I was never one for New Years resolutions. Whenever I thought I’d do something, I would just do it. I wouldn’t wait until January first to start. I would just start whenever it occurred to me that it would be a good idea. But this year, I am feeling that resolutions might be in order. But, it’s more than resolutions. It’s reassessment, reinvention, renovation, and revision.
Throughout January, I did some work. I thought and dreamed and asked to be guided. I wrote in my journal. I came up with intentions. Saw my life through a lens of…”okay…where do we go from here?”
During the last week of January, I mapped out my goals and dreams and visions (reminds me of a Bruce Springsteen song). In each area of life, I wrote out my dream, or what I hoped to accomplish, and then I developed goals that would bring about those dreams.
This is the most organized I have ever been. Especially when it came to something that could be as vague as “Write more…” or “Eat healthier…” or “Develop your spiritual practice.”
I did research into which goals and resolutions end up sticking and I found guidance. If they are going to work, i.e. bring about their intended change, our goals and resolutions need to be tied to specific, time-bound, tasks.
So, instead of “Write more…” I will write fiction for 30 minutes a day. And I will focus on the joy of it, not the “have to”ness of it. I write fiction for 30 minutes a day because it’s my creative outlet.
I also committed to doing a specific meditation, which lasts about 15 minutes, 5 times a week. This goal should stick, too, because it’s designed specifically not to make me feel like a failure. I was reluctant to commit to doing this meditation everyday, so I took on a task I thought I’d be able maintain.
To go along with these goals, I printed out blank calendars starting with February. I assigned each task a specific colored star sticker and I have been giving myself a star each day for each task I successfully complete. So far I have a (not perfect, but still beautiful) string of stars. I even went so far as to cut a star in half when I wrote for only 15 minutes. It’s still something deserving of a star.
This month, I am committed to further investigation. There are areas of my life that are not working. I am committed to inquiry. I am committed to gently figuring out why. I am committed to asking for, and working toward, change. More on that in February.
So, this is what is working for me so far this year. What is working for you? What are you doing to get on, or stay on, track? Which brilliant tools can you share with us?