all. And not long after, in lieu of fixating on external gestures, it became my sincerest intention to be more present, to listen genuinely, and to show love generously. The goal transitioned from 'looking like the perfect human' to 'being a genuinely good human' in my relationships– platonic, professional, and romantic alike.

And, maybe the greatest evolution of all if you ask me was that my focus expanded to include my relationships not just with others but with myself. I started to really nurture my relationship with me. The most important questions to me became: How do I relate to myself when there’s something I need? How do I respond to myself when I feel sad or angry? How do I hold my thoughts and feelings when there’s inner criticism, judgment, insecurity, or other things that don’t feel good? And today, these are still the questions that guide my experience of life.


From Me-Centered to Heart-Centered Resolutions


There are many ways I can summarize this journey that I’ve been on and evolution that I’ve undergone, and that my life goals and New Year’s resolutions have reflected. The truth that I sit with this year is that I am right where I want to be: focused on being a loving partner, parent, friend, and human. It's about the impact I leave on people’s hearts, not the fleeting impressions I have on their eyes or minds.

And as I reflect on this journey, I'm thrilled to extend to you an invitation to join me in my free masterclass, "How to Be the Loving Partner or Parent You Want to Be." It’s an opportunity to join me in discovering the beauty of focusing on what truly matters– the heart and soul of who you truly are and want to be. Here's to a New Year's revolution that transcends the surface level “stuff” of our lives and helps us become who we came here to be so that we can have the impact on the people around us that we were born to have.


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