“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”Edith LoveJoy Pierce
A happy new year and a new decade! If you are new to my blog, thank you for stopping by. If you have been around for some time, thank you for supporting me. Either way, I hope you find the content here useful.
This time of the year (probably a little earlier on), almost everyone is thinking about new year goals, resolutions, etc. Despite all the jokes on new year resolutions, there is a part of us that really want to make them into reality during the year. So, in spite of failing to keep up with many of my past resolutions, I continue to welcome them every new year. But this time, I did something different and that is giving me a good vibe. So, here are a few thoughts and resources from my experience and research that I found helpful to start this new year right. Whether it ends right is totally in my hands and hopefully will have a positive report by the year-end.
Intentions v. Resolutions
You would have heard many people talk about these words. In my opinion, we should have new intentions and new resolutions every year. Here is why. Setting a new resolution, I understand is a way of thinking that we are not good enough and we need to change it. A good example is a resolution to pick a new hobby or learning a new skill. You are planning on making a change in your life by introducing something you did not know before. The outcome/end result is what we track here. Setting a new intention is a way of thinking that we are (almost) good enough and we only wish to mindfully better the path we are already in. A good example is to set an intention to strengthen a relationship, improve physical and mental health. Here, it is not the outcome that is important but the journey. In other words, we can always have intentional resolutions. Whatever we call, our goal is to work on intentions and resolutions throughout the year.
Write your new year intentions/resolutions
I have religiously thought about new year resolutions every year from my childhood but I lost track of them somewhere during the year. The reason I figured is that I have never documented my goals. In other words, I have never written them or given a visual demonstration/reminder to myself when I fall off track or even forget them (Don’t tell me you never forgot your Dec 31st thoughts). So, this year I decided to write down every little goal, wish, resolution, and intention I want to work on. It may sound silly but writing down something you want to achieve is in itself an intentional action that requires commitment. It’s like forming a contract with your own self. Further, writing things down enable a higher level of thinking, and therefore require more focused action. So, just take a pen and paper (yes the old school type) and write down your thoughts. If you are not interested in writing you could try a vision board. I love how Lily Singh (the YouTube Star) talks about a vision board here.
Make your own life catalog
I catalog all my goals, resolutions and intentions. Each of our lives has a tailored catalog and we would ideally want to work on nurturing and bettering each one of them every year. So don’t limit what’s in your catalog. Sometimes you would be surprised how much you have and what you could achieve with what you have. My catalog has ME, US(my little family), YOU (rest of family, community, friends, etc), Career, Dance, Blog + Social Media and Misc. I put everything (however small or big) that I wish to learn, follow, change or introduce in these buckets of my life. Ticking off each little thing from the list gives me a sense of happiness and motivation to achieve further. If you are looking for inspiration or a starting point, Kamana Bhaskaran has a goal setting template that she graciously shared with her followers on Instagram.
Set action items for every intention/resolution
Working towards an end goal requires an action plan. I learned it the hard way. It could be as simple as writing an email to someone or consciously looking out for opportunities. One of my 2018 goals was to act in a YouTube web-series (YES!). To be an actor was a childhood dream that I made into a goal that year. I knew nothing when I had that thought in my mind and I even thought I was silly to dream about it. But when I sensed an opportunity around me, I just wrote an email expressing my interest in acting and BOOM… I ended up in a guest role in an on-going web-series followed by a title role in another one. (Fun fact: The web-series is on Amazon Prime). Not all the time, you would know the exact steps to reach a goal. That is totally fine and in that case, one of the action items is to figure out the action plan and this is an on-going process. Listen to this podcast by Jay Shetty on how you could turn your goals into actionable items.
Word of the year – An underlying Mantra for the year
This truly is a game-changer for me to start with. Like I said before, I have not always done well keeping up with my new year resolutions. A part of it is due to my fault and the other part is that my “resolutions” and “goals” were haphazard and did not aim towards a holistic improvement/change. Having a word of the year helps you streamline your intentions for the year and guides you to plan your everyday actions and short term goals. It also helps you check in with your actions. My word of the year is “GROW”. It means to work towards mindful growth personally, professionally, physically, emotionally, financially, mentally and even spiritually. I am sometimes not sure if I have created a path in my life to give scope for growth. Either I am comfortable where I am right now (stagnant stage) or clueless of what’s next. Hence, in 2020, I intend to set a path to growth in each of the areas. Read this post by Dreaming Loud to help you choose your word of the year.
Planning every day is the key
I am really bad about this and is something I am working on. With everything you now have to work through the whole year, everyday planning is the key to reach the end goal. There are many methods and practices of everyday planning and no one size fits all. I recently saw this video on bullet journaling by Pick Up Limes and was inspired to follow but with edits that work best for me. I always have weekend to-do lists for home on my refrigerator and for work on my desk. But this year, I started with to-do lists where I consciously focus on myself too. It may be as simple as morning walk, water intake or writing a blog, etc. I try to write it first thing in the morning and check before I go to bed. Checking off each item from the list boosts up the motivation for the next day. Another school of thought is to plan your day the previous night to wake up with an action plan ready. I am figuring out what works best for me.
Lastly, I know it’s almost February but not everything in a new year starts from January 1st, it starts from the day you commit to it. Its never too late to start anything right. Good luck!
Wishing you a very happy and successful year ahead.
– Signing off
P.S: For the record, documenting the happiness of my first blog as a mom though it has nothing to do with this post 🙂