New Year, New You(?)
Dear friends—are you setting resolutions today? One, or perhaps several ways in which you plan to improve yourself and your life in 2018? Or do you feel resistance to the idea of New Year’s resolutions? Formal studies and anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that they do tend to fail, and lead to feelings of failure, even leaving us with the sense that we cannot accomplish the changes we desire.
Perhaps intention-setting is a better practice. Instead of the super-firm, sometimes harsh boundaries we are tempted to set around when we “make a resolution,” we might gently set an intention, such as an intention to be more present in conversation, or to practice gratitude. It is a way of affirming our deepest values and aligning our attention toward how to develop those values in our daily lives.
A new trend is to choose a single word to be a theme to shape one’s approach to the new year. My friend Jenny is choosing to focus on joy—every opportunity she gets, every time she thinks about a decision, small or large, she will try to cultivate more joy in her life in 2018.
Another possibility is to forgo altogether the idea of working to change yourself in this new year. One of my spiritual friends has taught me always to ask, “What is needed now?” To notice in the present moment, what is arising. And perhaps what you need most right now is to work on loving and accepting yourself completely, just as you are. I love these words from Melissa Eisler’s essay, Five Alternatives to Making New Year’s Resolutions (I highly recommend reading!)
"Instead of trying to change yourself, find some comfort in who are you—right here and right now. It can become exhausting to constantly make changes in your life. Imagine a life where you can just sit with yourself in acceptance."
My hope for you in the new year is that you connect more deeply with yourself, with the divine (however you conceive of that), and with the people who inspire and uplift you most.
I also want to apologize to those of you who have reached out to me through this site—I am a newbie, greenhorn, freshman baby website builder and I neglected to set up the contact page to my proper email account. Rest assured, I will now be readily informed of your messages, and we will be connected. I so look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!! <3