At the beginning of each New Year, I usually do the same thing. Make a half hearted resolution. I pick something I know I should do, but for some reason have managed to avoid doing.
There is nothing like the energy of the New Year to get our butt into gear and make those changes, so why do I (and most people for that matter) fall off the band wagon so soon? Let’s take a closer look…
My usual suspects: lose weight, get a better job, be a nicer person, donate to charity more.
The problem with these? Well, essentially there is nothing wrong with them; they all have the potential to improve my life significantly. However, there are a couple issues.
Firstly, when I sit with these and really feel into them, I notice they aren’t resolutions I came up with myself. They are what I think I should do, what I think other people would tell me to do. That’s not to say I don’t want all of these things, but what it does say is that I want them for all the wrong reasons.
To be desirable. To fit in. Acceptance. Guilt.
So I have to ask myself: am I going to steer my life towards doing things for approval from others? Or, is it more important to have approval from myself?
The second problem is that these resolutions are far too vague. No wonder it’s so easy to fall off that wagon. I don’t even know what it is I am meant to be achieving!
Lose weight. How much? If I lose half a kilo – does that mean I have succeeded? Or 5, or 10? Or until I don’t want to run and hide from my reflection in the mirror?
And so it goes with each one. With no definite set goal to achieve, how am I to achieve?
So, the key to keeping a resolution? Make it something you want for you, not for someone else and make it specific.
That being said… This year I tried something different.
This idea sprung from Danielle LaPorte (find out more about her here) and in a nutshell the theory goes a little something like this.
Why do we set these resolutions? When we get to the pointy end of it – we set them because the result of these will make us FEEL a certain way.
So why don’t we flip this around. Let’s set out our intentions for the year based on how we want to feel. Then we will be lead to activities, lifestyles and situations that give us these feelings.
This year I found three words that called to me.
Freedom. Joy. Connection.
Two months on from setting these intentions – how am I doing?
Pretty darn well I would say. I have experienced each of these feelings more times than I can remember. Having these as my anchors each day I am naturally drawn to things / places / people that will make me feel this way. I have been removing myself from relationships that no longer serve, discovering the freedom of doing things my way and on my terms and connecting with people who nourish and uplift me.
BUT, most importantly, I find myself wanting, no, actively seeking ways to make me feel this way.
Unlike previous resolutions of years gone by, which were approached with dread, duty and ultimately resulted in dissatisfaction, these intentions light me up. This is how I want to feel, this is how I want to experience my year.
So maybe the time has come for you to sit for a moment and discover how it is that you want to feel this year. And see where that takes you…