A New Approach to New Year's Resolutions

By now you have probably read many articles on making the most of the new year. The process outlined is usually very methodical. Something like:

  1. Review your accomplishments and challenges from the previous year. What can you learn? What do you need to improve?
  2. Now erase the previous year and start this year with a clean slate.
  3. Define what you want to accomplish. What resolutions are you going to make? What are your goals?
  4. Map out a plan as how to achieve your goals. Work toward them every day with diligence and consistency.

I don’t know about you, but this model of change and gaining what we want doesn’t sit well with me anymore. It feels like one more task; one more stressful to-do. It is very rigid and impersonal; more business-like than affable. Plus, for many of my Type-A friends, trying to define what we want is nearly impossible. Accomplishing is easy, because that is what we do. But to know what we want and to allow ourselves to have it is extremely difficult. We are usually focused on the needs of others and have a hard time knowing what we want. So not only does the process feel dry, clinical, and demanding, but we can not even define what we are striving for.

Let’s try a new way to find happiness in the new year. Instead of thinking and planning it, let’s feel into it.

  1. Look at the last year and celebrate your progress. How are you a better person today than you were a year (or more) earlier? Celebrate how you have grown.
  2. Give thanks and gratitude for all you have in your life right now. Look at the blessings not at the lack. Accept your life as it is right now and say, “Thank you, more please.”
  3. Choose to make this year the happiest of your life.
  4. Every day, in every moment, notice the options around you and choose the ones that feel best to you.

Instead of having rigid goals that you intellectually create and aggressively strive to achieve, move out of your head and into your heart. What does your heart tell you it wants? What feels good to you? What is flowing into your life? What negative people and situations do you choose to remove yourself from? What new things do you want to try and explore? What love can you give? What love do you need to receive? Where can you be compassionate and forgiving? What choices can you make to feel more at peace?

The first step to Feeling into the New Year is to change your viewpoint on success. The usual model of planning for the new year is based on tangible accomplishments: lose 10 pounds, grow your business by 15%, travel to 5 destinations. For the new model to work, the end goal needs to be different. Instead of focusing on things and results, focus on feelings and experience: I experience good health, my business is rewarding and supportive, I experience adventures. Day by day uncover your path to bliss. What choice can you make that feels good to you? What choice can you make that will bring more peace? How can you approach situations with love instead of fear? How can you resolve issues with compassion instead of hate? What do you need to do to feel happy again?

As you move into this new year, focus on your experience. Focus on how you appear in the world. Focus on how you choose to engage with others. Make resolutions not to accomplish, but to be and feel your very best.

This post inspired by a Notes from the Universe message.

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