Yes I am someone who makes resolutions. I don’t usually make the very measurable kind anymore like save $10,000 by the end of the year or read 15 books, although I’ve made those too in past, they definitely have their place and from what I hear they’re supposedly the best kind of resolutions because your performance can be easily measured and your target is clear. But after years of disappointing myself with resolutions which were well meaning but relied on me predicting my outer circumstances would support them, I’m a little gun shy. Now I prefer to make shifts in my life where there are grades of success instead of just pass or fail. And let’s face it, although someone on the outside may not be able to measure whether or not I shifted something in my life, I will certainly know.
My resolutions for this year focus on my energy. I want to have more of it for one, and secondly I want to have a more peaceful, intuitive, “tapped in” sense of my inner-self, edging out or counteracting things like stress, anxiety, self consciousness, and exhaustion. So with these ends in mind here are the resolutions I set at the beginning of the year:
- Exercise more. Almost every day. I can mix it up by just walking a lot one day, doing the elliptical, taking yoga classes, going on runs, whatever I choose. But I need to move myself a lot and vigorously as often as possible. I work a corporate desk job so like every office person I battle the sedentary life. I love activity and being outside but when you spend half your waking life sitting in one position at a desk you sometimes forget that you need to move, and not just to look good but to feel good. Our bodies are meant to move, but once they get used to not moving it’s very easy just to continue on that way. And I’ve learned through personal experimentation, weekends are not enough.
- Smoothies. 4-6 days a week now husband and I start our day with a smoothie. We make different kinds but they always have the key super food ingredients in them along with tons of fiber and flax seeds and they keep us satisfied and nourished until lunch. We are only four weeks in now, but I can tell you that we feel the difference in our health, and we were very healthy eaters to begin with: organics, lots of vegetables, purified water, etc. If you feel like your energy is flagging in any area I highly recommend you give it a try. These shakes taste great and the investment in a good blender has been worth every penny.
- Meditate. Right now I’m meditating “sitting”, five days a week for between 15 minutes and a half hour. The effects I feel are subtle but profound and I immediately knew after the first week that this is going to be a big thing for me. I’ve always wanted to have a sitting practice but never knew how to make the time for one and so you’ll see next why this last resolution has been so important.
- Shift waking and sleeping hours. Ok this one is going to sound extreme to some of you but it has by far been the key factor in making all the rest of it happen. We now wake at 4-4:30am on weekdays and get in bed at 8:30 p.m. I say we because if you have a bed mate it pretty much has to be a we thing. At least in our house going to bed and waking up at different times just makes everyone not get enough sleep and a lot of grumpiness ensues. We decided to shift to these hours because everything we want to do outside of work (meditate, exercise, write, and get more reading in) is pretty much a morning activity and the evenings were essentially wasted time where we were too tired to really accomplish anything of value so we were just puttering about waiting until it was late enough to go to bed. With our little one asleep until 7am getting up at 4 gives us two and a half to three hours of uninterrupted quiet time to do the things that are most important to us. Amazingly this shift has not been hard, in fact we leave the weekends open so we can stay up and sleep in more if we want but we find ourselves either sticking with this new schedule, or looking forward to getting into it again by the time Sunday comes.
So whether you believe in making resolutions or not I guess doesn’t really matter. What matters is taking inventory of the key elements in your life, the things that support you, and setting aside time to come up with a plan for shifting your inner life as well as your outer life in the direction you want to go.
I’ll let you know how it’s going for me with an update or two throughout the year.
*Do you have any big shifts underway? Did you make any resolutions this year? How’s it going? I’d love to hear them so we can cheer each other on!
Take the reins!