How do you ring in the New Year? Do you make a list of resolutions to start the year? American culture tends to focus on them. People who make a list of things they want to accomplish in their New Years Resolutions often lose steam part way through the year.
I recently heard of a method for avoiding this. Instead of just writing a list of things to accomplish, first take some time to reflect on the previous year and find things that worked well. And, ponder the things that did not. Perhaps looking at what did work and what did not will help you understand yourself. Making resolutions you cannot keep will only provide disappointment. Instead, try to make resolutions with a clearer perspective that will help you succeed. For example, maybe you need a partner to help you consistently exercise? Or maybe you need to set aside a vacation as an incentive to pay off debt? Understanding your strengths and weaknesses can help you.
Let’s take a look at the Chinese New Year celebration. It is a time to clean out the old, let go of grudges, become ready to welcome the new, a start fresh. In China, the New Year is based on a Lunar Calendar, meaning the specific date varies, this year it is on January 23rd. The Chinese tradition marks each year with an animal symbol. For 2012, it is the year of The Dragon – the most powerful of all the symbols.
One of the more famous celebrities born in the Dragon Year is Bruce Lee. He is famous for his Martial Arts mastery, and was one of the first to perform in American Films. What many don’t know is that he was also a writer, who wrote essays about philosophy and how it applied to Martial Arts. He believed in using strengths, working to follow a competitor, to react like an echo instead of attacking. This is a powerful idea, especially when writing New Year Resolutions. Perhaps, we can look at life as something to not control ourselves, but to experience and react in a way that doesn’t break us.
And, perhaps we can learn from the Chinese New Year Celebration and let go of what happened last year, make room for the new, a fresh start.
May your New Year be full of happiness,
Holli Margell, Editor