New Year, New You!

The idea of making New Year’s Resolutions started centuries ago, yet in my experience these commitments are very difficult to live up to.  Instead of setting ourselves up for some level of failure, why not look at the new year as an adventure, an exploration of renewal and re-energizing?

Most “Resolutions” are based on what we wish we would have done….  Why carry the baggage of the past into the new year?  Why spend a lot of time second guessing ourselves about what we could have done differently?  Why spend energy on regret?

So here are some questions you could ask yourself instead:

  • Did I do everything I could with what I was given?
  • Was I honest about my feelings with the people that are important to me?
  • What kinds of choices did I make that worked for me?
  • Did I listen to my inner voice or spend more energy reacting to what others said or did?
Then take those answers and let them lead you down a new path, in a new direction.
It doesn’t have to be a drastic change on the outside, I’m talking about changing how you see things from the inside.  Some examples:
  • Do you often hear yourself saying, “this is just the way I am”?
    • Try asking if that is true…
    • Then ask yourself what you get from holding on to that self image…
    • Is it a defense mechanism?
    • Is it your excuse to not look for ways to compromise and harmonize with others
  • How often do you say, either out loud or in your thoughts,, “I can’t handle this!”?
    • Is that true?
    • Is it another excuse–this time one that let’s you off the hook?
    • How much could you grow, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, if you faced whatever challenge you wanted to avoid?
    • Is the idea of pushing yourself to greater heights so difficult to accept?
    • Are you afraid if you push yourself you will fail?
  • Have you ever really let yourself explore what it would be like to live fully for yourself, giving yourself the opportunity to say what you want, what you think, what you believe?
    • Most of us edit ourselves to be more palatable to others.
    • Most of us are exhausted by keeping our true selves compressed, tapped down, so as to remain likable, fearful that we will lose something if we are too authentic.
    • Most of us do some form of self-medicating to ease the stress of constant approval seeking and hiding our true thoughts and ideas to that end.
As Marianne Williamson stated many years ago, we serve the world by shining, not shrinking.  It was a call to awaken that sleeping giant inside all of us and let it out into the world–perhaps clumsily at first, but gradually learning to navigate the human experience from a place of authenticity, honesty, and self-appreciation.
Who could you be if you let your light shine forth?  What contributions great and small could you be making?  This new you, living fully, could be making a much greater difference in peoples’ lives than you realize.
I invite you to consider this journey of exploration.  Who knows what you will find out?