Tired of New Year’s resolutions? Try this instead.

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Everything we do is a journey sprinkled with challenges, blessings and messages.

It’s that time again to raise our glasses and welcome new beginnings. “Happy New Year!”is heard around the globe.

It’s a time when some of us are renewing old promises and some are eagerly waiting to make new ones.

For me, resolutions have always felt heavy and stressful. When I think of resolutions I hear Queen and Bowie’s Under Pressure playing in my head.

So, I decided last year and now again this year, to ring in the new year using a new approach.

May it serve you too.

My journey has taught me that before I even think about resolutions or goals or whatever you want to call it, it feels good to acknowledge all of the challenges I overcame and all the wisdom I gained.  I like to pat myself on the back and truly feel into the vibe of gratitude and remind myself that I truly am doing my best.

I also like to simply acknowledge the privilege of being alive. It’s truly a miracle.

Once I am in the vibe of gratitude, I then begin to reflect on how I want to feel in the new year and what experiences I want to enjoy.  That is the key.

I ask myself: what experiences do I want to enjoy?

I like to approach the new year with the intention of going on a journey and not with a to do list. I do not like to feel like my happiness depends on one goal or on a final destination. This feels like pressure and punishment, with no flow.  When we focus on just goals, we tend to get caught up in the how and not the why. In the words of Danielle Laporte, they are goals with no soul.

The why is what fuels us.

My experimental approach requiresgratitudereflection, detoxification, clearing and some workof course.

But, before we can begin to make room for new adventures, we have to be real with ourselves and acknowledge that there are some people, habits and patterns that may be  getting in the way of our dreams.

When we remove these barriers, we begin to make room for change.

Let’s analyze a common resolution as an example of the process. Over 50% of the population will list losing weight as a resolution. While there is nothing wrong with this desire, if we approach it from a perspective of restriction and punishment, we will undoubtedly fail.

Losing weight is a journey!

This resolution should be called gaining health and vitality and maintaining a weight that is right for you! This feels lighter and more exciting.

So, we begin with the why.  We reflect. 

Why do we want to lose weight? Some reasons may be because we want to feel healthy and nourish our body with loving foods. We want to have more energy and enjoy our wardrobe.  We want to take care of ourselves.  We simply want to feel better.

Fill in the blank.

Once we feel into the why, we have to observe the patterns that keep us distracted or keep us stuck. Aside from medical reasons that may prevent someone from losing weight, which would need to be addressed by the proper professional, this article is meant to address some of the emotional and spiritual reasons why we struggle to achieve our desires and in this example, it’s losing weight.

If there is one thing that has stood in the way of my reaching my desires is unhealed emotional trauma. Traumas, big or small, create patterns of unhealthy behavior because we become reactive when triggered or we engage in these behaviors to numb ourselves from facing the pain of our traumas.

This is mostly done on a subconscious level so do not blame yourself.

It has taken me years of on and off therapy, coaching and healing to begin to recognize my patterns and behaviors that steal my true joy and get in my way. These patterns replay over and over until they are healed. We all have them!

When I first tried this new approach and I began the process of detoxifying, I asked myself: what can I eliminate right now that I know no longer serves me and pulls me down?

One of the keys to healing most patterns is to reach into your heart and call your inner child and nurture that child from your adult self and reassure him or her that they are enough just as they are. Your inner child runs the show in our lives. The healthier the inner child the healthier our lives are.

Inner child work is very powerful and life changing. When was the last time you closed your eyes and reached deep into your heart to connect with your inner child? Try it. Just close your eyes and ask “what do I need to see; How can I nourish you?” Just pause and feel.

Aside from healing patterns and detoxifying, we need to clear space. Clear our office, garage, home, closet and car.  I struggle with organization.  I like to chalk it up to the fact that I am a free spirit but the truth is that cluttered space is a reflection of scattered energy.

So, just a few days ago, I cleaned out my car, donated many items from my closet and office and I continue the process of unloading. I do this throughout the year. This will free you up energetically.  I have already felt the shifts.

It is a physical detox of your space which in turn is reflected in your psyche.

You may be asking what does this have to do with losing weight or any other goal or desire? To this I say, everything!  Clearing up space is an act of self-love and a declaration to the universe that you are ready to receive and have gladly given up what is no longer needed.  It is a message that we are not clinging on to things that do not serve us anymore.

Clearing is very important.

After we clear and detox, its time to take daily steps toward how we want to feel. Back to the losing weight example – perhaps this week you can eliminate dessert during the week or limit  consumption of sugary drinks. Find daily steps even if tiny to get the momentum going.

If we take our steps while we are connected to our why, we will always stay connected to our desires and allow the journey to unfold day by day instead of approaching the desire from a rigid place. We will begin to make changes that accommodate our individual pace and feel more like a process of integration rather than punishment. 

My desire this year is to stay connected to my creativity and gifts and to express them more so that I can serve in a greater way. Instead, I could have said I want to write more but that is just one goal. When I say I want to stay creative and connected to my inner world and truth, writing may be a byproduct of that desire, and who knows what else I will discover about myself and my gifts. To accomplish this, I will have to make space and cut the screen time and trim the schedule. Who knows where this journey will lead me, but I am open to all possibilities. I will undoubtedly have to get rid of distractions and observe any other behavior that is getting in the way.

I will have to ask myself: What is keeping me from making time for creativity?  Once I remove obstacles, I can embark on a quest to express my gifts and spend more time nurturing them.

So take it easy and be very gentle with yourself.  Have fun and be patient.

I am rooting for you!

I leave you with this prayer to get you started:

Dear Universe, love, light, God and all that is of the highest wisdom and truth, I am ready to gracefully release what no longer nourishes me, give me the strength and clarity to honor my heart’s desires and show me how to live my best life, the one my soul chose for me.   

Talk to me, tell me how you want to feel in 2019. What do you want to experience?

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