I was away over the new year and on New Year’s eve I was randomly asked by a TV reporter from the local TV network what my resolutions were for 2012.
Up until that point I hadn’t taken much time to think about it. I don’t even remember what I replied, I know that it must have been something about me not being a big fan of new year’s resolutions, but since she was asking me, and since there was a camera staring me in the face, I figured why not take the opportunity. So it went something like this “continuing to take one day at a time and to keep practicing on bringing my awareness to the present moment”. Simple, yet a big enough task for the year!
The reporter then followed up by asking me if I believe in the effectiveness of resolutions and if I could share my thoughts on the topic. Not an unlikely question that I was surprisingly eager to respond to (despite being caught off guard as I was taking a pause in the warm sun with my 8 month old baby outside of Whole Foods). Again, though I don’t remember specifically what I said, it must have been something along the lines of ” if making new year’s resolutions is something you choose to take on then – ‘listen to your heart, have the resolutions be authentic and let this energy propel you each day, not just on the 1st day of the year”. I also must have added that it is indeed a good time to ride on the collective wave of energy often focused on how we can create feelings of renewal, rejuvenation and transformation for the coming year.
All this to say, this brief interview got me thinking again about resolutions. I then remembered I wrote a blog post last year around this time about the exact topic. It served me to read it again and thought I would include it below. Please feel welcome to leave your comments!
All the best to you for 2012!
4 Tips to create resolutions that last!
It’s that time of the year again…
Though goals and good intentions are welcome any day of the year, a fresh new start to the year is a good time to benefit from this collective wave of energy where we take stock and look ahead at what is to come in the following months. Though I believe it is important to always be mindful of what we want daily, what inspires us and in which direction we want to go, for many of us, this time of year adds extra gusto the the meaning of clean slate, goal setting and fresh start. Here are some tips I have put together that might lend some insight into creating resolutions (goals) that last for this New Year.
1. From the Heart: It is important your resolutions come from a genuine heart desire, not from “shoulds, coulds, have-tos, ought-to-do’s”. Any wishful, ego-driven desires, often dictated by others, or the idealized image of ourselves, are generally not authentic and will likely fall by the way side. Instead can you shift your focus to what inspires you. To what you actually want to do but have not gotten around to doing. What energizes you and really matters to you? Try and dedicate your resolution and commitment to something of this nature, something that feels inviting and exciting, rather than dutiful and dreadful. Make it easy and unique to your natural expression, like a gift you are giving yourself, not an obligation or task to add to the already daunting ‘to-do’ pile!
2. Commit and Gain Support: Choose a close friend or family member and speak your resolution out loud. Does it feel true? Does it feel right? Does the timing feel ripe? These are all questions to ask yourself out loud, to ready yourself to get committed to your goal. And maintain this relationship with your friend/family for accountability, to help stay on track, focused and supported.
keep reading the 2 remaining tips by clicking below
3. Start small: According to Christine Carter, Ph.D. from the Greater Good Science Center the science of change suggests that the best way to make a change is to start with turtle steps, in other words, start small! Choose one goal and devote your time and awareness to it each day. Don’t overshoot the goal by projecting into the future three months from now, feeling it is unattainable and getting defeated before you get started. Start small, back up to a goal for the day or for the week and proceed from there. And remember with any change, we can often take one step forward and 2 steps back. We need to remember that it is the process that counts most not the end result. Carter also suggests that if we do keep stumbling upon defeat with this new goal, you may just need to make the goal easier.
4. Being and Feeling rather than Doing and Thinking:. The more we think we have to do something or have something to be happier, the farther away from attaining resolve we will be. Who you are and what you feel in the world is what creates your moment to moment satisfaction. We need to change the way we perceive resolutions so they don’t lead to endless dissolution year after year! Try focusing on how you want to feel rather than what you have to do. For example: you may want to feel healthier this year, fitter, more energetic. Rather than setting a goal of losing 10 pounds by March, can you be curious about what would it would be like to feel healthier. Imagine what would be different in your life as a result of this new feeling. What would you be doing? What would you be feeling? What would be different? Spend time with this answer and allow it to expand within your consciousness as often as you like. And you may find this aligns you with the result of this goal more easily. For some the feeling of being healthy might look like adding an extra 20 minute walk to their day on one particular day, and taking a 15 minute cat nap the next. Can you be open to your commitment to this new feeling, rather than how it needs to happen and what it needs to look like and follow the flow and be in the process and enjoy it!?
To your well-being and discovery! Happy New Year!