It is a new year.
The 2013 calendars have been recycled, the 365 days of memories are either tucked away for safe keeping or being turned over for transforming.
This is a time of making resolutions for many of us. I have being hearing all sorts of resolutions: “I will quit smoking (again),” “I will forget about him/her and find someone new,” “I will lose the ten pounds I gained last year,” “I will not eat sugar (really)” “I will be more present.”
Resolutions might work well for some people, that is if you are one of those people who truly thrives in this tradition. I am not one of these people. Resolutions equal pressure in my world.
Instead of making resolutions at the turn of the year, I choose to live one day at a time, to the best of my ability, according to what I value. I set intention regularly and check in with the progress and my own process as I go.
I prioritize what lights me up while honoring that which grounds me.
More than anything, I practice:
I find this to be such a relief.
No pressure to get the list written and plans made immediately; this means less momentum is generated for inadvertently beating myself up when life happens and the path takes a turn unexpectedly. Conscious connection with my wants, values, needs, desires, dreams and inner wisdom keeps me on my path. Honestly looking within and aligning with what I want to experience on a daily basis is a discipline and an art.
Resolving to do something extends focus into the future, often highlighting that it wasn't done in the past. Being in the moment requires practice and commitment. Goals have their place, don’t get me wrong, but they are not the most critical part of the process. The outcome will be what it is. I don’t have ultimate control over outcomes. On the other hand, the steps taken between point A, B, C and D are mine to choose. I do have power here as I navigate the path.
I’ve gotten ahead of myself though!
Here’s a bit of my process: Before I can identify what goals I will set, I get clear on what values are driving me right now. This is where the four arts come in, they help me to evaluate! A value is anything that is vital for me to have, or be surrounded by, in order to live in a way that helps me to thrive. Vital values will meet the very things I am passionate about. What makes your top ten values list? Intuitively go through this list and mark the words that call to you.
When you’ve gone through for the first time, stop, breathe in an out deeply and slowly a few times, then pick up that pen again and go back through the words you’ve marked. Whittle down the list to those that are really important to you, the “deal breakers” if you will. These aspects of daily living, these values, are the 'musts' for your fulfilling life, this year.
In becoming more clear about what matters to you, a natural flow and rhythm will evolve and unfold. Clarity paves the way for everyday miracles. Now that your values have been identified, start surrounding yourself with those things. If beauty made your list, fill that polka dot vase with flowers or gather branches or sea glass, and put them somewhere you’ll see them often. If artistic expression was a top ten, pull out the paint brushes, colored pencils or that collage project. Whatever you value, prioritize it. It doesn’t take a lot to have a big impact. Just a few minutes a day dedicated to what makes your life experience meaningful will have a domino effect on your mood, mindset and the people around you. Bring more of these life enhancing qualities into every day experiences, claim your moments. Align with what you value and see how your experiences start to change. Resolutions become unnecessary when your values are being honored and lived out.
Smiling + ready for what's coming,
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas