Wisdom Says: “How you start your year is how you will live your year.”
Which means you either start your year following conventional wisdom which says: make a New Year Resolution (even though you know it will fizzle out by March), figure out your goals now, lose 20lbs so you can fit into a bathing suit, and hit the ground running when you go back to work.
Exhale. Can you feel the pressure and stress that starting your year that way would create?
So let me give you another option: Choose to begin your year differently this year, starting from the get go from what you truly desire to create for yourself, your work and what you care most for.
As an MBA, Type A, I used to be a woman who would make a resolution on Jan 1st and map out her goals by Jan 10th, put them in a spreadsheet or on a vision board and then drive towards them all year. My husband Noah was the opposite, he avoided setting goals all together. Perhaps he was waiting for the ‘goal making fairy’ to show up and make things happen. Neither strategy worked.
I tried to do too much and created a year in which I felt pressured to push hard and keep it all going, leaving little time for play, rest or what brought me joy. As a result, I created a year that drained me instead of sustained me. Noah avoided the questions of what he really desired, and created a year in which he felt unfulfilled and without direction.
Then I got wise. I realized that the ‘s.m.a.r.t. goal,’ resolution- making approach I had learned in my corporate training and conventional world upbringing had taken me as far as it could. I realized a fact that I wished someone had clued me into back in business school:
If we want to create lives in which we thrive instead of just survive and strive, we must change HOW we design our year from the start.
This AHA led me to begin exploring ‘wisdom traditions’ like indigenous earth wisdom, divine feminine wisdom and the yogic traditions to find something deeper than the superficial rhetoric being spouted about in every magazine newsstand. And wow, did I hit the jackpot!
All of these traditions pointed to consistent pieces of wisdom about how to vision, create and design your new year, which I will share with you below, as an invitation to start your year differently, wiser.
Imagine creating a year in which you have what you need to go for your dreams and take care of what you love, without having to sacrifice your personal health and happiness.
Wisdom #1: January is the “Dreaming Month” So Start Your Year in Spaciousness + Create More Spaciousness All Year
In the earth wisdom tradition they teach us to move in harmony with the natural cycles of the earth vs. the human made timelines which inherently create undue stress. For example, January 1st has no innate significance. The 12 month calendar with January 1st as the ‘start date’ is a man made construct created by the Roman empire.
In nature, which has been around a lot longer than the Romans, January in the Northern Hemisphere is a time of stillness. It’s winter, the plants are dormant, animals are still. It’s the natural time to listen, to imagine, to expand into the possibility of what is ahead instead of trying to ‘figure it all out’ or ‘nail down a plan’.
Wisdom requires a pause, a slower pace, to emerge and reveal itself. So we take January to dream, to move at a slower pace and with intention listen to our internal guidance. Then around February 2nd, as the winter begins to thaw, we claim our intentions for the year, just like planting seeds in the ground to grow the coming year.
What if you started this year in spaciousness by giving yourself permission to dream and design the coming year?
Wisdom #2: Create from Your Desires Instead of the Shoulds
There are lots of ways you could spend your life force — time, energy, money and love — this year.
Left to your mind’s intelligence more often than not you will choose to do the things you think you should do or have to do vs. what you really desire to do.
I love the word DESIRE. Desire is defined as “a longing or craving for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment.” The root of the word comes from the phrase de sidere meaning “from the stars.”
I think of creating from your desires like creating from your heart in co-creation with the Universe — and that can only be good! Way more exciting than anything our little brains could whip up. Our brain will always choose what feels safe (and limited), but our heart will keep us safe AND lead us to expanded possibilities that create more of what we truly desire.
Action: Have a heart-to-heart with yourself this January to reveal your true desires for 2017.
Your heart will reveal your true desires, if you ask!
Write out the following inquires, and then journal, meditate, or talk with friends about them to reveal what really matters to you this year:
1. What is one project that has nothing to do with being productive or profitable that I would LOVE to do this year?
2. What would I LOVE to receive this year? From my work? From my relationships?
3. What would I LOVE to give my energy and time to this year in my work?
4. What relationships would I LOVE to grow this year?
5. What would I LOVE to do for myself this year?
6. If I could order up a delivery to receive special support from the Universe, something that I would LOVE to happen but I have no idea how it would happen, what would I ask for?
Give yourself the space to imagine and expand what is possible for your life, work, relationships, and health and wealth this year. Start in spaciousness and expanded possibility + live that way all of 2017!
For more on how to focus your life choices in your work, relationships, health, wealth and happiness on what matters most to you in the new year, tune into this episode of Feminine Power Time, a podcast with Christine Arylo: NEW YEAR WISDOM: FOCUS YOUR LIFE FORCE ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN 2017.
Originally published at medium.com