I love New Year! It’s the time for thinking about your life and deciding what can use some tweaking, if anything. Resolutions are all around us this time of year as seemingly everyone evaluates their life. This was always my favorite holiday growing up. The idea of a fresh start was appealing to me even when I was little and there was something magical with putting a new calendar on my desk and starting all over again. Possibilities were endless!
And so setting resolutions as I got older also came naturally. New Year is way better than waiting until Monday to start something, right? I mean, it’s a whole year! That brings some gravity to anything you resolve to do. It should be something grand and far-reaching. I would think of what I would want for the new year, and then give it my best shot… for a week or two, maybe a month. But you know how those resolutions go; you start strong, and putter out sometime in the spring. Or maybe that February school vacation throws you off. I’d feel guilty I could not accomplish what I wanted, give it few more tries, but ultimately decide that next year will be different and I’ll really stick with it. And the cycle of guilt and disappointment continued.
When I came across an idea of setting an intention, instead of a resolution, it was like a good friend giving me a hug and telling me that everything will be OK. I loved it! I would set an intention for the new year and then practice being gentle with myself, picking myself up after eventual falling off the wagon happened. It was lovely! I have learned a lot about myself and changed some things for the better as well. I would highly recommend you try setting an intention if all you’ve ever done are resolutions, and especially if you notice you can be a bit critical of yourself. Setting an intention of practicing appreciation for yourself and all you do is a great start!
So, what am I doing this year? Intention or a resolution? I am back to setting resolutions, but with a twist. I have learned to be gentle and kind to myself, most of the time, and now I can use a good old-fashioned kick in the rear. I have lost a bit of clarity without resolutions, and having two small children is a great recipe for being all over the place. I am craving my clarity and direction, and so I am going for “an aware resolution”. And if you are curious, my resolution is to shift the focus to myself and rediscover all the things that make me happy. This is a bit of a vague language, I know, and so I have some ideas I can draw from every day:
- Practice meditation
- Sing my favorite chants
- Loving movement and stretching
- Delicious herbal tea
- Good, nourishing food
- Time with the girls
- Dates with my husband
- Connecting to my heart
- Reaching out to others
- Creating and being in community
What are you practicing this year? Resolutions? Intentions? I’d love to know!