Resolutions Don’t Work. Here’s What I Do Instead
Everywhere you look people talk about New Year’s resolutions. I’m here to offer you something a lot more powerful…a lot more meaningful than that. Something that does work.
2017 was a year which I am happy to see the back of. It has come with massive. transformations, which for me, personally have required a lot of intensity and hard work to embrace.
I’ve come to see that success isn’t about what I thought it was about. I used to think that success was about knowing what I wanted, being able to focus on it and following through with actions to get it.
The big lesson for me in 2017 was that the true measure of success lies not in “getting” but in “releasing”. That success is not about focus, ambition or resolutions, but how well you can let go, release what doesn’t serve you, heal your core wounds and then help others do the same.
For me this meant learning how to work less hard at trying to prove myself. For that I needed to heal all the parts of myself that were still afraid to be seen, still afraid to be recognized, still afraid to be rejected; heal my childhood wound that I can only get love by working harder than the rest; that choosing pressure over pleasure is what is required if you want to amount to anything in life.
2017 was about making my life more about letting go of what I didn’t want than about getting what I wanted. What I wanted was to hide. To keep playing it safe.
What I didn’t want but needed to happen was… I needed to learn to trust that if my heart is not into something it is NOT OK to rationalise myself into doing it anyway. I needed to step up, speak out and focus on sharing with other people the lessons I’ve learned. I needed to become a part of the solution, instead of remaining a part of the problem.
Media is showering us with an amount of information every day that is sufficient to overload a laptop in one week. Our attention is constantly drawn on. Our focus — stretched out to the max. If anything, the challenge of this day and age is to do less, not do better or more; to reduce, not to add.
So, instead of resolutions, I will be recapitulating and releasing this year.
Recapitulate & Release New Year’s Ritual
Our ancestors performed rituals to ask the gods to keep them safe and well. In preparation for the New Year they would sit around a tribal fire and for 3 days in a row, shed layers of what no longer served them!
Marrying that ritual to a 19th-century Lancastershire wedding tradition I would like to invite you to countdown to the New Year, by shedding:
1: something #OLD
2: something #BORROWED
3: something #BLUE
….so that we may embrace the New Year with
4: something NEW (and AWESOME)!
1) Let’s start with releasing something #OLD
Make a small fire in your bathtub, in your garden or on your balcony, or simply imagine that this post is your tribal fire.
What is something OLD that has no place in your 2018? What is it that you want to burn to ash?
- What no longer serves you?
- What are some old beliefs that are holding you back?
Simply write your OLD beliefs, pains or burdens down and burn them…watch them release their grip on you.
2) Release something #BORROWED
Most of us carry the burden for other people.
It’s that project you said “yes” to even when your heart was screaming “no”. It’s that relationship you stayed too long in even when in your heart you were long already gone. It’s that holiday you postponed to care for a sick family member or friend. These are the borrowed burdens we drag around. Some burdens are with us ever since our childhood:
“Children seldom or never dare to live a happier or more fulfilling life than their parents. Unconsciously they remain loyal to unspoken family traditions that work invisibly,” Bertold Ulsamer
Who’s heavy load are you dragging around?
What is no longer your responsibility?
Simply write your #BORROWED burdens down in the comments below, or burn them and watch them release their grip on you.
3) Release something #BLUE
Anger, jealousy, fear, regret, and hatred… these are heavy loads. You cannot be at you best when you’re weighed down by these burdens. Put these things aside. You cannot afford to drag them weith you into the New Year.
- Who are you still angry at?
- What are you afraid of?
- What do you regret?
- Who do you hate?
Holding on to any of these things is like “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” Buddha.
Simply list your BLUEs, burn them and watch them release their grip on you.
May our tribal fire, virtual or real, burn your OLD, BORROWED and BLUE to ash! And may the room you create through this release, fill up with things that lift not lower you, things that infuse, not defuse you.