I was sitting in my living room thinking about the offers coming my way for New Year's Eve plans. Parties, live bands, the big countdown. For some reason none sounded all that interesting to me. I've been there, done that multiple times. I feel such an urge to do things a little differently this year. Maybe it is because this is the year of my big 50, or maybe I just am yearning for more meaningful ways to spend my bigger moments. As I contemplated how to spend my New Year's Eve and leaning towards being in a meditative state rather than a tipsy one, the thought of New Year's resolutions crept in.
We hear about them every year and they usually sound exactly the same beginning with losing weight. I'm guilty of pretty much committing and breaking every lame resolution on the list. Some other popular favorites are going on a vacation, getting a new job, making more money, quit smoking, or meeting Mr. or Ms. Right. These are great goals. But what if we took this time to think about resolutions that would not only change our life, but possibly someone else's too? I began to ponder the best possible ways to not only live resiliently and goals to achieve that, but ways that would also enrich others life at the same time. When we make goals, or in this case resolutions, that go beyond just ourselves, maybe, just maybe, we won't break them so easily.
Here are 5 life changing, resiliency resolutions to consider this year:
1. Commit to a Cause. Find something you truly care and connect deeply to and commit to being involved throughout the year. I don't mean just throw money at a campaign. I mean really roll up those sleeves and get into something you are passionate about on the ground level. It can be animal rescue, or helping those with Multiple Sclerosis, starting a program to help end bullying and share a message of self-esteem, or volunteering to care for the elderly. No matter what it is, resolve to get involved, stay involved, and truly make a positive difference.
2. Commit to Self Non-Violent Communication. It is interesting when we think about non-violence and non-violent conflict resolution we never really think about how we speak so harshly to ourselves. When we make a mistake, take a left turn when a right turn was clearly the better choice, we say things like "you are so stupid" or "you are such a loser" to ourselves. Commit to communicating with yourself and others in a more compassionate, non-violent way and begin to grow away from the habit of punishing yourself. Breaking this habit will reach others simply by the changes that will radiate from within.
3. Commit to Kindness. When we see others that are not like we are, from places we know nothing about, we tend to judge, put down, and point fingers in ways that are rude and lack tolerance. When we commit to kindness we say to ourselves that we will look deeply into ourselves each time we begin to harshly speak of others, make fun of them, or be dogmatic towards any other human being. Not only do we commit to kindness of our own words and actions, we must commit to no longer supporting abuse or lack of tolerance from others, including the media and politicians. Resolve to get to the root of what led to your lack of tolerance and understanding, and let healing begin. As far as toxic unkind people and content... get comfortable with your internal delete button.
4. Commit to Paying it Forward. If you set your mind to knowing that what comes around goes around and embrace the universal law of giving and receiving, paying it forward even when you don't think you have anything left to give becomes a blessing not only for the receiver, but for you as well. Each month give an unexpected gift to a stranger and see just how this resolution changes your life.
5. Commit to Experiences Not Stuff. So many people commit to having more stuff instead of having more experiences. A new car, bigger house, the next big thing in technology. We end up walking around like drones plugged in and zoned out at the same time. Power off every device and start tapping into what truly moves you... literally! When we enrich our lives with wonder, exploration, adventure, and playfulness we light up from within in ways that inspire others without even knowing it. Instead of that new gadget or expensive purse, resolve to add to your list of experiences, draw outside the lines and leap into something unknown. You will definitely add a little more sparkle to the world.
Oh, back to New Year's Eve plans. I still haven't decided but a cabin where it is quiet with light music playing softly as I close my eyes in meditation, visualizing my goals for 2015 with a fire crackling in the fireplace... that sounds perfect.