New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not sure about you, but I’ve seen a number of articles recently about how to keep your new year’s resolution and the percentage of people who don’t. I think for most my life I’ve fit in with those that don’t, so for the most part I just stopped making them. However, there is no denying there is something about the beginning of a new year that causes one to reflect on the old and want to improve on areas that weren’t quite working.

I joined the multitude of folks who started with a new years day hike. Although the day was cool, the sun shining brightly felt warm. Since this year I did make a commitment to return to a meditation practice, I arrived home and kept my self-promise to sit in silence afterwards. I also committed to keeping a journal and so spent the next hour writing.

I had gotten away from meditating, it being one of those resolutions I’ve made off and on over the years at various times and then never kept. As a result, I’ve been noticing when I lay down to sleep, my mind has been kicking into high gear, keeping me awake. Not to mention I’ve been missing the other benefits meditating provides: mainly the opportunity to receive inspiration and guidance.

I always felt like I was failing at meditation because I could not silence my mind. I realized this summer that if I went into the practice with that intention, I would most likely never stay with it; because the mind rarely shuts off. So for me, I’ve come to view meditation as more an opportunity to practice the observer mind, letting the thoughts flow through and out without attaching to them.

Returning to meditation will be a challenge for me because until I’ve been doing it consistently, it feels like a chore. However, I remember when I was meditating daily, there came a time that it stopped being something I endured and became something I enjoyed. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before that experience returns since I’m starting all over again.

As for journaling, I have a bookshelf full of half written notebooks from the last 20 years or so of my life. Mostly they are pages of personal drama full of relationship angst. At some point a few years ago I got tired of recording my personal woes and stopped altogether. I also got tired of looking back over old journals and seeing some of the same themes written year after year.

Those themes were usually the desire to start meditating, exercise, eat healthy, reduce my drinking, write more, and be an inspirational speaker. Year after year I would intend to do these things and one after another they did not get accomplished. It’s discouraging to see the evidence of what I consider my failures.

So it was with some trepidation that I picked up my pen and a fresh journal and began writing. Would I repeat the same pattern of goal setting and dreams unfulfilled? I think one of my biggest fears would be to read back over what I’d written a year from now and feel that sense of failure again.

However, as I reflected on my life, I realized just how much I HAD accomplished. I generally DO eat healthy, I’ve lost 25 pounds, I rarely drink, I’m writing, and I was the “Master of Ceremonies” at the Dances of Universal Peace New Years Eve program. Furthermore, I’ve already got a talk scheduled for March and am dedicated to spending this year developing my speaking business.

One of the benefits of journaling I had forgotten is similar to that of meditation. It is how things can be revealed from our subconscious that have been hidden. I was writing about how the desire for my dream has to be stronger than the allure of all the distractions life keeps offering up. As I reflected on this, I realized on some level I didn’t really believe I could make my dreams come true. I’d been giving “lip service” to my ideals but not wholeheartedly believing in them.

What a huge “ah ha” to see that it’s no wonder I’ve been undisciplined in working diligently on taking more steps to move closer to my goals. The burning passion HAS to be there. And I’ve studied the principles of the Law of Attraction long enough to know if I don’t believe it, it will never manifest.

This morning I wrote a note to myself which says “What are 3 things I can do today to move in the direction of my dreams?” Writing this blog is one. I’m not sure if I can count meditating and journaling as the other two, but I do know if I can keep my focus on moving forward, I am another step closer to achieving them.

What steps have you taken today and do you believe you can reach your goals? Understandably, belief is something that is difficult without evidence. However, I am convinced if we keep returning to our commitment to succeed, and take action to make it happen, each day it will be a little easier to believe.