“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
This year I made a new year’s resolution not to have any resolutions. And it wasn’t because I don’t believe in the power of intention and a mighty fine goal.
Picture this… The holidays are coming to a close. You’ve been away, soaked up the beach, and savoured some family visits. And now like everyone you’re pumped and primed to launch into the next big thing. Right?
The new year is traditionally a powerful time, full of promise. You pile your hopes into resolutions. You resume work life, get back to the gym and start implementing your latest goals. Rested from the holiday season you focus your energies into learning, work and getting stuck into life. And it’s fantastic! Only what if you don’t feel that way?
Life seems so much more full and busy than it used to. Looking after kids and family, there isn’t always that needed holiday or break. For whatever reason, what if you just aren’t ‘feeling it’, that sense of spark and indomitable spirit to take on the world.
And this is exactly where I find myself. Knowing that something needs to change but sensing a new list of priorities is not the solution. It’s easy it is to get caught up with the sexy, super-busy status quo that’s almost become a badge of honour – and to stop listening to that quiet inner voice. Now that I’ve had a chance to tune back in, here’s what I’m wondering:
What if it’s just plain silly to think we need to start afresh at the beginning of every year. What if being right where you are is okay too. Just easing in to the things, and taking it as it comes. Not trying to do too much. Not enrolling in that training program or sticking on the fitness tracker. Saying no new activities and commitments. Maybe a slow start is what is exactly what is required.
Ask yourself honestly: When was the last time you allowed yourself to do what needs to be done. And only that.
Think about paring back, eliminating all the extras, and attending to the basics. With a sense of grace, presence and measure.
Apart from recharging the batteries, you’ll create some breathing space, which might be all that’s needed to allow your real priorities to surface. They could be simpler than you think.
A leisurely brunch with friends or family. Daily meditation. Tending to some herbs in the garden. How about reading a book and allowing yourself to savour (and finish) it.
As a coach who is passionate about goals and going for it, it’s been quite a revelation to sit back and observe this shift in energy.
So while plenty might be diving right into 2015, I am calmly declaring that I (and you) don’t need to – if your intuition is telling you otherwise. And we don’t need to beat ourselves up about it either.
At the end of each year the majority of us feel we have too much on our plates. There’s a universal feeling that life is speeding up and we’re never quite getting through it all. And we only need look around to see more and more of us are experiencing fatigue and burn out.
So here’s my observation: What if how you start your year could help you to avoid some of that future stress? What if the decisions you make now about what to take on and what to leave aside will set the tone for the year going forward?
If we want to create the balanced life we so desperately crave, we need to give ourselves the chance to do that, without the pressure.
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to remake yourself anew every year – bigger, better, stronger. Sometimes, as I have discovered, what you need to do, is nothing at all. To just simply ‘be’ and let it all unfold.
That might be the best ‘you’ you’ve been in a long time. Not a new you exactly, just the old you, operating consciously, with kindness and wisdom.
As my wise Scottish mum used to say ‘Start as you mean to continue.’
Happy new year!