I’ve been thinking about the phrase “new year resolutions”. I have heard this phrase so many times and it continues to make me cringe. Yes, I don’t believe in new year resolutions. I never did. I never will.
New year resolutions suck because they only happen once a year. That is a terrible goal. Behavior change requires daily reminders, daily restrains, daily intentions and resolves and daily actions.
I say let’s move away from new year resolutions and towards incremental moment to moment changes instead. Why wait a whole year to make a shift in negative behavior, habits, addictions, etc? Why wait a whole year on assessing where we wanna be instead of starting to work now on doing the shift? If we are going to live 80 years, then it means we get 65 opportunities for change (if we started when we were 15). That is a very low number. Instead, give yourself 10 opportunities weekly for new resolutions. Test them, try them, add momentum daily.
Here are some suggestions for the 10 weekly opportunities:
10 weekly opportunities for change:
Morning assessment and intention setting. this is the cornerstone, but it doesn’t have to be huge. It can be a 5 minute ritual. It could be done while showering, while driving, while having the morning drink. Be consistent, which means avoid skipping it at all cost. Assesment means noticing how you feel and how you are starting today, perhaps there is anxious energy, some unprocessed grief or anger, perhaps you have pain or tightness, or pehaps you could start noticing some shadow aspects that are starting to come up to surface, like racial, cultural and sexual biases. You got the picture, now what? This is the point where intention setting comes in. During your assessment you discovered something you perhaps would not be aware of, unless you paid enough attention. Now, create an intention that can support your work towards integrating this shadow piece, bias, unattended feelings, etc, into your whole attention, in order to create change from this precise place, rather than trying to avoid it.
Be honest: this is a two arrow work. Be honest with yourself first. Then do it with others. Practice this skill as often as daily. But, make sure your honesty is not translated into blaming others. Be honest with rapport, which means, taking in consideration the other person’s feelings and the effect your words or acts will or have caused. Remember to take time first with yourself, accept your feelings until you don’t feel like blaming others. This skill is extremely important but not considerated often enough. With blame, others don’t listen, they just react. We want the other person to listen to us, we want change, that’s the whole point of being honest. But really, we want change in ourselves first.
Posititve food: make a daily choice of food-life choice that is beneficial for your body. Just one a day if it’s a hard one, but make it daily and consistently.
Negative food: avoid daily a food-life choice that negatively impacts your body. Just one a day, but make it consistently. Negative food could mean avoiding that interaction that could impact you negatively today, but tomorrow that might become positive food, it depends.
Learn something new: pick a daily or weekly challenge. Learn anything new you didn’t know before, about yourself first, about the world around you next. Take your whole life as a learning opportunity, which means, gazillions of moments to fall and mess it up and as many to get up, and learn what you are supposed to learn. How else will you evolve?
Find something to be grateful for: at least do this weekly but I really preffer a daily practice. it could be the weather, your garden, a friend, a part of your body, a meal, clean water, etc. Be consistent. the more your practice gratefulness the better.
Offer your service for free to those in need: yes, you heard me, free service is necessary in this world. Give some of your time to a non profit or minority group, help the elder, the disabled, help at a school, a church, a homeless shelter, etc. Be consistent, do it weekly if possible.
Walk your talk: So simple but hardly exercised, we have a political landscape full of promises that never come to fruition. Don’t go around lecturing others about subjects you haven’t owned. If racial issues are a thing for you, then act accordingly. If you feel there is unjustice speak with your acts.
Practice critical thinking: one way of doing this is exposing your thoughts in public. You can do this via a #randomtalkingvideo or by writing often your opinion. See what happens next, learn from the feedback, learn to love feedback, but never take it so personal that it prevents you from doing it again. The whole point of this exercise on critical thinking is understanding that your stance, your opinions and your interests will evolve. Be a lover of feedback. You will learn so much faster this way.
Love yourself first: I know, this is the corny stuff, but without this piece nothing else will matter. We talk about love until our mouths are full of foam, but it is not the conditional mediocre-smell-like-a-trick kind of love. It is the inner super hero, the one part of yourself that has the cape and is able to love all your other parts
Let me know what you think about this subject or these 10 weekly opportunities!
Also I offer zoom and skype consultations. let me know if you are interested in exploring change from the inside-out.