Every year at this time I blog about New Year’s Resolutions – whether to do them, how to do them, and my thoughts on how to make them stick. I’ve read so many articles about them, including this piece from author Debbie Macomber about meditating for the entire year on One Perfect Word.
Last year as I thought about my resolutions for 2011, I identified that for me to be successful with my goals, I needed to first identify the underlying emotional reason for the goal. For example, most people’s resolution to “get in shape” or “lose weight” would translate to “feel good about myself” and “look good to others” and “live longer and feel better.” I thought maybe we’d have more power in our annual goals if we connected to what was really driving us.
Two years ago as I examined my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I found they were uninspiring and I needed to find the joy in them, or I’d never accomplish them. Finding the joy became my mantra for that year.
This year I’ve been thinking about the fact that people take all kinds approaches to New Year’s Resolutions, from making a long list of detailed goals, to choosing one word, to shunning the practice altogether because it’s just a recipe for failure anyway. I know everyone has to find what works for them.
But here’s my insight as 2011 comes to a close:
How wonderful that the transition from the old year to a new one inspires many of us to think about our lives, to reflect on the past and acknowledge what we might want for the future.
However we end up — with a list of resolutions, or goals, or a single word — I think it’s the fact that we even think about our lives in this intentional way is the important thing. It’s the process that counts. It shows that we have a desire to improve ourselves somehow, or at least to be our best selves in the upcoming year.
And I love that about humanity! Regardless of where we are in life, most of us desire to do better — not materially, but just as people, we want to be the best we can. We want to put the effort in to living the best life possible. We don’t want to waste it. That says so much about us, doesn’t it?
So wherever you come down on this whole “New Year’s Resolutions” thing, I encourage you to embrace your own desire to be the best person you can be, whatever that means for you. Express it however you want, with goals or a single word or a rejection of the New Year’s traditional altogether. Just be you.
And I wish YOU the very best in 2012.
Tell us: How will you mark the transition to the New Year? Goals, resolutions, a single word? A party, an evening at home watching the festivities on TV? Will you stay up till midnight or turn in early?
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