My daughter received this beautiful hand painted canvas from her aunt this Christmas. This meaningful gift reminded me of my new years ritual.
To create lasting change we need to anchor ourselves to what matters. We often say "I don't have time" but what we are really saying is "it doesn't matter that much to me". We make time for the things that matter most to us. The illusion of not having time is just a statement to get us off the hook.
Every Dec 31st, I sit and write down all of the milestones and wonderful things we experienced as a family during the year. It amazes me every time how much I end up writing and it is a great reminder of the full year of experiences and growth we had.
On Jan 1st, as I reflect on the past year and on the year we are embarking on I ask myself;
How do I want to feel at the end of this year?
After I have written a list of words I ask myself;
What would I like to accomplish this year?
Every year, I end up experiencing more than I ever could have imagined. I think that is why standard one-line resolutions let us down. They are too rigid and narrow. I need room to explore what is possible and have the flexibility to make decisions in the moment, all year long.
My invitation is for you to consider a new way to create resolutions. Choose to anchor yourself to the feeling you want to create rather than solely on specific actions or outcomes. What you invest your time in will flow naturally from the list you create. Coming from what matters to you will be easier to sustain than starting with only what you hope to achieve.
Your list of actions will continue to grow and build upon one another over the entire year. Every 3 months, take a moment and write down your list of accomplishments. This will provide you with much needed momentum and inspire you to create more.
Here is a glimpse into how I created my 2016 ‘resolutions’.
When I look at my daughter's canvas it strikes me that the words exactly represent how I want to feel when I look back on 2016. I want these words to represent how I show up in life and my filter for how I choose to use my time.
These words will serve as the foundation for all my moments this year. My gauge for success will be every 3 months when I take a moment to reflect. What did I focus on and am I proud of the year I am creating?
From these words come more questions.
What do I want to focus my attention on?
What are the three things I wish to create in 2016?
1) Create a strong, healthy, active life.
2) Create vibrant experiences with my family
3) Create work that inspires myself and others
How will I create these three things? When I make decisions this year I will go back to the words and the feeling I intend to have at the end of 2016 and ask myself if my choices are aligned with the resolutions I created. Every 3 months, I will write a list of my accomplishments under each statement (active life, vibrant family experiences and inspiring work) as a way to remind myself what matters to me.
For example, by investing time writing this I can add ' New Years blog post' to the list under #3.
All I have to do now is live my life and make my decisions from these anchor words and statements. Everything I ever wanted to create falls into place and beyond my expectations, every single year.
I don't make one-line resolution statements anymore. I create something that matters to me; a canvas of reminders that I can live into all year long.
What is on your canvas for 2016?