Well, here we are, teetering right on the razor edge of a brand new year. Another chance to take a stab at being our best, at finally deciding to focus on our best dreams.
And then the next day comes and all the excitement and determination fades right away with the rising sun. With unadmitted relief, we slide back into the comfortable routines.
And that’s okay. It’s called being human. Back-sliding is built right in. That’s why the more realistic among us don’t even bother making “resolutions.”
Still, it’s good to take some time when the New Year rolls around to give some thought to what you would like to do better, what you would like to leave behind. That’s how real change happens, after all. And every morning, every minute, offers us a fresh start. You can grab one any time you decide to trade something old for something new.
So, if you were going to name something you want to claim more of, or something that you no longer want in your life, what would it be? Over the next day or two, roll that question around in your mind and see what you come up with. It’s a good thing to know, just in case that genie with the magic lamp shows up to offer you wishes.
Personally, I start thinking about what I want more of and what I want to leave behind several days, and sometimes several weeks before the New Year dawns. Then I tuck my answers inside two words or phrases that I use as guide words for the year. I write one of them atop the first page of my journal and the second one atop the facing page, and every time I turn the page, I write them again. If I didn’t keep a journal, I’d write them on a card and put it somewhere that I’d see it every single day—on my fridge, in the notes section of my weekly calendar.
For my focus in 2017, for example, I chose the phrases “Vibrant Health” and “Inspired Creativity.” Looking back, I see that I’ve significantly expanded my knowledge of nutrition and tweaked my food choices in harmony with that. I’ve added some simple exercises to my routine. And almost every day, I’ve taken my camera for a walk, fulfilling both guidelines at once. I’m more playful. I doodle more. I make up songs on my electronic keyboard. I read more poetry and I think my writing has improved.
I’ve come to call my two words/phrases my “nudge words.” I don’t really think about them or make any conscious effort to act in harmony with them. But my daily encounter with them seems to give them some power. They sink into my subconscious and remind me how I want to be, what would make my life richer.
It works for me—effortlessly. And as this old year slides over the horizon, I find that I’m excited about seeing how my new set of nudge words will be reflected in my life in the days to come. Pick a couple of your own and give it a try. It’s no magic genie, but it’s the closest thing I’ve found.
Wishing you a fine New Year, full of health, kindness, beauty and love.