I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. Is that because the task feels onerous or because I fail at keeping them? Which the chicken, which the egg? Either way, my “problem” with resolutions is that they so often feel like corrections:
- I am too flabby…I will exercise more
- I eat too much crap…I will stop buying Lay’s Classic potato chips
- I am cranky with the people I love…I will suck it up, push it down and put a fake smile on my face
Sorry, but that’s as far from inspiring as it gets. Why would anyone look forward to the New Year with a list of “resolutions” like that?
Instead, I start from an entirely different place, one that mirrors my approach to housework: when Thursday rolls around and it’s time to scrub down the bathrooms, I envision the end goal – a clean, well-ordered home – which makes it so much easier to get cranking. Now, as the New Year rolls in, instead of stressing over fixingmyself and dreading what that would require, I get excited about imagining the kind of year I want to create and the actions I want to take to bring that year to life.
Whether you use a vision board, create a collage, work from a spreadsheet, or write long hand in a brand spanking new journal, the important thing is to start from a place of aspiration and intention. You might choose an overarching theme for the year, such as “Compassion and Connection,” or “Bad -Ass Adventure.” Or maybe it is simply a word such as “Joy” or “Family.” If you need more, go ahead and write a brief paragraph.
Create a few key categories
This might include relationships, lifestyle, work and career, home, finances. These categories will change from year to year depending on your theme. January 2018 was the beginning of our first full year here in North Carolina. My theme for that year was “A new chapter, a fresh start.” My key categories included: “beautiful new home,” “new friendships,” “slower but still active lifestyle.”
Give it momentum
From the “template” you’ve just created, begin to lay out one or two actions in each category that will get you moving in the direction of the year you want to have. Hint: I find using a garden analogy helpful, thinking in terms of actions that simplify or “weed things out,” as well as actions that are generative, that “plant seeds” for what I want to have or experience. I also think in terms of “nurturing” because what gets my attention is what I ultimately manifest.
At this point, you will have a fairly rich image in place for the year you want to have, where you want to focus, and a few specific actions that support that image. Bravo! Now you need to vet it to ensure that what you’ve laid out is really what you want to go for. You do that by asking:
- Does this vision for the year excite and inspire me?
- Does this vision reflect who I am and support who I am becoming?
- What can I change, scrap, or add to make this even more of what I want?
- Is this vision too “safe”? Do I want to include more actions that will allow me to grow or develop myself in some way?
- Have I focused enough on self-love in the form of self -care – spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical?
Here’s to your beautiful year!