“Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.” -Oshu

Each year many of us attempt New Year’s resolutions. Each year most of us fail.

We fail because a new month, a date on the calendar, and a new year are all social fictions. There is actually no such thing as January 1, 2016. This is odd but true.

What actually is January? We arbitrarily label 31 days strung together as January, and claim it is the first month of the year. What is a month? Originally meant to follow the phases of the moon, but this no longer serves the same aim. What is a year? We believe it to be 2016 like this is some real, tangible thing.

A day is how we measure one rotation on the earth’s axis. A month is a loose interpretation of the lunar cycle. A year is one lap around the sun.

What do any of these have to do with striving toward self-actualization?

The modern world has forgotten that we made up these terms. They actually have no worth outside of that which we ascribe to them. We use the romanticism of the holiday season to inspire us to lead better lives in the following year which is great. We expect to wake up on the first of January feeling somehow reinvigorated and inspired to win the year. But even if we do feel this, it lasts for a few days or weeks then we falter.

We falter because we use the calendar as a means of extrinsic motivation when the calendar itself has no real value in terms of the higher matters of the soul.

If we wait till January 1st to make a change we never will. This is because deep down we all feel how arbitrary and utterly absurd it is to pay any value to these fictional lines of distinction.

Spark Your Growth

Do not make a new year's resolution because the new year has nothing to do with your life. Take some time in the next few days for quiet reflection. Give yourself the space to explore your depths. Determine what causes your joy and your suffering. Make a resolution to change the things you can, and learn to accept the things you cannot. Resolve to strive toward something worthy of your choosing. Not because it is a new year, but because you have enough self-respect and appreciation to value your life in a way where you will no longer settle for the life you are currently leading.

Make a resolution. Practice resolve. Do so because you love yourself. Not because the heading on your cell phone home screen has a different number at the end of it.

For further thoughts on the concept of New Year's resolutions, check out Mark's post about redefining the term.