Whether 2018’s been a blockbuster or whether it busted something else, we’re all shivering with antici — pation waiting to see how 2019 might unfold.
Of course, along with our high hopes we also tend to add a pinch of planning, maybe a sprinkle of wishes on stars, and probably a dollop of self-judgement about how we did last year and how to make sure that the resolutions made this year “really stick this time!”
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that – we love the feeling of blue skying and dreaming of our next goals as much as anyone does – and we’ve used all kinds of tips and tricks to make resolutions stick.
Which is how we also know what it’s like to put soooo much pressure on the finality of resolutions that we’ve basically silenced them before we even got started. In fact, it’s those ginormous expectations of smashing through obstacles we’ve attempted to overcome (but didn’t) before are exactly the burden that keep doing us in.
This year we’ve realized that there’s only one resolution that matters, and that’s learning to let go of the past so we can look forward to the future.
No matter what other promises you’ve made before, or want to make in future, letting go of the past and all of the history and expectations that come along with them is the best way to not just accomplish them, but actually enjoy them in the future.
So how are we approaching our New Year’s instead?
1. Set an intention – not a resolution
We’re over ‘resolutions’ in the traditional sense. Instead, we’re want to settle into intentions for the future. Where resolutions are about perfection, intentions are oriented towards process, creating an achievable and active journey rather than a pass/fail end point.
2. Practice new skills or behaviours
As long as we’re focused on the journey we can actually take time to practice what we want to step into, rather than focus on a singular outcome. That practice might evolve and look different at every iteration – and that’s exactly what “becoming” is all about!
3. Gifts of understanding and patience
Any change or goal takes time – and sure, we all know that intellectually, but what about knowing that emotionally? Not so simple. Of course, setting a specific timeframe is critical to achieving any goal or making any decision – but it really helps to remember that the gifts of understanding and patience are different and sometimes as or more emotionally healthy because embedded in them is self-forgiveness – a quality that traditional resolutions tend to lack.
4. Trust the future – and close the door to the past
It’s impossible to step into the new if you’ve got one foot wedged in the past. It often feels scary to let go of the familiar when we’re reaching for something new – but ya gotta finish the appetizer before you get to the main course, right? Take a deep breath and know that as soon as you make the decision to close the door to the past, the window to the future will open with ease.
5. Forget the staircase – look only to see the next step
Sometimes the journey to your next chapter isn’t crystal clear which makes the unknown “in between” parts pretty scary. But once you’re committed to your journey, all you really need is the next step to be in front of you. In fact, seeing the whole staircase might actually be a hindrance!
6. Let go of the “how”
If you had the whole staircase laid out in front of you and things didn’t go “according to plan” how quickly would you become frustrated or even give up, thinking you’re too off course? Thought so. That is exactly why letting go of the “how” and just focusing on the “what” is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in reaching your next stage. It doesn’t matter how – because the twists and turns along a road trip are always the parts with the most benefit! But, if you’re busy focusing on a single approach, you’ll miss all of the surprises that will likely better inform your path and that, of course, is where the magic happens!
7. Celebrate every accomplishment towards the future state
Our very favourite. Every accomplishment – large or small – that takes you forward deserves to be celebrated! Maybe it’s ordering a fancy drink instead of your usual cup of tea to celebrate an important meeting that went well, or a massage after meeting an intense deadline. Whatever it is, celebrating the smaller steps helps you stay motivated and that makes it easier and more fun to stay committed to your intentions.
Wishing you a new year full of hope, joy, and intention!