Originally published in The Squamish Reporter January 15, 2016 www.squamishreporter.com
“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.” ~ Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Inevitably there is a theme of "should" attached to the resolution, which becomes a boat anchor that will drag the resolution down into the depths. Then at some point in January somebody will ask you "Did you do your resolution"? And the guilt fest begins.
I do love the idea of reflecting on this year vs. last year. The new year is a wonderful line in the sand that creates an opportunity to assess our goals. Resolutions typically focus on something that you have not been doing that you would like to take action on. I will eat better, I will go to the gym everyday, I will quit smoking, I will meditate everyday and the list could go on. The key thing to notice about the list is that there is a focus on "doing" or action. The first suggestion would be to incorporate ways of "being" into your goals for the new year. A way of being is more descriptive of how you are feeling or what you are experiencing and infusing into your action. A sample list could include things like: alive, blissful, passionate, invigorated, joyful, inspired, energetic, loving, relaxed etc. Doing is about making life happen whereas being is about letting life happen. In other words with a focus on "Being" what would actions look like if they were joyful? What would I be doing if I felt invigorated and blissful after I was finished?
Let's also take a moment to look at the bigger picture. We are setting resolutions in the context of an entire year. I would suggest that requires an equally awesome statement of some kind that is like your mantra or mission for the year. This statement or intention would be equally as unique as you. You could think of it as your headline for 2016. This may take some time to flush out. Perhaps you could do some journaling or brainstorming about the upcoming year. Or you could create a vision board. In the process you may notice that a theme has emerged. From that theme you will create your headline for 2016. For example. "2016 The Year of ME" or "2016 The Year of Being of Service". The headline will be an honest reflection of where you are currently on your journey and will likely be in alignment with your values and your purpose. Once you have created your headline I would post it somewhere visible. I would also suggest being flexible with the headline as it may change as you sit with it.
Let's put these new thoughts together. I would suggest using this formula throughout the year. Headline + Ways of Being = Empowered Action. If "2016 is the Year of ME" and my ways of being are joyful, invigorated and blissful. Then my action may be signing up for a Hip Hop dance class instead of a gym membership. The action steps will still emerge, they will just look and feel very different. By being thoughtful regarding our intentions and desires for the upcoming year we are much more likely to achieve what our heart desires.