Start Here. Start Now.
Thinking about 2016 and what the next year might bring? Making a list of “new year’s resolutions”?
This past weekend I was reading a social media post by a young man explaining how New Year’s Eve was the time to mentally delete all of his bad habits from the previous year. He felt that by erasing his mistakes, he might be freed of them. Though I understood his perspective, I didn’t quite agree with his philosophy.
A few years ago I made the decision to stop creating new year’s resolutions and, instead, set intentions. Why? Because the word ‘resolution’, in itself, implies the solving of problems—something to resolve—just like the young man’s philosophy. Going back into my last year to clean-up problems or forgive myself of mistakes felt heavy and blaming, but setting intentions didn’t.
I figured that I could accept what I’ve done in the past as experience and lessons for the road, and begin where I am right now—today. I can be present and own what I’ve created while declaring what I’d like to create next. For example, instead of making a new year’s resolution to get to the gym more often, I can set an intention to keep my body strong and healthy—and part of this intention includes paying attention to what I eat and how often I exercise. This way, I can choose a variety of means to match my intention, whether it’s going to the gym, for a long walk, or trying something new!
If you’d like to consider setting intentions instead of resolutions for this new year, here are some questions to get you started:
Start with your Mind
- What are you focusing on? What are you predominantly thinking about? And do those thoughts bring you feelings of happiness or anger? Relief or frustration?
- Remember: You can choose which thoughts you focus on.
Start with your Body
- Is your health where you’d like it to be? If so, great! How can you continue to maintain it? If not, what would you like to change? And what’s one thing you can do today to take a step towards that change?
- Remember: You are what you eat, drink, feel & think.
Start with your Spirit
- Are you feeling comfortable with your feelings of purpose and direction? Are your relationships with others joyful and fulfilling? If you’ve answered ‘no’ to either question, how might reconnecting with your inner self help you?
- Remember: Taking a few minutes to be quiet, breathe, and relax in silence each day can make a significant difference in reducing your stress level!
Follow-up with your Intentions
- Create intentions based on what you want to create for yourself. What feels good? What feels possible? What will bring you farther along your path to joy, happiness, and fulfillment during this next year?
- Remember: Think short, attainable goals. For example, “I will take a short walk during lunch at least three days a week starting next Monday.” Make it something measurable and possible.
Start here. Start now. And even before the clock strikes twelve on Thursday night, set yourself up to already make it a Happy New Year.
To Our Better Balance!
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg