With January nearing an end, many of those New Year’s resolutions we promised to make and keep have drifted slowly to the bottom of the never-ending “to do” pile that is our busy lives.
I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions because in many ways they set you up for failure. Our intentions may be the best, but it’s hard enough to make one major change in our lives, let alone the overwhelming number of holiday promises we make to ourselves under pressure or influence, or a looming end-of-the-year deadline, or an extra glass of Merlot.
Instead, I like to think in more positive terms about what it is I want 2022 to look and feel like. That means sitting down (or walking or whatever gets your mental juices flowing) and consciously deciding on the areas of your life you want to make the most impact on. And that impact doesn’t have to be monumental. It can be subtle, barely perceptible shifts in the way you think, feel, act and plan.
To help facilitate this conscious exploration, here are 13 “thought-starters” to complete for those of you who want a different way of approaching the next 11 months of the year (and beyond). Notice they’re not resolutions, which usually focus on something we don’t like about ourselves, but more nuanced, personal intentions based on thinking about ourselves and what we want in a much more positive and grateful way:
1. Because I want to make 2022 count, I ________________
2. Because the things that brought me joy in childhood still do, in 2022 I _______________
3. Because I listen to the whispers inside, in 2022 I _______________
4. Because fear of failure is no longer a good enough reason to not do it, in 2022 I ______________
5. Because simple pleasures are so meaningful, in 2022 I ______________
6. Because my body has served me so faithfully all these years, in 2022 I _______________
7. Because the world needs my service, in 2022 I _______________
8. Because of the amazing people who have loved me and made me who I am, in 2022 I ____________
9. Because I am willing to believe in the power of forgiveness, in 2022 I _______________
10. Because the silence has gone on long enough, in 2022 I _______________
11. Because I am so blessed, in 2022 I _______________
12. Because I vow to be more radical, in 2022 I _______________
13. Because I want, in the last days of my life, to remember this year with tears of gratitude, in 2022 I _______________
I encourage you to grab a journal and write your answers to these prompts. If you’d prefer, share your answers with someone you love, and listen to theirs. Perhaps make a pact to hold each other accountable to the answers.
It’s important to go with your first instinct as you complete the statements. Let your intuition lead. If you’re writing, keep the pen moving on the paper. Don’t get stuck in “thinking about it” – for more analytical types (like me), this can be difficult, but it’s important not to censor yourself.
Don’t look for the “right” answer. You don’t have to understand your answers right away. Some may feel surprising or totally foreign to you, but over time their meaning will emerge for you.
If you’re ready to create a life on your own terms, check out my book: [R]evolution: A Soulful and Practical Guide to Creating the Life You Want to begin your journey…