Take a careful look at 2009, then let it go...

For most people, resolutions don’t last very long. 

Why is that?  I think it’s because they’re usually based on something negative.  Either we’re trying to quit doing something that’s hard to quit (smoking, eating unhealthy foods, drinking, etc), or we’re trying to start doing something because we’re unhappy with our current weight, lifestyle, relationship, job, etc.  We tend to think that if we’re unhappy with something, especially ourselves, that we can just decide to do things differently (“better”) and then life will be great, right?  Wrong.  The focus is too much on what’s not working and how much better things will be once we achieve some goal that requires drastic change.  And with resolutions, we typically word them in the future tense, right? Like, I’m going to go to the gym at least three days a week, or I’m going to stop eating junk food, or I’m going to work fewer hours so I can spend more time with my kids, and so on.  It’s like we’re playing mind games with ourselves.  “I’m going to…” sends the message that at some point it is going to happen, so it kind of lets us off the hook for NOW.

So my only resolution is not to do any resolutions. I want a more holistic approach because I want all aspects of my life to be aligned and I want to know what my ultimate overall life goal is, instead of focusing on one particular smaller goal.  So I’m going to tell you what I do and I invite you to try it out.  Grab a pen and some paper.  First of all, take a look back at 2009.  If you’re recently separated or divorced, 2009 might look pretty crappy.  That’s okay.  There may have been a lot of challenges and heartache, so please don’t judge yourself. Look at the past year from a detached perspective, with curiosity and compassion.  Make sure to recognize and give yourself credit for any accomplishments.  Lastly, make a list of things you are grateful for in 2009.  If this is difficult for you, think simple.  Even pain can be something we give thanks for, since it usually makes us aware of problems in our lives or shows us what we truly want.  When you’re done with 2009, close your eyes, take some deep cleansing breaths, and let it go.  It’s over.  It’s all in the past.  Just relax and let it go.  Imagine it all just washing away and leaving behind a clean slate where new stories and memories can be created.

Now fast forward.  Pretend it’s December 31, 2010.  Write down the main areas of life that you care about.  For example, Family, Career, Relationships, Health, Spirituality, Finances, etc. Look back over the year (2010) and write down what you see in each of the areas you’ve chosen.  This is not just what you expect in 2010, but what you desire in 2010, what feels good to you.  You can get as detailed as you want here.  And this is very important – write it in the present tense, as if it has already happened.  Remember, it’s Dec 31, 2010 and you’re looking at your where you are “now”.  Also, make sure to include what you are thankful for in 2010.  When you’re done writing, read it out loud and see how it feels.  If it doesn’t make you smile and doesn’t get you a little excited, you might need to do a little rework.  When you’re satisfied, store this in a safe place where you can refer to it regularly or post it where you’ll see it often.  And when Decemeber 31st rolls around again, you can compare what you wrote to your reality – it will be fascinating.

So here’s to a wonderful new year, designed specifically by you, for you. Doesn’t that feel better than a resolution? And the results will be far better too!!

Choose to live happily ever after!