The excitement and energy around the new year is always high.
Everyone is primed and ready to live their best lives. Resolutions are set. Gym memberships are purchases. Vegetables are stocked. Sugar is thrown out.
And then a week or so goes by.
And then life returns to normal. Except with more guilt.
Guilt for breaking resolutions. Guilt for not going to the gym 4 days a week like you promised yourself. Guilt for letting the vegetables turn to moldy mush in the fridge. Guilt for eating all the sugar.
The thing is, the new year, new you hype isn’t sustainable because it’s based on the idea that you can change all of your habits overnight. Simply because the ball dropped in Times Square and we bought a new calendar.
I actually despise new year, new you with every fiber of my being. Mostly because of a lifetime of built up shame around setting the noblest of goals and failing at every single one of them. I completely disagree with the notion that you need to become a new you. I think that the you that you are right now is pretty great.
Can you have goals and intentions? Of course. But, in true Desire Map fashion, it’s so much more productive if they are rooted in how you want to feel instead of who you think you should be.
So, if you’ve already broken your resolutions and feel guilty or feel guilty because you didn’t even have the “willpower” to set resolutions – here is your get out of jail free card. You don’t have to now wait until the calendar turns to January 1, 2019 to focus on what you desire. You can actually do that in any given moment. Including this one.
Here’s how I tap into my desires and consistently show up for them:
I swear by The Desire Map practice because it works for me. But other options that might work for you are selecting a word for the year or this intentions wheel. You want to ask yourself questions about feelings instead of doings.
I love me a vision board. As a teenager I would always make collages and hang them up around my room. Granted, they included a lot of photos of Luke Perry and Jared Leto, but still. I would rip out words I liked, images that spoke to me, and celebs that I wanted to marry. I still make vision boards – in fact, I usually have more than one going at a time. I like to create a board for my business and my personal lives. It’s super simple – get a poster board, scissors, glue, and old magazines. Rip out images and words that resonate with you. No judgments or second guessing. Just flip through the pages and tear things out. Then go through all of your clippings and notice themes and start arranging them on your board. I learned a great tip from my friend Jenny to always include a picture of yourself on your board as a way to ground yourself into your visions. Hang the vision board someplace where you’ll constantly look at it: above your desk, in your meditation space, in your closet. Spend time reading and looking at your vision board.
Make decisions based on your core desired feelings, word for the year, or intentions. For example, my word for the year is ALIVE. So I am committed to making plans, setting goals, and acting in a way that will make me feel more alive. So, before I commit to something, I am asking myself: “Will this make me feel more alive?” If it’s a yes, then it’s a yes. If not, it’s a no. [Clearly this doesn’t work for everything – scrubbing the tub doesn’t make me feel more alive but being able to soak in a freshly cleaned tub does…sometimes the outcome of a less than desirable task actually does bring you closer to your desires.]
Letting go and allowing life to happen. This is super important. You have your core desired feelings, your vision board, and are making decisions accordingly. Here’s the part where you have to let go. Because life has a way of being better than you could ever imagine it…if you let it. But, if you’re so hyper-focused on achieving, doing, and feeling exactly as your outlined, you are likely to miss out on all of the really great surprises.