“Don’t ask what the world needs – ask what makes you come alive, and go and do that.?Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So often we begin the new year with resolutions. Most of them are designed to make us ‘better people’, or at least skinnier, richer and in theory healthier and generally more successful – or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. We start the year off dutifully taking stock of our shortcomings, our faults and the insufficiencies of the previous year. We use this as a basis to vow to make changes, and mostly because ‘we should’. But do your new year’s resolutions, generally speaking, really make you happy? Do they ‘make you a better person’? Or do you set yourself up for struggle, inner battle and defeat?
I’ve made my fair share of these types of resolutions, and yes they’ve come from the same unhealthy place. They have been born of inner judgement, disapproval and a moderate degree of self-loathing. The resolutions then instead of inspiring greatness, contentment, joy and satisfaction, became instruments of punishment as I tried to force myself into becoming the type of person I thought I should be. Those ones never worked. I was unhappy. The year almost always went badly as I pushed ahead with relentless force, and I was left feeling worse about myself than when the year began.
Then one year, I’m not sure if it was out of exhaustion or inspiration, I made a simple, one-line, easy to stick to resolution. Just like that! No over-thinking or over-planning. It’s something I knew I could do and thought it would make an impact – it changed my life.
The next year, I used the same concept but different resolution:
- One line
- Had to feel inspiring to do.
Again, it shaped an amazing year! And I’ve done this ever since. So what are some of the resolutions? How did they change my life? And how can you make this work for you?
My Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions of All Time
Give to a charity every single week. Could be a homeless person or organized charity, but give. This forced me to look outside of myself for others who needed help. It took me out of my own problems and allowed me to connect with people I might never have met. Sometimes it was giving money, other times buying someone who needed it a meal or taking towels and blankets to an animal shelter. It felt good. It changed my perspective and changed the way I interacted with the world around me.
Send a thank you card to one person every single week. This was similar to the one above in that it kept me continually in a state of connecting with others with love and gratitude. Often the notes were hand-written, but sometimes and email or text. I found 52 people to thank for something that year and relationships and partnerships blossomed.
Never let a week go by without having a glass of champagne! This was a fun one!! A little more self indulgent than the previous two, but oh what a year! Champagne is celebratory. It is hard to be bored, angry or stressed when you are holding a glass of champagne. It sends a message to your brain that something good has just happened or is about to happen. And at least for me, it lightens the mood and gave me something to look forward to at the end of those tough weeks. Sometimes champagne happened on Monday – still good…. it just meant starting the week with a celebration!
What do all three have in common? They took me out of myself and out of my smallness…..
….that place we can all go to when life gets to be cumbersome and we convince ourselves we just have to be better human beings. Each one of those resolutions ended up bringing other people into my life on a weekly basis in a way that made them feel good as well. Because these were things that felt inspiring to me it was like partnering with life! The energy was pure, unpolluted by judgement or a feeling of lack. All three were joyful and yes, each one change my life in remarkable ways. Did I get skinnier? No. Healthier and more successful? It depends on how you define those; to me, Yes. Happier? Absolutely!
So what would make you feel more alive? What inspires you right now? What is one, small, action you could commit to just once a week, every week this year if you weren’t trying to orchestrate an outcome?
Maybe it’s taking yourself out for cappuccino, going to that meditation group or art gallery, going for a walk in nature, writing if you love to write or dancing if you love to dance. Pick one thing. Pick something that just feels good to you… it doesn’t necessarily have to set your soul on fire. That in and of itself is a lot of pressure 🙂
Knowing that you are good enough, right here, right now doesn’t mean that nothing is going to change or that you shouldn’t strive for growth – it just means the process doesn’t have to suck! So often we label ourselves or an area of our lives as ‘bad’ to try and force change, instead of just inviting something in that feels good.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Share your resolution if you’re called to or keep it a special secret (my fav!) and let it play out in the months ahead. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can always begin right now. I promise, this will change your world.
Be good to yourself and follow your dreams… that is where the joy is!