I’m still enjoying holiday bliss and I hope you are too! With 2014 upon us I’m sure I’m not the only one reflecting on the past year and thinking about the year to come. I used to set resolutions and like so many others by Valentines day they were long forgotten or even worse a distant memory with a lingering cloud of guilt hanging over me making me feel crappy for not “achieving it” yet. A few years back I stopped setting resolution and now I take this time to reflect on the year. Instead of thinking about what I want to get or do next year I think about “how do I want to be in the world?” and let the answers to that question guide my year. This was a radical shift for me and I invite you to give it a try this year and see how it feels. Leave the heavy expectation you think you need to set or what you should acomplition behind in 2013. All you have to lose is some January 15th guilt. Reflection
Before we know where we are going I feel it’s important to reflect on the year, give thanks, gather the learning’s and wrap up any unfinished business so you don’t bring stagnate energy into the new year with you.
- Give Thanks: I write a huge list of 100 things I am grateful for from the past year. I know it sounds extreme but it feels so good to look at a long list of the blessings I have experienced in the past 12 months. It’s an amazing record of the year that you can look back on many years from now. Start by free writing with the intention of gratitude. Write anything that comes to you from your favorite view out your window, to your warm puppy sitting on your feet, to that amazing trip you took to some place new. All is fair game. What about that new pair of shoes you got for your birthday or that coffee you bought for your friend that lead to a great conversation? Challenge yourself to really see all that you have to be grateful for. Warning around the 25th and 70th you will hit a big pause where you will think there is nothing left, but don’t get discouraged stay open, all of a sudden a new rush of ideas will flood in.
- Lessons Learned: The great sometimes comes with the not so great. We’re humans living human experiences and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s important to think about these moments and see if there is any lesson to be learned from it. Did you learn that letting go of something you thought you’d never be able to do lead to letting more good into your life or maybe an unexpected friend helped you out when you felt all alone? Give yourself a hug for me and try to remember these examples this coming year when you come up against something you think you will never be able to survive.
- Forgiveness: Lastly I feel it is very important to close the year cleanly. You should release any anger or resentment you might have towards anyone or any situation. Don’t let that negativity keep you down during your opportunity for a fresh start (this is my Achilles heel). Use this time to think about if you need to make a call or send an apology letter to someone in your life. We aren’t all saints but we can make sure that we don’t have any guilt following us into the new year.
How to Set Non-Resolution Resolutions
Now that we have closed 2013 with love and gratitude we have a big clean open slate to invite in all the possibility a new year has to offer! Feels so good and refreshing, just thinking about it gets me excited! Resolutions have always felt like obligations that made me thinking I needed to change. If I guilt myself into wanting to change bad enough I would finally change, then I would be…happy, skinny, make more money, blah blah blah. It took over 25 years for me to realize that all the guilt and shame I could dish out still wouldn’t make me stick to my resolutions and I was tired of feeling crappy, so naturally I had to find a new way. Now instead of thinking about what I want to change, I think about how I want to be in the world, such as, a kind, honest, fun person. I set intentions for how I want my life to look and feel.
- Take a minute and really turn down the distractions, sit up straight, take a deep breath and ask yourself how do I want to be in the world this coming year? The answer to this question will come from your body not, not your head. I let the answers to this question guide me when I think about how I want to act at work, in relationships, what I want to eat or decisions I want to make about travel and fun. When I’m not running after some goal my mind has put up on a pedestal I can really listen and hear what is important and make my decisions from this place. My 2014 intentions are below.
I want to give and receive love, I want to be environmentally conscious, I want to feel vibrant, energetic and healthy, and I want to experience new places.
I hope you have a blast this New Years! If you give your resolutions the boot and sent some intentions for the year to come I’d love to know.
Peace & Love,