Another new year begins, and so, again, do the resolutions—this year, I promise to_______.
With the best intentions, we make impressive resolutions and promise, this time, it’ll be different, this time, I’m committed — I’ll get to the gym, I’ll lose that weight…
The problem is we set these huge resolutions and then feel like a failure when the weight doesn’t come off, or we don’t get to the gym 5 times a week.
Here’s an alternative that’s realistic and doable: start by asking yourself, what do I really value? What are my values? Start small, make it manageable, and, above all, be honest. After all, no-one’s watching.
Maybe you list things like integrity, honesty, courage, resilience, kindness, compassion. Whatever you write, it is clearly important to you, so once you have your list, ask, “am I living these, my values?”
When we live in sync with our values, or at least make the effort, it is amazing the shift that happens. We begin to feel the flow of our life, and the more aware we become, the more we attract the people and opportunities into our sphere that allow us to be our best selves.
Values and behaviour don’t have to be grandiose. They can be simple, like, can I reach outside myself today to help someone — hold a door for the person behind you, listen earnestly to a friend in distress – pay it forward in some way?
Periodically check in with yourself; are you walking your talk? Remember too: it’s NOT about perfection. We are human, we’re fallible, and sometimes that means we slip up and a disconnect appears between what we value and how we behave. In other words, sometimes there’s a crack in our armour. That’s ok.
When we don’t check in with ourselves, negativity can build until we’re blinded by it. Sometimes I succumb to it, if for a short while. I also know that the times I don’t allow myself to spiral down, and I think, “stretch!” and pull my gaze out of my navel, are the times I feel my natural resilience and optimism building. I start to feel better about me and find I can turn away from the pit of despair.
Instead of resolutions this year, try something different: make a list of what matters to you and ask yourself, how do I breathe life into this version of me?