“Love” by Ukrainian sculptor Alexander Milov, photographed by Andrew Miller

What I want. What I really, really want.

Do you know what you want? What you really, really want? Many of us do not. I know I don’t always know what I really, really want. Sometimes it is because I don’t have clarity of what would make me happy. Sometimes I don’t think I can get what I want. Most times it is because I don’t think I deserve what it is that I want. Almost always it is because I am afraid of inconveniencing someone else by asking what I want; by expressing my needs.

This time of year, many of us make New Year’s Resolutions, which should be based in what we really want. And yet, usually within a few days we give up on our resolutions. They are too tough to complete. We don’t think we are making progress. It is easier to do what we have always done. We blame others for keeping us from our dreams. My family would not approve. My husband does not support me. The economy is bad, so it is not the right time to make a change. We sometimes give up even before we try.

Another way we sabotage getting what we want, having a new life, a new way of being, is to act in the opposite way as what we want. For me, I often long for connection. However, something in me thinks I will not receive it or don’t deserve it, so I say or do things that push people away. Instead of asking for and expecting what I long for, I usually unconsciously do or say something that results in the opposite of what I desire. It is dumb and counterproductive, and it happens much more frequently that I would like to admit. In Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong, she says, “The irony is that at the exact same time that we are creating distance between ourselves and the people around us by off-loading onto others, we are craving deeper emotional connection and richer emotional lives.” Sums me up pretty well. How about you?

“Love” by Ukrainian sculptor Alexander Milov, photographed by Andrew Miller

In my last post, I expressed the importance of connection and service. These are things that I want. I really, really want. Instead of hoping I will have more connection or making resolutions to do specific things to make that connection happen – which often leads to a longer to-do list that I resent or avoid – this year I am choosing to live the way I desire, to live each moment how I really, really want. I am not making a resolution, a goal, or a dream board. I am committed to living each moment based on the principals to which I aspire.

What is it that you want? What do you really, really want? Do you ask for what you want? Do you believe you can and should receive it? Do your actions and reactions match your desire? If not, what can you do to bring your desires into alignment with your beliefs and actions? Are you setting lofty goals or just committing to be your best each moment of the day?

If you are ready to make progress on your resolutions, on what you really really want, check out these tools to make it happen. Wishing you all the best in 2020 and beyond!

For more on the sculptor: https://www.facebook.com/milovalexandr

For more on the photographer: www.Awesomephotography.ca, Instagram @awesomephotography.ca

Are New YEAR’s Resolutions Obsolete?

The end of December always leads to trepidation. It hasn’t always been that way, but as I enter the seventh year of my blog the thought of January leads me to panic about how I can talk about New Year’s Resolutions. So far I have written about:

new year resolutionIn revisiting this topic again, the first thought I had was about a self-created dividing line. Who says that January 1st is the start of the New Year? The Chinese and Jewish cultures have different days they use to start anew. With this in mind, remember you determine how important this day is to you. If you had a wonderful 2014, don’t panic that it must come to an end in 2015. On the other hand, if you had a rough year, use this as a time to wash away your troubles and focus on creating a better year.

In 2014, I actually started the monthly practice of recounting my successes and failures, removing what doesn’t work for me, and creating a vision of what I do want. Every New Moon I take a moment to check in with myself personally, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. Where am I close to my ideal? Where am I off? How do I want to be? What I have found is that, like not allowing our stress to build, taking mini resolution check-in’s allows me to react to constant changes in life, revise how I am acting or reacting, and reevaluate what I find important in life.

Constant Changes

Imagine you make a New Year’s Resolution to move to a senior position in your company. You lay out how you need to network, where you need to improve your skills, and when you will be ready to ask for the promotion. Then on January 2nd you learn that your company is going bankrupt, your spouse is being transferred, or a family member’s health becomes a priority. Life happens. By reevaluating your desires and needs on a monthly basis, you are more easily positioned to adapt to all that life throws at us.

Action / Reaction

Instead of focusing on results and outcomes, I prefer to focus on how I am acting, reacting, and being. When all things are said and done, are you most proud of the expensive car in your garage or the first time you had the power to speak up for yourself? Much more reward is available in our self-control, overcoming fear, speaking our needs, and doing our best. Check monthly to review where you could have acted better and where you made the most of who you are.

What Is Important

Especially when we create an annual plan for our business, we have a tendency to look at outcome versus goals. A great way to stay in touch with what really brings you joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment is to continually reevaluate what is important to you. I learned this one again and again with my book. The number of books sold were not as important as the stories I heard of how the book affected people’s lives. Check in every so often and question if what you desire is truly what makes your heart sing, or is it the false desire of fame, recognition, or success society tells us we should want. Release outcomes which do not add to your happiness and celebrate where you have made a difference in the world.

This New Year I challenge you not to create annual resolutions but instead to look to the next month. How do you want to be? What do you want to experience? What would make your heart sing? What do you need to do to bypass fear and live fully? Then 30 days from now, see how well you did. Celebrate your wins and make plans for how you can make the next 30 days even better!

 

Originally posting on Huffington Post.