“A New Year can be a time for a fresh start, but do it in a state of pleasure, not pressure.”
We all know that a New Year is an ideal time to start fresh, set different intentions and create better, happier, healthier habits.
And we know that just as easily as they start, our old habits can sneak back in. In a flash our New Year’s intentions are gone, only to be thought of in another twelve months.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make this year’s intentions stick.
I think part of the problem is we set intentions with our heads, not stopping to check in with our soul. And if something isn’t in line with our spirit, it will never work. Sure, it may work for a while, but in the long run, it won’t succeed. This goes with everything in our lives: jobs, relationships, spiritual practices and yes—even New Year’s resolutions.
We do this not because we are being careless, but because we truly think we are doing what’s right. We think big for New Year’s. We go all out! We want it to be THE. BEST. YEAR. EVER!
We think bigger equals better. Better equals happiness. And happiness equals everything we ever wanted falling into place immediately.
But of course life doesn’t work like that—at least not all of the time.
While setting the bar high can be a great thing in our lives as it can motivate and push us towards better, when it comes to New Year’s intentions, it might not be what works best.
Yes, we want positive changes in our lives and yes, the start of a new year is a great time to implement them, but instead of going big, let’s just make the promise go.
We don’t need to leap or fly. We simply need to move. To take a step forward. To try. (Tweet that!)
And we need to dig deep, consult our inner knowing, and listen before we declare the top one hundred things we are changing in honor of the New Year.
That’s a lot of pressure.
It seems simple enough, but what I’m saying is this: we need to set up realistic expectations for ourselves if we want to succeed.
If one of your New Year’s intentions is to get to the gym, then by all means, go for it! But if you know that going to the gym every day for an hour isn’t something you can realistically maintain after two weeks, then don’t set that promise. Please. Because the moment you skip a day, you’ll feel like you failed. And that might make you give up entirely.
But if you are honest with yourself and set a more realistic goal then you are more likely to keep up with your new intention. I promise you’ll feel more successful and more motivated to keep going.
The same is true for all your other goals whether they be making time to cook healthy, making time to meditate or making time to return to a favorite passion or to follow a new one.
Start with small, doable goals. Starting big and making huge changes can feel good, but only if you can maintain it over time.
This New Year vow to start with a small goal and adjust it as necessary. (Tweet that!)
I’m not saying to lower your bar so drastically that the change you want to implement is barely noticeable (30 second meditation, anyone?) I’m simply suggesting to be realistic and that starts with being real.
When making your New Year’s resolutions be honest with yourself. Only you know what feels right and what feels ridiculous.
When imagining each of the goals you want to achieve, ask if you are setting yourself up for a success or for a failure?
Most of all, be kind to yourself. Don’t make promises you can’t possibly keep. Life is filled with disappointments we can’t control. So let’s not disappoint ourselves.
Don’t make pressure-filled resolutions that will make you feel good for a few weeks. Set intentions born from pleasure—ones that will please your spirit most, ones that will stay with you, ones that you will carry for the whole year ahead and beyond.
Because true change means a transformation that can’t be measured in days or months. It means a change that grows and evolves over time, with you.
Mantra: “This New Year I set intentions for my highest good. I set intentions that set me up for success.”
What will your New Year’s intentions be?
Wishing you all the best as you end 2015 and think about what lies ahead in 2016.
May it be your happiest, healthiest most joy-filled year yet!
Sending love and light your way!