Podcast: The Best New Years Resolution Ever

Best new years resolutionIt’s such a cliche to talk about the Best New Years Resolutions, isn’t it? We all know they’re not going stick – well, at least not for the vast majority of us. We’re the same weight and fitness level we were last December, we haven’t made a significantly higher income, that old car is still in the driveway, and we still haven’t manned-up and booked that crazy vacation we know we deserve. So let’s change the game and resolve to do something that’s not only possible, but will provide peace of mind, stress relief, better relationships, and perhaps even motivation to tackle some of the other failed resolutions once and for all.

Introducing the best new years resolution ever:

Radical Forgiveness.

Stick with me. There’s a method to my madness. Listen to the podcast and check out the show notes below to see where I’m going with this. P.S. these next few podcasts are sponsored by Every Man Jack. Skin, hair, and shave care for men that give a damn. Use code: 1SHARPGENT for 25% off at checkout!

Each and every year, people make resolutions to be better versions of themselves. No matter what they resolve to do, it still carries with it the intention to make them better people. When your new years resolution is to finally pack you bags and take that month-long vacation to Europe you’ve been talking about since you were 22, you’re actually resolving to be a fearless world-traveling gentleman in the new year. Vacations and epic trips are only as good as the stories they create. You don’t want to go to Branson, Missouri in the new year. Hell no. You want Fiji. No, New Zealand. No, Chile. No, all of the above.

So let’s go over why radical forgiveness is the best new years resolution ever.

1. It’s often the strongest, manliest thing you could ever do.

Look, just like everyone else, some people have wronged you over the years. We’ve all been there. Maybe it was that one roommate that had relations with your girlfriend when you left campus for the weekend. What a dick, right? Perhaps it was something someone said to you that cut you down and made you feel small. It hurt so badly, you just tucked it away and pretended it wasn’t a big deal. Whatever the situation, you have carried around a grudge for certain peoples’ actions, and worse, you’ve carried one for your own stupid shortcomings.

Let that shit go. 

Forgiveness is manly because it demonstrates a maturity and humanity seen so seldom in grown men. It takes a strong man to forgive himself and others because it means he has to rise above the noise of every else’s opinion, and the allure of vengeance – something we all think about, but never do. Forgive yourself for looking like an idiot. Forgive yourself for not reaching all those previous goals. Forgive those that trespass against you. Forgive every damn person, including you.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.” – Ghandi

2. Your health will improve. Seriously.

Resentment is a poison you drink hoping the other person will die. Think about that for a second. That entire sentence is one truth after another. The poison of resentment and anger makes a huge difference in your health because it takes you away from feeling good and positive and capable and awesome. If you don’t go to the gym because you’ve never been able to reach your goals or consistently stick to a diet plan, you’re doing yourself a great disservice by holding that resentment.

Somewhere along the line, you probably told yourself something like, “you’re never going to stick to this. You’ll always be chubby. Give up the fight and accept it, fatty.” There’s nothing wrong with your weight or your body, but you made your body the bad guy. You made your inability to stick to it a character flaw. And worse, you allow it to define you today. So forgive yourself.

When you let go of all your past mistakes, and truly let the past be the past, you let the weight of all those mistakes fall off your shoulders. You stand taller, feel lighter, and approach the world more confidently. Your health will improve because your vision is clearer that it’s been in years. You can see what you want in front of you, and previous judgements aren’t clouding your lens anymore. Again, let that shit go.

3. You take control again.

When you carry the weight of someone else’s actions against you, you concede power to them. Justified revenge is one of the most widely accepted themes in the world, especially in action movies and literature, but we often miss the forest for the trees. Everyone loves to see the protagonist give evildoers the justice they so rightly deserve. The catch, however, is that the protagonist is often a broken character, void of feelings, vitality, social interaction, etc. The evildoers have, in fact, continued to ruin the protagonist’s existence long after an incident occurred. This is only possible because forgiveness hasn’t occurred, and the poison of resentment is coursing through his veins.

Take control and forgive whatever and whomever entered your space and screwed it up in the past. It took me a long time, but I recently forgave a woman that cut me deeply in front of our friends. It was such a shot to my sense of self that I refused to be vulnerable with her for the rest of our relationship (which wasn’t much longer, coincidentally). I was so mad, so hurt, so appalled that someone I cared about would simply throw me into a conversational wood-chipper and leave whatever remained splattered about the room.

Once I took the time to play through the moment again in my head, and truly forgive her for her part, I was able to forgive myself for mine as well. I took back the control. I am able to see it as a moment in the past, but it doesn’t have an emotional charge to it anymore. One of the things that makes a modern gentleman so slick is that he doesn’t get all wrapped up in gossip, grudges, or vengeance. He’s free of that weight. He keeps their control. You can too.

4. You set an example in Gentleman’s Etiquette.

This may not be important to you right now, but if you’ve got people watching you, it should be. Fathers, your kids are learning about forgiveness and justice and vulnerability from you. Guys, everyone from your kids to your coworkers looks to others for the best examples of how they should live their lives. Because role models these days are pretty lackluster, the younger generations are electing the Goddamn Kardashians.

Let. That. Sink. In.

You can help stop the slow decline into Idiocracy by taking a stand against blame, bitterness, resentment, and bad sportsmanship. You make a difference when you face pain and vulnerability and you forgive. It sucks. It’s hard. You won’t like it. But here’s the kicker: It will make you better. It will make your sons and daughters better. It will make you small corner of the world better. Let that be your best new years resolution!

5. It won’t cost you anything but will improve almost everything.

I truly saved the best for last on this one, huh? Forgiveness has no monetary cost, but the proverbial cost is what you make it – meaning, you can make it as arduous and taxing as you wish, or you can make it easier. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of endeavor. You have to gauge what you are willing to face so you can forgive yourself and others. Monetarily, however, this is much cheaper than a gym membership or personal trainer you’re not going to use after the second week of the new year. Let’s be honest.

Giving yourself the practice of radical forgiveness will improve your life dramatically because it takes away the weight of past mistakes. It takes away resentment. It takes away anger. It takes away poison. Your health will improve. Your relationships will improve. Your life will improve.

Now, sit there and tell me your original new years resolution is still better. Go ahead. I dare you. This will prove to be the best new years resolution for years if you start it right now. I promise.

You deserve this. You can do this. Gentlemen face fear and pain head-on, my friend. They fight and they forgive, and they do each with the same conviction and vigor. Both involve great feats of strength and fortitude, and a true gentleman knows when to dish out each.

Forgiveness is not easy, but it’s worth it. Every time. Do you have a story of how forgiveness has impacted
your life as a modern gent?Please share it in the comments below.

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The Author

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton is the founder and coach at The Sharp Gentleman, and helps men earn more respect while gaining confidence in who they are. He is a certified relationship coach and loves writing about men's fashion, style, character-building, relationships, travel, adventure, and more.