Reframing Resolutions

Each New Year brings us opportunities for significant personal changes that can build on our prior successes and accomplishments or help shift areas of regret or disappointment. Every year we have an opportunity to choose and prioritize that which is most valuable and leave behind what we know to be inconsequential or even destructive. The idea of New Year’s resolutions seems quaint and superficial in that we realize we are unlikely to keep them. It can end up as a pretend gesture and we can laugh that we tried for 3 weeks and then go on about our business.

We can approach this effort with a bit more sincerity and intention. It might be advisable to pick one or two changes for maximum effect – eliminate the laundry list that will get blown off by the end of January. Maybe you could think about one item that really matters to you above all else. What do you want to reinforce that will provide a true avenue for the Self – what supports your development in ways that will make you feel proud and fulfilled? What states of mind are most nourishing – peace, generosity, gratitude? Or perhaps seek times of non-activity in order to allow a sense of spaciousness.

This might mean changing one way you behave that is troublesome. Do you lose your temper or are you habitually destructive in your relationships because you refuse to contain your outbursts? Do you waste inordinate amounts of time that could be directed towards worthy pursuits? Do you engage in personal habits that drain your vital energy, such as overeating, drinking too much or not incorporating body movement to name a few? Are you relentlessly self-critical causing yourself constant distress? Or do you arrogantly blame everyone else for your discomfort?

You might look to what you want to support in your life. Can you give yourself time and intention to create? Focus on your painting, your writing, your sewing, your cooking and excel and enjoy because you are devoting your focus to it. Will you spend time developing your website, your business and your expression in the world? Can you practice your spiritual path with devotion?

Focus on one area, one simple shift that you strive to maintain as best as you can. Establish one priority for the New Year; write it down in your journal so you can fill out the intention. Do a drawing that you can hang in front of your desk, in the kitchen or other personal space. Describe, draw or represent the attitude, the action, and the focus. Sign it.

Then stay gently mindful and move yourself peacefully in the direction you have designated.

I wish you all a Happy New Year as we enter 2017 together. We can enter the year with our hearts open to each other, trusting in all of us to make our world a better place.

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