Thoughts on New Year Resolutions

Christmas was pretty much perfect. As perfect as Christmas can be.

It was exciting, busy and fun, twelve for Christmas dinner, no fuss, no fights, great food, great presents, great company, movies, peace, nostalgia of course, and not forgetting Santy or the fact that it snowed on St Stephens Day.

What more could anyone ask for?

To be happy in the moment while looking forward to a New Year? Yes and yes, that’s the secret, here’s how that can work, has worked for me…

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We’re in relax mode until New Year and what I love about New Year and these days in the lead up is it’s the only time we really get to stop, look within and really think about our lives. Before you know it the year takes off at a gallop and you find yourself on a roller coaster of schedules, school, work and so on, too blooming tired to think about what’s important.

To watch the New Years Eve countdown as it happens all over the world always makes me teary, not in a bad way, just in an awareness of time tinged with awe way. I think that’s a good thing.

There’s something too in the collective feeling, the shared experience. We’re all in this together, we can make what we want of New Year, celebrate it, mock it, try to hide from it, but for these few days we share a consciousness of time, all our sadness and joy, what we’re doing with our one and only lifetime.

Resolutions get a lot of bad press but with these thoughts in mind they seem to me a most natural thing. I love making them and I love keeping them. Sometimes I carry one for years, but in the end, if they’re right for me, I’ll keep them.

So, as a self professed maker, keeper and believer in resolutions, in the magic of a new year and the potential in all of us. here are my tips for making resolutions you won’t forget or regret. This is what I’ll be doing, have been doing…

1. Make resolutions that mean something. I can’t see that a diet means anything. Resolutions should speak to the heart of you, who you are, what you want to do.

2. Think & Question. Over the next few days go with the flow of the world and think a while. What do you want to do really? Are you happy with the life you’ve created so far? What’s important? Is something missing? If so what is it? I’ve come to the feeling that if something is missing it’s very likely one of these…

Nature, Creativity, Spirit

The good news is through any one you may find the others but chief of them all is creativity, that’s been my experience at least, creativity as a gateway experience. So maybe choose the one your most drawn to, immerse yourself and let the rest follow. And don’t think your’re not creative, we’re all creative, every one of us, it’s the human condition.

I want to add that for me personally, spirituality does not mean religion but whatever floats your boat.

So how to do this? Here’s a few things I’ve tried and found helpful…

3. Make Lists – Any kind, try a list of interests and a list of passions/skills. To work out the difference, the things you want to explore or learn more about are interests. A passion is something you already know something about, already do perhaps. It lights up you, the room and anyone your’re talking to. You are inexplicably drawn to your passion or passions, you never get tired of it, you feel you haven’t chosen it as much as it’s ‘in you.’ Now you know what to focus on.

4. Finish this sentence…’I am a/an’…but wait, remember, if you write it you make it happen…ok…go ahead now.

‘Whatever follows ‘I am’ will come looking for you.’ Joel Osteen

5. Don’t think anyone has it easier than you. That’s a big fat lie, a fatal mistake. No one has it easy or easier. Sure we like to tell ourselves this, it’s a LIE!!! And there’s no right time either, only now.

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6. Buy an egg timer and invest in yourself, ten minutes a day. For writing, for a sketch, for a diary entry or blog post, for dancing, for reading, for learning something new. Just ten minutes. The time, the commitment, the process of it will excite and terrify you, will blow you away. This is what I found both with writing my novel and the daily art challenge this year. You have to go inside yourself to do these things and it’s wonderful in there, who knew!

7. Start a journal, a blog, online, handwritten. Think you have nothing to say? It’s just not possible, your’re human! You have thoughts, ideas, frustrations, depths you couldn’t imagine and will never know…scratch the surface, start writing and without even trying you will learn, grow, change, evolve, bloom. It’s just inevitable.

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8. Immerse yourself in nature. Hug a tree, now scientifically proven to be good for your health, read more HERE. Walk barefoot, maybe not at the moment but later in the year, grow something, go for a walk even. Open your eyes. Notice everything. Get into silence.

9. Don’t worry about not knowing how, or not being ‘good’. You do know how, you are good, it’s just been conditioned out of you. This is why I always feel that as adults we learn from the children, not the other way around.

Be kind to yourself, don’t over think, don’t think, just begin, trust the process, silence the negative voices with action and then more action and even more action so that you can say to the voices….

 ‘But I’m doing it’

I did this the whole way through my novel, all 95,000 words. KEEP going, don’t be small town, imagine immensities…

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10. Push yourself. How settled are you? Pipes and slippers? Bored brainless? Cog in the wheel of time? Use it or lose it, remember, this is a one time show so why not be willing to be a bit out of your depth, a bit scared. Remind yourself that’s just ego, nothing to protect or be proud of. Instead, break yourself open, be open, forge ahead. That could be a resolution in itself. To do this does not make you vulnerable, it makes you strong, it makes you free.

Don’t believe me? Think it’s hocus pocus? Suit yourself of course, but if you felt inspired or a longing, even a frisson of something reading this you already know everything you need to know. Even with the doubt, the fear, we all have that, your’re ready. Go for it!!!

At the end of the day does any of this matter? I think yes!

When we decide to live open and brave we make it easier for others to do the same, openness, being true to ourselves, I feel, would make the world a better, safer, kinder place.

And I think our children will be what we are, not what we hope, facilitate or encourage, just what we are. And if like me you are lucky enough to live in the west, well we have no excuse. We all live in frightening, in challenging times but we have freedoms, for now at least, freedoms our forefathers couldn’t have dreamed of, our parents even. It’s a terrible thing I think, to squander that freedom for ego. That’s what we do you know.

On that note, time once again to get pen and paper out, to dream,…I’ll be back soon with my resolutions for 2015 or before then perhaps, I’m not sure but in the meantime, happy thinking, dreaming and planning. Chat to you soon x

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