I feel a bit guilty that I still love making New Year’s resolutions.
I know, I know…resolutions are “doomed,” we forget most of them by February, and if you really want to make a change you don’t need a silly Gregorian calendar date to do it, but…
I’m a sucker for new beginnings. And I’ve changed it up a little bit.
Done are the days when I pledge to stop eating sugar or to wash the sheets every week (that was a real whopper)—but I’ve found the end of one year and beginning of another is a great time to join the culture in some reflection and dreaming.
What would we do in 2018 if we knew we could not fail, right? And what have we already been getting really right?
Although resolutions are fun, I’ve found that reflecting on the year past can be even more valuable—asking myself some questions, like…
What am I proud of doing this year? (Make a list, and make it long. Yes, going to the dentist for a cleaning TWICE counts.)
What new people did 2017 bring me? How do they add value to my life? (Maybe I don’t even like all of them, but…did they teach me something? What?)
What do I wish I'd done differently? (Another list, and it’s got to be shorter than my accomplishments--for the sake of staying off the masochistic pity pot.) How can I learn from these things and move forward? (Seriously, how am I going to act differently?)
The closing of one chapter allows us time to re-calibrate, reflect, and adjust our compass a bit. In the coming year, rather than just looking at what you want to do (which is tangible and great) what if you looked at who you want to be, and how you want to feel? For example:
“I want to be reliable, compassionate, and assertive” or “I want to feel grateful, confident, and silly.”
Once you've got your intentions hammered out, it's easier to see what actions would lead to feeling the way you want to feel. (For example, I'm going to find more reasons to wear a chicken costume in 2018-- more on that as I hash out a plan.)
I have a friend who chooses a word each year, and she makes that the compass for all of her decisions. Her word last year was “persist”—and each time she took a step, she asked herself…am I persisting, or shrinking? Is this closer to who I want to be, or further away?
What’s your word for 2018?
Wiping the slate clean is always a good idea in my book. As this year comes to a close, I encourage you to look back at all of the kick ass things you did and celebrate them: find gratitude for what you learned, compassion for what you didn’t, and the permission to give it another go.
Not everybody got to take another trip around the sun this year, and no matter what you did or who you are, each day (and year) is an opportunity to celebrate the possibility of a new beginning.
And don’t forget to wash those sheets.
P.S: If you want some ideas on starting your new year off with some intentional bang, a few starts for you:
- If you’re a writer, check this out
- If you’re sober, check this out
- If you’re a book lover, check this out
- If you’re a yogi, check this out
- If you’re a mom, check this out
- If you’re a traveler, check this out
- If you don’t like labels, check this out