Here are some interesting statistics I just found regarding New Year’s resolutions:
*40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year.
*Among the top new years resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and stopping to smoke. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management / debt reduction.
*The following shows how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on:?- past the first week: 75%?- past 2 weeks: 71%?- after one month: 64%?- after 6 months: 46%
*While a lot of people who make new years resolutions do break them, research shows that making resolutions is useful. People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
I once heard that the more specific the resolution, the greater chance of you keeping. So that would mean that this year I have absolutely no shot at keeping my resolution. Because it is very vague, abstract, and is impossible to measure whether or not I am actually keeping it.
But I am sick of these lame resolutions I make each year: to spend more time with the kids, to decrease my stress, to call my mom more, to have consistent date nights. Snore.
So this year’s is to be okay in all the chaos: to be less obsessed about finding the answers, and more content in navigating through all the messiness in my life.
I have always loved the three- or four-line passage from Ranier Maria Rilke about learning to love the questions. The other day I came across the context of the letter in which it appears in Rilke’s book, “Letters To a Young Poet,” and I find it beautiful. So this, below, is my New Year’s resolution:
I think you will not have to remain without a solution if you trust in things that are like the ones my eyes are now resting upon. If you trust in nature, in what is simple in nature, in the small things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor; then everything will become easier for you, more coherent and somehow more reconciling, not in your conscious mind perhaps, which stays behind, astonished, but in your inner-most awareness, awakeness, and knowledge….
I would like to beg you … as well as I can to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a foreign language. Don’t search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Perhaps you do carry within you the possibility of creating and forming, as an especially blessed and pure way of living; train yourself for that—but take whatever comes, with great trust, and as long as it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your innermost self, then take it upon yourself, and don’t hate anything.