Forget about resolutions. Instead: Envision! Intend! Act!
I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions.
It seems to me that besides being notoriously hard to keep — there’s a lot of negative judgment hidden within them. And I honestly don’t think you have to dig too deep to find the judgment. Usually that judgment is right there, just below the surface, laying in wait, whispering its sinister message to you: that up until this point you have been a failure at the things that you value most.
Tell me your resolution and I will tell you the negative judgment that is motivating it.
“I’m going to spend more time with my kids,” = “I am a sorry excuse for a parent.”
“I’m going to drop ten pounds,” = “I’m overweight and unattractive.”
“I’m going to start showing up on time for events,” = “I’m unreliable and distracted.”
“I’m going to call my mother more often,” = “I’m an ungrateful daughter.”
Okay, so let’s look at that all together.
And that can be discouraging and exhausting.You might be saying, “Starting January 1st, I am going to spend more time with my kids. I’m going to drop ten pounds. I’m going to start showing up on time for events. And I’m going to call my mother more often.”
Sounds fine right? But underneath it all you’re saying, “As of December 31st , I’m a sorry excuse for a parent. I’m overweight, unattractive, unreliable, distracted and on top of it all, I’m a bad daughter.
Let me ask you something. Can a person like that get ANYTHING positive done? It’s like giving yourself a long, discouraging lecture. You’ll end up feeling exhausted and defeated before you’ve even started!
And let’s say you go back on your resolutions and you DON”T get them done. Or you try at first and then you slip up? Where does that leave you? Right back in your ugly stew of negative judgments, that’s where. And every negative thing you thought about yourself has been confirmed by your apparent lack of conviction and follow-though. You may end up feeling more mired in negativity — and consequently LESS likely to act than when you began!
When will we learn to compassionately accept who we are? And when will we learn that the only place to start is precisely WHERE we are?
Instead of wishing for less of what’s wrong with us, why don’t we begin by envisioning more of what’s RIGHT?
This is where having a To Be List comes in very handy.
Your To Be List engages you in a three-step process that continually feeds you into a ever-ascending spiral of success.
And those three steps are: Envision. Intend. Act.
What do you want To Be in the New Year?
Envision: Begin by envisioning health. What does it look like for you? Being vibrant? Energetic? Fit? Toned? Hold that vision in your heart. What will it allow you to do? Wake up feeling energized and prepared to take on the day? Spend more time being active with friend and family?
Intend: How can you spend time realistically in the days ahead being healthy? Buying a few more whole foods at the grocery? Drinking an extra glass of water or two? Taking a walk in the evening with a friend? There are thousands of ways that you intend to be healthy. And the healthier you become, the more readily you’ll see these opportunities!
Act: Find time in your regular schedule to do at least on or two of these things as part of your daily to-do’s! Get it on your to-do list. Then check it off. Success! You’ve brought your “To Be” into Being.
The more you feel successful, the more you will see your vision come to life, the more energy you will have to put into your intentions, and the more likely you will be to act in service of your vision!
Transformation must begin from where we are at the moment. And with compassionate acceptance, self-understanding, vision, intention, and action – we can move forward with grace and strength, not just into the New Year, but into every new day, new hour, and new moment.
So rather than asking yourself “What are my resolutions for the New Year?” ask instead, “What do I envision for the New Year?”
And if you absolutely insist on making resolutions, try this one on for size: “This year I resolve to find ways to be even more of the remarkable person I already am.”
And may your New Year blossom into a garden of sacred moments.
Photo by Marko D Photography @ Flickr