Reflections on the New Year

I don’t know about you, but my email inbox has been inundated with emails about setting resolutions for the New Year. I subscribe to a fair number of inner growth type blogs, and the New Year is prime territory for such work. I love the support and the ideas that all of these blogs present, but sometimes all this emphasis on "making 2016 your best year yet" can feel overwhelming and like too much pressure. And here I am, adding to the chatter.

I find that too much of New Year resolution setting comes from a place of not good enough. "If only I can fix my body weight, practice routine, eating habits, technology addiction, then life will be good."

What if, instead, there is space to notice how you are succeeding, what is working, and at the same time, notice what would truly make you happier or more satisfied or more in alignment with your values? 

Gradually over the last couple of years, I’ve shifted from resolutions stemming from not good enough to looking at the marking of the New Year as an opportunity forreflection. Rather than assessing all the ways I am not good enough, I now think about things like, is my daily life connecting with the values I hold deepest? What would feel good to shape and shift so that I connect deeper to my values? What worked well in the last year that I want to continue this year?

I hope I’m not adding to your plethora of emails about New Year’s resolutions/reflections, but I will risk it by offering a few steps that have helped me, andan offer to help you personally.

1. Be Specific
What area of your life might benefit from some reflection and change? Now, how will you make that change happen? I know this question seems basic and boring, but really, without the specifics, the change is unlikely to happen.
Want to practice more? Plan out the time and write it in your calendar.

Do you wish for more gigs? This kind of change requires more digging. What kind of gigs? What is holding you back from finding these jobs? What steps might you take to find more of the work you desire? Write down all the steps you can think of to get more work, and then put them in order. Then tackle only one step at a time.
Are there qualities you wish to cultivate? Pick one or two and write the words or phrases any place you might see it – post it notes in your bathroom, by the kitchen sink, a screensaver on your computer, a daily timer on your phone, or even use these qualities as passwords.

Seriously, get as specific as you can. This is one thing we do in the Musician's Mastermind that really helps people follow through on their goals. 
2. Make it Simple
Aim for one change at a time.
Change is more likely to stick and become habit if you intentionally foster one specific goal at a time. We have limited willpower available to us on a daily basis, and trying to change too many things at once risks overextending our willpower supplies.
3. Get Support
Tell someone about your one specific goal/intention/change that you have in mind. Check in with this person or people on this intention. Knowing that someone else is aware of your intention will help keep you motivated, will help keep the goal on your mind, and offer up opportunities for reflection if and when things aren’t going as you hoped.
My offer to you is a gift of support. Write me and tell me about your new intention and I will offer some feedback and reflection via email, helping you get specific. Then I will send two follow up emails, in two weeks and in a month, to see how you are doing with your intentions.
As for me and my reflections this past year, I’m aiming for increasing certain qualities in my life. I used Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map this fall and came up with three words about how I want to feel on a regular basis.
Juicy – I want my inner life to be deep. I want my interactions with people I care about to be full of substance, connection, and fun.
Spacious – I continue to discover that my emotional life is vast and takes up a lot of room. I give myself permission to fully feel big (and juicy) emotions on a daily basis, and permission to feel emotions that run the gamut from joy to anger and everything in between. I also want to give the people I work with the same gift, space to do their best work, space to cultivate their inner tools. Sometimes that involves struggle and space to do things differently than me.
Attuned – Knowing and meeting my own needs helps me meet the needs of others. Meeting people’s needs feels good to me. Meeting my needs first helps me do that better. 
Specifically, I connect to each of these words in the morning, as I think about my day. I’m also telling all of you about these qualities, so now it is public, can’t take it back, can only learn from it and move forward.