It’s that time again folks. With resolutions in hand we stand side-by-side pumped up to begin 2018. The story is predictable. We’ll start the month strong, lose steam around mid-January, and slip back into our comfortable, well-worn habits by February.
And so it goes, year after year and decade after decade.
The cycle persists not because we’re not trying hard enough or that we lack motivation or discipline. The reason our resolution journals end up gathering dust under our unused versa-climber is because the stakes aren’t high enough. We make it too easy to quit. Trying to lose weight or “cooking healthy” isn’t enough of a fire under our ass to make us really stick with our new regiment.
In order to follow through on our 2018 resolutions, you may want to consider:
- Going big
- Making your intentions compelling
- Caring less about “me” and more about “we”
In order to create serious long lasting change, you need intentions that get you outside of your little world. Think “big rocks,” instead of small pebbles. Commit to doing everything possible to leave a light footprint, live disease-free or serve your community instead of getting into your skinny jeans.
Take a look at the following intentions. They may seem overly simple or even out of reach. I promise you they’re neither. They are, in fact, so based in common sense that we often step right over them on our way to the newest trendy diet or workout class. But make no mistake about it. These crystal clear intentions are the “big rocks.” They will shift you at your core. I call them the “4 C’s and a P.” They are game changers. And they are free.
- Care (as in Self-Care)
The greatest gift you can give the world is a fully healthy you. Period. Caring for yourself must be your number one priority. Your wellbeing not only affects every area of your life including relationships, work performance, happiness and sense of purpose. Optimizing our health is a big nut to crack but crack it we must. I’m not talking about weight loss folks. Put wellness at the top of your list and include these subcategories in your master plan: physical health, quality sleep, clean eating, emotional stability, mental steadiness and clarity.
True connection begins with your relationship to yourself. Intimacy is a deep knowing of what makes you shut down or show up and what fuels your dreams and desires. Connection includes tapping into the big picture, with the source of life, be it God, the universe, or the mystery of what makes us tingle. It includes the natural world. When is the last time you walked around your backyard or neighborhood? How about your connection, your shared experiences with the people you live with? When is the last time you got knee-to-knee with a friend to have a good laugh or cry? Focus on connection in 2018 and watch your energy soar.
Generosity makes people happier, even if they are only a little generous. People who act solely out of self-interest are less happy. Merely promising to be more generous is enough to trigger a change in our brains. Giving time, money, and/or support is priceless. Offering a piece of you to the world will change your world. Make contribution a priority this year. Find ways to contribute daily to the wellbeing of others and our planet in some way. As Eckhart Tolle asks, “Are you polluting the world or helping to clean it up?” How will you help clean up our world today?
You are creative whether you believe it or not. You have a unique set of gifts to offer the world and if you hold back, the world will never enjoy your unique take on life. Creativity fuels our soul. It’s the kindling wood that keeps our fires stoked. How are you called to be creative? Write it down. Dig deep. Being creative looks different for everyone. How are you creative at work, at home? Being creative can be as simple as organizing a room so that it sparkles, cooking a delicious, healthy (or totally decadent) meal or thinking outside the box and coming up with an ingenious system to overcome an obstacle at work. Get out your unique colors and go crazy. The world is waiting.
Ah, the joy of play. It’s truly a lost art. Play brightens our being. It reverses the aging process. Play brings out our enthusiasm for life. It enlivens everything and everyone around us. How do you play? Pets and small children are great for bringing out our playful spirit. But there’s more. What does play mean for you? What might daily play look like? How about ways to play this week, this month and this year? Plan your playtime or it will never happen. As “serious” adults, we need to schedule play into our lives. Get out your calendar and make a commitment to play more in 2018. That’s my plan!
Crystal Clear Intentions: 4 C’s and a P.
Spend some time with these intentions. Write down what each one means to you and how you will commit to cultivating them in 2018. Then, every morning (or the evening before if you’re a night person) list them at the top of a fresh page in your journal: Care, Connect Contribute, Create, and Play. Sit quietly for a minute or two. Under each heading list a couple of ways you plan to honor your commitment that day. Hint: keep it simple and small to start.
Imagine a world in which every person prioritized the 4 C’s and a P. Imagine a world in which we arecrystal clear on how to care for ourselves, connect with each other, contribute to society, create beauty and best of all, play with each other. I smile thinking about the possibilities at our fingertips to create a healthier, happier, and more joy-filled world.
Happy New Year!