By Amy Phillips-Gary
As I hang up my brand-new calendar for 2010 and prepare to welcome in a fresh decade, I can't help but think about what I want to do differently in the coming year.
Yes, I'm thinking about New Year's resolutions.
You might be doing the same thing. Many of us greet the new year with hopeful and ambitious lists of undesirable habits we're finally going to kick and the new, healthier ones we're going to adopt instead.
And many of us do begin to make changes-- at least for a little while. Sometimes we make a few changes but then fall back into those “bad” habits and tendencies after a period of time.
When the months fly by and we find ourselves back to late December again facing those same old limiting ways of reacting to life, it can feel frustrating, irritating and downright depressing.
This year, I'm re-thinking the whole New Year's resolutions thing. Instead of only focusing in on what I'm planning to change for the upcoming year, I'm going to devote significant attention to what I want to keep on doing.
Rather than my usual intention to throw out the old while resolving to re-fashion the bulk of the way I live my life, I'm going to create space for honoring where I am and what I'm doing that IS working the way that I want it to.
I actually believe that approaching a new year-- a new decade even-- from a base of acknowledgment and self-appreciation will help me to more effectively move into the changes that I desire. These changes may even come about with greater ease and be longer-lasting.
A funny thing about making changes...
Of course, I'm aware that my diet could use some cleaning up, I continue to be a bit of a perfectionist and my sense of patience with others can certainly use some bolstering.
There are tons of things about my usual habits that I'd like to improve upon.
What I've found in the past, however, is that I'm more motivated to take a risk and respond in a different way-- especially when it comes to well-practiced habits-- when I am in a place of honoring and appreciation.
My friend Mollie Hannon has been talking with some friends and I about the importance of making completions for the current year before moving on to the next. She even found a wonderful ritual online to do so.
Perhaps doing a completion ritual like this that involves you acknowledging the strides that you made toward your goals will help you to better appreciate where you are.
You might not be absolutely happy with what you achieved or did in 2009, but when you really stop and look at where you've been and where you are right now, there are bound to be some healthy and pleasing aspects about you and the choices that you've made.
By all means, make that list of what you aspire to do differently and what you want to manifest in the coming year and beyond.
But be sure to also include on that list what you intend to keep on doing, what you can appreciate about your current habits.
Build on all of those beneficial practices that you might not be noticing-- or giving yourself credit for. If you can't think of anything to include on a list like this, look harder.
Use your list of acknowledgments and self-appreciations as a sort of launch pad to propel yourself toward the future of your dreams. You might just be closer than you think