Instead of New Year’s Resolutions……
……Choose Virtues! Create an intention for 2018 to practice honoring the virtues in yourself and others.
When we ‘intend’ our actions are forward focused. And, as a bonus, we cultivate a practice of mindfulness as we think about what we choose to ‘intend’. My intention for 2018 is to attract Joy into my life every day! The hard part will be to remember to think, write or intone my intention every morning; the joy is mine to experience.
When we make a resolution, most of us are prone to thinking about it in a ‘did’ or ‘didn’t’ sort of way. For some of us, not doing what we resolved to do triggers a lot of shaming and blaming; we beat ourselves up. We blame others. We feel badly because, sigh, we let ourselves down…again.
Some of us have the same goals year after year…we start out our new year with motivation, self-discipline and commitment and then something ‘happens’ and we’re derailed, sideswiped or blown off course and our resolution vaporizes.
Our goal setting looks like it’s black and white. When we make a decision, set an intention or make a resolution, we plan for success, but we need to depend on failure too.
Our rich teachable moments, our epic fails, fortify our treasury of virtues like wisdom, flexibility, patience, and resilience. It's in the bumps, twists and unexpected turns in life where our character takes shape, so pause for applause next time you fail. Failure is an accomplishment too! It’s a signal you did something! Be mindful of the courage, creativity and commitment that was necessary to set goals and intentions in the first place, and honor those virtues rather than shaming or blaming yourself.
Pick a new thought like, "I am practicing". "I've got great information thanks to not getting things right the first time". "Practice does make perfect and today, I am a lot closer than I was this time last year". Cultivate self-acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. Life is really one big teachable moment, and how we think about what happens determines how we feel. How we feel determines how we act. How we act determines our results. If we are sick and tired of the same results year after year, perhaps it’s time to consider a change in our thoughts? Let’s be kind to ourselves. Let’s focus on our mental fitness and choose to honor the virtues in ourselves and those around us! Focus on them and they will grow. It’s a practice. One day a week to start. Get really good at that one day. You can always add another. Practice and begin to build your habit.
Instead of shame, blame and making excuses regarding failed resolutions, let’s choose to practice acknowledging the virtues we see in ourselves and others though all of the teachable moments, good and bad, in 2018. Choose virtues. May the new year unfold for you with an abundance of health and prosperity. May you intend to practice honoring the virtues in yourself and those around you.