Did you know that the practice of considering January 1st the start of a new year was literally made up by a dude in a toga 2,000 years ago? It's not even real, and I am going to prove it to you.
First of all, if you are in the northern hemisphere, look around you. Look at Nature. What is she doing? She is sleeping peacefully...nothing is growing, seeds are resting for spring, and animals are hibernating. Nature knows it is not time to bloom or blossom into something new. It's time to go inward and rest.
But if you look at humans, we are busy making resolutions to improve ourselves, hit the gym, wake up early, change our eating habits, promising to read more and doomscroll less, etc. etc. etc. At the same time we are being inundated by recommendations from many people that 2024 is your year, this is your chance to fix yourself, to change all the things you don't like about yourself and create a whole new version of you....all in the dead of winter.
So we make the goals, start doing all the things, quit cold turkey the stuff that we were using to boost our happy brain chemicals, and wonder why we fall off the wagon a month later. PSA - if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder or the winter blues this whole song and dance is even harder on you.
Why do we do this?
Why do humans think we are so different than Nature?
Well, I blame Julius Caesar. I also blame him for leap years because...well..he invented them.
FACT: Our modern day calendar is based upon the Julian calendar created by that dude. It was then modified 1,600 years later into the Gregorian calendar, which is what we still use today.
But it wasn't always so. Before Julius decided to rearrange humanity's dates, March 25th was widely considered by ancient humans to be the start of the new year. This is because it was around the time of the vernal equinox and when our ancestors planted crops. Ancient humans were more in tune with Nature and acted accordingly.
Why does this matter?
Because when JC changed the start of the new year to January, humans collectively decided it was a good time to hype ourselves up to create better selves. But when we do this we are literally going against Nature and our biology and setting ourselves up for failure. 🤦🏽♀️
No wonder so many new year's resolutions fail. Fuck Julius Caesar.
Why am I saying all this?
Because I want you to stop using January 1st to pressure yourself to become brand new when your body, mind, and dare-I--say soul just isn't meant to feel like becoming brand new in January. You are meant to rest, slow down, and know that the time for new life will come in the spring...just like it always does.
Less Resolutions, More Reflections
So, instead of wishing you a happy new year and getting you hyped up about resolutions, I'm going to do something different.
I'm going to suggest that instead of creating New Year's resolutions about what you want to change or get rid of, instead, think about what you want to continue.
👉 What is it about you that you want to take into next year?
If you are dead set on capitalizing on the collective energy of new year's resolutions, then how about making resolutions or asking yourself questions that focus more on inward positive change?
Consider these questions:
👉 How are your current habits negatively impacting your life?
👉 If you keep down this path, what will your life look like next year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
👉 If you keep down this path, what goals will you never accomplish?
These questions, answered bravely, honestly, and at the same time gently and compassionately, plant the seeds that will lead to positive outward manifestations. 🌱
Cuddle up with your favorite blanket, make your favorite hot beverage, get your favorite journal,
and answer all the 👉 questions I posed above.
HERE IS THE MAGICSAUCE:
Reread your answers in March, if they still resonate with you, formulate some external resolutions/goals based upon the motivation you feel from the answers you wrote in January, and TAKE ACTION. You might find that you are more likely to follow through and are more successful in creating a better version of yourself that you really, really like.👌
One more thing some of you might need to hear:
In a world that might seem batshit crazy, just making it to January 2024 is an achievement. It's more than ok if the only significant thing you did in 2023 was survive it. That alone is something worth celebrating because the world is better with you in it, you sexy beast, you. Look at you. I can't even - god you are gorgeous. 😍
From our slightly scandalous hearts to yours….
Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ and the Vets Against Insanity Crew 😆