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.