Reflecting …

The period between Christmas and New Year always finds me in reflective mood. I look back over the year about to close and check its success against the goals I’ve achieved, the regrets I have, opportunities grabbed, rejected or just plain missed through lack of focus. Then usually, like most people, I resolve to do better next year.

Resolutions. Why do we make them? What magical substance do we suppose is in the air on that strike of midnight that heralds in a new year? And, once made, why do we break those resolutions so easily? When you think about it, resolving to be and do better at this time of year puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on us. The festive sparkle has diminished, the nights remain long and dark, comfort food is in short supply because we’ve maybe resolved to lose weight, and spring seems a long, long way off. Hardly any wonder we often break those resolutions well before we bid farewell to January, isn’t it?

So, no resolutions for me this year. Instead, I’ll have goals, broken down into weekly and monthly mini goals which, hopefully, will feed into one big annual achievement. That’s the plan. Because sometimes the big picture is scary and feels so out of our comfort zone our mind rejects it as unobtainable and we give up before really giving ourselves a chance. For me, it’s easier to think about losing weight by shedding one pound each week, than it is to resolve to lose three stone by next Christmas. Or writing a few hundred words a day which will lead to my goal of, say, three novels next year. Those bite-sized chunks really add up fast. Keep it simple, make it happen 🙂

Years ago I bought a book by Sarah Ban Breathnach which, although a cliche, really did change by life. Simple Abundance taught me the joys to be gained from disentangling the complicated and refocusing on the everyday pleasures that are so easily overlooked in the rush of life. Taking time to watch those roses grow, to just be in the now and enjoy. It was from that book that I discovered the beauty of keeping a gratitude journal, to every day list down those things that I am grateful for. I’ve slipped over the years, but often find myself returning to this practice. It’s the writing down that works for me and listing those five things a day to be grateful for helps keep my focus on the positive which, in turn, seems to draw in even more to be grateful for. I thoroughly recommend this book.

I’ll end my last post of 2012 with the wish that everyone has a safe, happy, healthy and enjoyable New Year filled with simple abundance and many, many blessings.

12 responses to “Reflecting …

  1. Reblogged this on Use your COCOnut and commented:
    I will have no resolutions this new year but will focus on accomplishing a goal(s) each day.

  2. I don’t usually do resolutions either. They never last, do they? I like your idea of the mini goals!

  3. Mini goals work better for me, but this is one year i can make changes that will come, since I have already started.
    I wish you and all here the same blessings that you shared!

  4. I like the goals thing. Lavada does goals and I’ve tried them before and failed. This year, I had thought to do like you are doing, Tricia. To break it down into weeks so I know what’s feasible. Thanks for the inspiration. And what a great way to finish the year, by forging ahead on the next one. Happy New Year, Tricia and everyone!

    • Commenting from Sunny Cancun. I’ve had a devil of time with internet here but today, our last, it seems to finally be staying up. Yep mini goals work for me, where resolutions don’t. I have a lot to do next year so it will be fun to list things so I can mark them off. 2013 is going to be a GREAT year.

      • Lovely to see you here, Lavada! Hope you’re having a great time. That’s a positive attitude you have going. I just know you’ll achieve every goal you set for 2013 🙂

    • The weekly goals work well, Laurie, most especially because they’re motivational and build on themselves. Good luck with setting your goals 🙂

  5. Valerie J. Patterson

    Happy 2012 Tricia! What an awesome idea of a gratitude journal! I’m going to make that an assignment for my preteen Sunday school class! I think I’ll purchase each student a journal and have them decorate it to suit and then keep a daily journal of the blessings they’ve received all week long! Thank you for sharing that with us!

    As for resolutions, in my lifetime I have only made one and that was several years ago in which I resolved to stay in contact with my extended family, which is stretched across the States. Every month I wrote a letter to each family and kept it going all year long. Some months it was a chore and other months it was a breeze. The whole time I thought it was for me, but it turned out the letters were a hit and I really enjoyed hearing about how each family anticipated the monthly letter. Big blessing for me!

    Best wishes for your mini-goal achievements all year long, Tricia! 😛

  6. Belatedly answering and catching up with the posts here. I’ve given up making resolutions too. But I have vowed I will achieve one task at least a day, the sort that I normally put off, ie dusting etc. So far, so good. A goal a day keeps the procrastinator away ha ha. 🙂

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