Ah, the New Year. Touted as a time of renewal and rejuvenation, humans begin a mad dash for self-improvement, hurtling through time and space towards an elusive destination of “a better you.” Intending to feel better, look better, and do better, we pile our plate with high expectations and the pressure builds. Some might say it’s a recipe for burn-out.
As cats see it, humans spend a lot of time and energy on the wrong New Year’s Resolutions. They look at us running on treadmills and wonder why we’re working so hard to go nowhere fast… There’s nothing to chase! Why are they running?? It’s clear they’re oblivious to the pressures of being human, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two from their sage ways.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your New Year’s Resolutions in 2020, forget the life coach - everything us humans need to know can be learned from the cat’s I-do-what-I-want approach to life. Introducing, the cat’s guide to New Year’s Resolutions...
Resolution #1: Don’t be afraid to get dirty.
Mindfulness is making its way into the mainstream and being in the moment is sure to spur your growth while cultivating contentment. Cats are notorious for their cleanliness, but they love a good roll in the dirt. They’re not afraid to get dirty with purpose; it helps them cool off, mark their turf, and keeps digestion healthy amongst other things, plus… it feels amazing. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty as you go deeper into things that bring you joy. Disconnect from thoughts and ruminations as you immerse yourself into the moment, looking to your body to show you what it needs and wants. Let “does it feel good inside and out” be your guide as you explore new ways to soak up the moment.
Resolution #2: Only chase things that matter.
It’s time to stop obsessing over things you can’t catch and focus your energy on the things you can. A cat can dream of hunting an eagle, but IRL, a cat is an eagle’s prey. Would it make an amazing trophy to lay at the feet of its human? 100%, but you won’t catch a housecat chasing an eagle. And you? Are you chasing the wrong things? When you meet reality where it is, your perspective will shift and it’s easier to find joy and meaning in things that are worth chasing, like mice, sparrows, and snakes. You got this.
Resolution #3: Ask for what you want.
If a cat wants you to scratch her ears and vigorously pat her rump, she’s got no qualms about making her desires known. As a human, how do you get what you want? Expecting people to read your mind can leave you feeling powerless and frustrated - it’s OK to ask for what you want and be clear about your intentions. And don’t be afraid to set boundaries - when people assume they can rub a cat’s belly (just because dogs love it) said cat delivers a swift bite to the hand to make her stance clear while protecting her energy. Be more cat.
Resolution #4: Leap.
Sometimes, even when you’re not sure if you’ll make it, you take the leap anyway. Jumping into the unknown can be scary, but you won’t know what you’re capable of if you don’t move beyond your own backyard.
Resolution #5: Seize the day.
When you stop “shoulding all over yourself”, you create space for discovery and forward motion. Cats spend much of their day in quiet contemplation, pondering their cat-ness and readying themselves for action. As you make time to get quiet and listen to your intuition, it becomes easier to discover and follow your curiosity and passions. A life full of meaning and adventure looks different for everyone and we can look to cats, who can find joy in stuffing themselves into small cardboard boxes, as we search for ways to fully engage in simple ways.
Being in the moment, finding true meaning, cultivating gratitude, and practicing acceptance as you seek change and growth will guide us toward being a little less human and a bit more cat. In 2020, work to stay true to you by embracing your inner feline and know that it’s OK to be self-centered when it comes to real self care. It’s gonna be the best year ever.