As we approach New Year’s Day, one of the first things that comes to mind for many of us is setting our New Year’s Resolutions. And after all that we’ve been through in 2020, setting your focus on what you would like 2021 to look like, feel like, and bring about may be an important element to healing from pains and changes, oftentimes unwelcome, that the past year imposed upon us all. I don’t think any of us anticipated how our lives and the very fabric of our communities and society would change in 2020. Hopefully, those occurrences have also brought about moments of reflection to help us appreciate the things we love in our lives and the things we would like to bring more of in the coming year(s).
Resolutions vs. Intentions
For many of us, the thought of New Year’s Resolutions often goes hand in hand with an eye roll or a smirk. We start the year with a list of goals or hopeful determinations, which we see slither away within a few short weeks or months. I think this is because of the lack of flexibility the whole concept of a resolution has. By its very definition,
“resolution” conjures something that is a "firm decision to do or not to do something.” Not only can that be intimidating, it also doesn’t allow for any room to change or grow. I often find that as I am on one path, I might hit roadblocks that teach me unanticipated lessons. These might make me realize that the original goal wasn’t one that I desire any longer or that best serves me. Maybe THAT lesson was the one I needed to learn all along.
And, of course, life changes. Again, that has been a major lesson of 2020 for us all. We need to allow ourselves the grace to adapt and change with it. Appreciate what you are learning along the journey rather than focus on the shortfall that might exist between that original resolution on New Year’s Day and where you currently are. Trust that the Universe is presenting you with whatever you need in the moment. Appreciate that!
All of that being said, most people who have achieved many of their desires in life will attest to the fact that setting goals and visualizing the realization of them is usually a key component of the journey. Knowing what you want to bring into your life is a critical first step in moving towards it. There are a few tips that I have learned from others or used myself that can help clarify and focus your attention.
Make a List:
Write it out! One of my favorite practices is putting anything and everything on paper. My ideas become tangible. Also remember to be willing to revisit this list from time to time to allow for reflection on what is going well, what is not, and what you might want to modify.
Notes and Reminders:
Taking one or two key and simple concepts, like “Start each day with a clear intention,” “Be grateful,” or “Eat more vegetables,” and putting them on a notecard or sticky-note on your bathroom mirror or above your workspace can keep your attention on your key goals.
We hear so much about vision boards because they work effectively in goal-setting for so many people. There is something about photos and images that brings our emotions into the energy of the things that we desire. And it’s also a fun practice—I love bringing creativity into any process!
Allow Room to Adapt:
Remember that what you are really doing is creating the space for a new possibility to come into your life. It’s your space! Change it, alter it, or leave it behind as you see fit.
Take a few moments for reflection as we end 2020 and, above all, enjoy the process. Best wishes for a wonderful 2021!