Sometimes I find that I wrote a past blog that I can't improve upon, but that addresses an ongoing yearly issue. This post is such a one, and rather than try to reinvent my own wheel, I'm just going to re-post this one. :) Best wishes to everyone for the approaching New Year of 2011!
We're at that inevitable moment approaching the New Year where practically everyone you speak with throws the "What's your New Year's resolution?" question at you. Don't get me wrong - this practice works for a lot of people to get motivated, start the New Year fresh, get organized and make lists of all the things they plan to accomplish. I've never embraced the resolution concept because I don't enjoy having something hanging over my head, making me feel obligated to do, be or feel differently on a specific timeline. To be facetious for a wee moment, I'm more a fan of the "Just say 'No!' to New Year's Resolutions!" mindset.
I am of the opinion that striving to live daily in a conscious manner works better. This may sound like a cop-out, but the reverse is actually true. By living consciously, I mean paying attention to my thoughts, my actions, my words, my tone of voice, even my physical movements and the things I eat and drink on a daily basis. It requires being physically, mentally and emotionally present on a moment by moment basis, again, each and every day.
I can tell you that choosing to embrace this concept is challenging. There are plenty of days that I fail spectacularly on all of the above. Those are the days that can be frustrating, yes. However, the concept of living consciously is not meant to be an onerous task, or an invisible tool with which to torment ourselves. For me, it is a personal choice to strive each day to be the best version of myself it is possible to accomplish. On the days that I fall short of my own personal expectations, I am then realistic and kind to myself. There are going to be those days where things, people, traffic, work, kids, etc., all conspire to make any sane person's head want to spin around on their shoulders. Bad days happen.
What I have found, over the years that I began to actively incorporate this practice of living consciously into my daily existence, is that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I am fortunate to have a calm, peaceful core nature which serves me well in business situations where various personalities can clash, tempers can fray and power struggles are constant. At a very young age, something within me recognized that operating in what I call a reactive (i.e., unconscious) manner produced people who walked around in a constant state of dissatisfaction. I observed, studied, did a lot of thinking and reading and resolved to not be that same reactive type of personality. Being mindful of my actions is how I chose to live my life, and from that point forward, it has worked for me.
Does all of this mean I think I shouldn't embrace the New Year's Resolution craze? Am I saying I'm perfect and not in need of resolving to change certain things? Of course not - I am far from perfect and certainly it is true that I have my own rough edges in need of smoothing and refining. I just prefer to address those issues and behaviors on a regular, daily basis, rather than letting it all build up to tackle at the beginning of the New Year. That way, when the New Year does roll in to greet me, I am able to step forward with enjoyment and not dread some looming list of Have To's that will hang over my head and dog my every waking moment.
This is what works for me, so in a sense, if pushed to write out a resolution for the New Year of 2010, or any future New Year (as I re-post this for the approaching 2011 New Year) it would be to stay true to my convictions and continue to live in the purposeful manner that works well for me. This works so well for me, in fact, that it is the basis of a manuscript I am writing and have intentions of submitting for publication in the near future, so please stay tuned for news of this! As this year winds to conclusion, I wish you all the best, brightest approach to the New Year that each of you can imagine for yourselves.