Common New Year's resolutions:
Be a better spouse, Be a better parent, Be nicer, Be healthier
New Year's Resolutions like these focus on making other people happier with you. Maybe you think that will make you happy, but it won't (it won't make them happy, either). In order to be successful, resolutions must have a personal meaning. After all, it's your life, and no one can live it for you, or care about it or influence it as much as you do, or see what you see from your perspective or feel what you feel in your body. So, the one resolution you should make is....
This Year, I'm Gonna Make Peace With Myself!
And in doing so, you will in fact be a better spouse, parent, a nicer person and a healthier person! I promise! It will even help you to be better at work!
Common responses to this:
But I am at peace with myself! It's my spouse who wants me to change....*
How can I make peace with myself when I know how horrible I am?**
Wtf, it's not like I have multiple personalities up in here, all in conflict with each other!***
Total Breakdown, Sobbing Unabashedly****
But I digress. I want to explain how to go about making peace with yourself! Why? Because it's hard!
Your subconscious mind will work against you, without you realizing it. Negative feelings create negative behavior, and nothing good ever comes of negative behavior. We're supposed to be able to rise above our primal, instinctual feelings, and use them as a survival tool. But
Here's an analogy: when you delete an application from your hard drive, it doesn't get deleted completely, some caches and logs remain, just taking up space not being used. The human brain is the same way when we learn something new. The old information is still there and subconsciously influences your behavior and decisions, but you don't realize it.
For example: People who smoke cigarettes, smoke for a reason!
Smoking gives you cancer. That kind of news should be enough to make anyone quit as soon as they hear it, never mind the non-smokers bitching about how gross you smell and sound. If people continue to smoke, then it must be because they "believe" (subconsciously) it is helping them somehow (stay slim), and they are choosing the consequences of smoking as the lesser of 2 evils (they'd rather be dead than fat), subconsciously of course. Consciously, we all know the dangers of smoking, but our subconscious, our "core beliefs", as wrong as they may be, will trump the scientific data every time; basically our advanced human physiology allows us to feel right when we're wrong. We just don't recognize it in ourselves when it's happening. Damn those core beliefs!
So, in making peace with yourself, you must start to analyze yourself. Try to recognize the human part of you that allows you to think that you are correct and justified when you are not. Yeah, it's pretty fucking hard. You have to challenge every negative feeling you ever get, against an instinctual need to defend them, in order to think clearly. This takes LOTS of practice, and humbling!
Forget about what other people think, forget saving face or exacting revenge or not being defeated- fuck those guys and fuck this fake shit that doesn't matter; You must force yourself to practice the "fuck those guys" mental isolation technique to retrain your brain (get unstuck) and focus on what's important. Make it real somehow, apply it to your life; it may seem weird at first, but so does an exercise routine. It will get easier! Especially since this fight is between you and you alone! This does not concern anybody else! Fuck those guys! Fix you! It's harder than you thought, but it will be worth it for all of us, I promise!
For example: that moment when the conversation turns into a fight. You don't know exactly how, but something was said that made you feel offended, right?
Your instinct is to retaliate or defend, BUT DON'T! Don't say a fucking thing. Learn to RECOGNIZE this offense without responding or reacting to it. This is an exercise in regret prevention, and you'll thank me later, when you manage to prevent a big fight, you normally would've had, because you learned this simple technique!
First, you have to make sure you understand what it is you are feeling offended about, and is it just, or uncalled for? Are you feeling resentment that you caused by being untrue to yourself? It is common enough, I'll tell you that right now; I know a lot of people's business. We're all the same. We all need the same advice. Eventually we all fess up.
Because we're not prepared! We don't know ourselves at all! We can make excuses, we can get by. I don't do that anymore, not after years of therapy. I get it now. Most people don't get it. If you didn't learn to get it from your parents, that means they don't get it either and still don't.
Some people treat themselves to guilty pleasures, which is the opposite of being true to yourself! It's like, being your own Pinocchio peer pressure bully! Somehow convincing you that to trade your schoolbooks for a ticket to the freak show will yield no negative consequence! Guilty pleasures? Guilt and pleasure do not even belong in the same sentence, as they cannot live for very long in the same body! Guilt comes back when the pleasure's all done, and gets bored and restless and creates new problems! My advice: Strive for a guilt-free existence by being honest with yourself and everyone around you. Don't do things that you know will make you feel guilty later. Stop betraying yourself. You're all you've got!
*If you're ok with yourself the way you are but your spouse isn't, and you're willing to change yourself to suit the spouse, then you are not at peace with yourself. Personally, I'd look for a new spouse.
**If you are truly horrible, you must be a sociopath; sociopaths do not have feelings, and wouldn't be reading a blog about new year's resolutions because they ain't changin' shit. Most likely, you've done or said some horrible things and your guilt and embarrassment is the punishment you know you deserve. So you're stuck in a subconscious cycle of self hatred and self destructive behaviors that feed your self hatred..... but you must be a good person, otherwise you wouldn't feel guilt or embarrassment in the first place. And you're reading this, so you're open to learning thus growing, and that's actually the most respectable thing a human can do in their spare time!
***Yes, you do!
****It's not your fault! It's not your fault! It's not your fault! It's not your fault!
Seriously, it's not your fault. You were born without your permission. You were taught what ever the fuck your people teach their young, and that is not your fault, or your parents' fault, even- it's way bigger than that, so... Everybody knows you had nothing to do with creating your core beliefs, they are incidental. Accidental even. Picked up along the way, indeed. Acquired. That's a fact.