Happy New Year! Even with all that is going on in the world, we can still greet each new year with optimism and wishes for happiness. And, while we can’t control the chaos that reigns around us, we can decide how we show up in the world each day, for ourselves and for those close to us. In each moment we can choose our actions and our responses.
The start of a new year is a wonderful time to pause and consider what is and isn’t important to us, and how we can align our actions more closely with Sankalpa – the desire born from the heart. However, before we can just dive in, we might want to take stock of where we are, and what is working for us and what isn’t. I hate that New Year’s resolutions tend to come from a negative place—all the things that we are not doing or not doing “right”. We are forever evolving and growing and learning from our successes and our missteps. So, let’s take all of that into account as we reflect on 2023 and turn our attention to 2024.
For me, setting intentions is more helpful than making resolutions. I love how Anodea Judith describes intention in her book Creating on Purpose. She writes, “Intention focuses your consciousness and puts your attention on a particular direction in which you want to go”. So rather than considering where you feel you have failed in the past, intentions focus on where you want to head in the future. However, you can’t move forward without coming to terms with all your experiences that have brought you to this moment, as well as where you are in this moment. Also, it’s important to acknowledge that there will be some resistance to change, and that obstacles will cross our paths. To move forward, we must allow for it all—the good, the bad and the ugly.
Here are a few things you can do that will set the stage for moving intentionally into 2024:
- Reflect on your experiences during the past year. This can be a wonderful journal exercise. Think about the year in review and see what stands out. What was motivating to you? What energized you? What depleted your energy? What were some of the challenges you faced? What brought you joy?
- Consider how you spent your time during the past year. How much time were you involved in your work? In leisure activities? How much time did you spend pursuing your passions? Did you spend more time alone or with others?
- Consider how you want to show up for the new year. What would you like to cultivate more of this year? Is there anything you need to let go of to allow you to do that? How will you organize your time and activities to support the changes you want to encourage? Is there a word or a phrase that can serve as a mantra to keep you going?
As for me, I am going to seek more opportunities to create and be in community. In fact, my word for 2024 is COMMUNITY. A few recent retreats, workshops and classes have reminded me of how much I value being involved with groups that support each other and make things happen. To help encourage this, I will do less of some things and more of others.
I will do less doom-scrolling, a bad habit I just recently adopted. I may also have started watching a little too much TV, including a whole lot of football. I can do a little less of that. I would like to do a little less over-scheduling. I’d like to spend more time on my personal Yoga and meditation practice; it seems to be getting shorter these days. I’d like to entertain at my home a little more. I want to get back to writing more and explore the potential of another book. I’ll keep working on my “more or less” list for a while and see what else emerges.
As always, I’d love to hear how you are approaching the end of 2023 and the initiation of 2024. Do you have a word of the year? What will you do more of, and what will you do less of or release completely? What is your vision? Sharing this can be quite powerful, so let me know!
Be Well. ~Lisa