How many of you have been in, or overheard conversations about New Year’s Resolutions, where some speak with great fervour and passion; whilst others say ‘I don’t believe in making resolutions’? I have come to wonder how a simple date can cause many people to pause and reflect, pull over to the slow lane if you like, even if for 5 minutes; when the rest of the year, we stay in the fast lane.
So, what happens when you pull over to the slow lane or even stop? What do you become aware of?
It forces me to come up above the mental to-do list and juggling hats, as if I am looking down at myself from the canopy of the trees. From this viewpoint, I can see the roles I am playing in my life with detachment, and I can ponder over what is important to me in each of those roles. I actually dedicate time to reflect on questions similar to the ones I have listed below; as opposed to wonder if I have food in the fridge for the next couple of days, work organised, commitments on my radar so I don’t miss a vital playdate, thank you cards written etc etc!
When I get curious with people who say they are not making resolutions, 2 distinct themes emerge: ’I never keep them anyway’ and ‘I don’t even know what my resolution could be’. Let’s tackle each in turn’.
I never keep them anyway:
Typically we don’t keep resolutions because the benefit of achieving them was not important enough to us in the first place. So, ask yourself, if I make this resolution happen, what will it give me? What will be different for me, both emotionally and practically? When you know it will have a positive impact on you, you can identify ways to keep motivated, be it through support of others, being held accountable, a reward, visions/images; whatever you know keeps you motivated. How do you know that? Press pause and ask yourself.
I don’t even know what my resolution could be:
It was quite refreshing to read the Wikipedia definition of a New Year’s Resolution: “a secular tradition,… in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.” We can get caught up in resolutions needing to be these big statements or life changing goals. They don’t need to be (although it makes it more scary and exciting if they are sometimes!). Through answering the below questions and becoming more self-aware, you will find yourself creating resolutions and they may be just as above, an act of self-improvement.
- What lessons did I learn in 2013?
- What did I learn about myself, about what is important to me?
- Where and how do I limit myself & what is the benefit of stopping?
- What structures & supports do I need to put in place to help me remember these learnings?
- What are my values?
- What am I proud of in 2013?
- What did I let go of/overcome?
- What am I grateful for?
- What am I saying “yes to” in 2014?
- What am I saying “no” to in 2014?
There is a quote “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about” (Charles Kingsley). Most of us parents are enthusiastic about our children (well, …most of the time!). But, what else are you enthusiastic about? What does that look like in 2014?
If you would like to become more self-aware so that it is easier to answer these questions and dedicate some time to ‘press pause’, then Debbie is running her next programme soon for Mums– “Start 2014 with a sense of purpose and clarity”. Parents Club Members receive a 5% discount off the cost.