I was at my acupuncturist the other day and he said that he read that most New Year’s resolutions are discarded by Valentine’s Day. This is not surprising. I would guess that it’s even earlier than that. The new year gives us a clean slate upon which to create our lives, and most of us are tempted to set goals or make “resolutions” about our behavior. WHY then, are those things given up so early in the game?
Because my birthday is the 17th of January, each year I take the time to reflect, vision and dream between the first of the year and the first of MY new year. I recognized a few years ago that my resolutions were alarmingly similar from year to year – lose 10 pounds (or 20), eat more vegetables, make more money (or spend less), exercise more often, blah, blah, blah. Perhaps you can relate?
At the end of every year, or as research suggests, much sooner, I would admit defeat in achieving most of my aims. In the first place, I didn’t actually track very closely to measure my success and in the second place, it would become tedious quickly to take note of how many servings of vegetables I ate in a given week (probably effective, but tedious). So like most other people, I gave up.
Four years ago, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of setting a bunch of goals about how to “fix” or “change” myself into the ideal person I envisioned, I would instead recognize that I am pretty great as I am. Wow! What a concept. While fixing and changing didn’t appeal to me much, creating some intentions about how I wanted to feel, exciting things I wanted to do, and generally living in the energy of possibility did. So I created a theme for the year.
That first year, my theme was EASE. I wrote it in bubble letters with a bright blue sharpie and posted it on the bulletin board above my desk. I also bought an easy button (you know, from Staples), and put it on my desk to whack anytime I desired something to be easier. Because it was simple, and straightforward and easy to notice when I needed more ease, I created much more of it in my life that year. And the great news is that it didn’t just stick that year. My focus on creating more ease has stayed with me ever since.
Last year my theme was “sharing the miracle of me,” as brought forth from some business coaching I received at the beginning of the year. It was bold for me to declare that I had something miraculous to offer to people, but as the year played out and I released my book Being Single, With Cancer, traveled around the country to speak about it, began coaching cancer survivors and singles to heal and embrace life, led healing trips and seminars, I could see that something miraculous was indeed taking place in my life and the lives of those I touched.
While it has been an awareness and practice for a few years now, this year I have chosen as my theme: loving myself. This encompasses forgiving myself for any mistakes in my past, choosing to take care of myself through eating well, sleeping enough and exercising (but without the pesky numbers attached to make me feel badly if I don’t do the later 5 times a week ;). It also means allowing myself to rest when I need some downtime, setting boundaries in my personal life and charging what I’m worth in my business. For the past few years, I have created a collage of words and phrases around my theme and it has hung near my bed so it is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. Now, at the end of the year, it is fun to look over my collage and recognize all the ways in which that theme showed up in my life throughout the year.
So, what energy would you like to create more of in your life this year? Love, joy, freedom, excitement, compassion, trust, FUN? The possibilities are endless! I challenge you to sit down in meditation and reflection and create your own theme for the year. I encourage you not to create from a place of fixing and changing or even improving something you feel is currently lacking or settling on that theme that you feel you “should” choose. Instead, allow yourself to dream about what would be most fulfilling to you instead.
I would love to hear your theme. Share it through the Facebook link below and get support from this community for living in the energy of your theme for 2015. Have a great year! (or a blessed year, or a passionate year, or a peaceful year, or whatever you want to create)