With 2017 right on the horizon, and a busy holiday season wrapping up, the transition into the New Year can be a time of reflection and refocusing. Setting resolutions, goals, and intentions for the year ahead has become a natural outpouring of this tradition.
While taking time for introspection and a break from dailyness can be helpful, the goals that can come out of this time can be ambitious and sometimes too demanding to maintain. Cheri Huber, a Zen student, teacher, and writer, explains that the way resolutions play out can depend on where they come from within ourselves:
Unfortunately, when it comes to resolutions, the inner critic is usually the first aspect of our personality on the conference call, and consequently, he or she ends up running the show – generally with poor results. What you really want for this process is your “inner coach” or “wise mentor” personality. This is the smart but mature and kind part of you – someone who is on your side, who is an advocate for enhancing what is right about you and building on your talents and strengths.
More resolution wisdom comes from Jane Alexander, a mind-body expert, who explains how seasonality can affect personal change and goal-setting:
People assume that if they’re going to make changes, they have to do it all at once starting January 1. My background in seasonal living tells me that’s all wrong. This really isn’t so much a season of action as a season of dreaming, imagining, examining and thinking. It’s a perfect time to curl up with books and journals, to explore options, to develop systems and lay the groundwork for changes we’ll embrace more fully in the spring.
Jane also offers encouragement to embrace individual processes:
You don’t have to follow the herd – you can make your own choices to change your life in positive ways when you want to. It’s an individual process: You might read this and think, “Well, actually, I do very well with New Year’s resolutions.” Fine, keep going. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! But if it’s not working for you, then give yourself permission to find something that does work. Invent your own ritual.
For those of you who are excited and ready to set resolutions for 2017, here are some strategies for success from Cheri Huber:
- Make small resolutions.
- Celebrate little successes.
- Enjoy the process.
- Be accountable to someone.
- Listen to yourself.
- Go for positive change.
- Cultivate self-kindness.
Learn about what works for you, and maybe even integrate some of these ideas. From Healthy Living Medical Supply, Happy New Year! Let’s welcome in 2017 with a spirit of hope.