I haven’t ever really committed myself to the idea or practice of New Year’s resolutions. They have always seemed a bit contrived, artificial, and insincere. As I’ve watched many people around me set resolutions and fail by mid-February I’ve wondered where they went wrong. I think I’ve come up with part of my answer.
We have all had a year that threw us out of what we had come to depend on. We lost a lot. Many of us lost loved ones, trust, community, connections, jobs, predictability, and sanity. I decided this was a good year for me to set some resolutions for the New Year because I feel like in all the loss I have experienced this year I can truly depend on myself and trust myself. This would be a good way to test my resolve and work towards goals that are important to me. I also have hope – that we will all come through improved and more in tune with our purpose, our goodness, and our beauty.
Some of the things I lost in 2020 that shook my world are: a beloved sister, a business that gave me purpose and fulfillment and that helped support my family, a sense of safety in my neighborhood and community, trust (even if it wasn’t all that strong) that the system is there for us. In all this loss I began to forge a new path so that I could keep making a difference in the world. I started coaching people and I love it.
One of the aspects of the coaching I do is helping people become clear on their goals and supporting them to reach their goals. Why do we set goals for ourselves? How do we set goals for ourselves? These are questions that seemed simple to me but when I really gave them some thought they ran very deeply into my experience in the last year. What I realized is that when goals are set to help us live in alignment with our values, we are much more successful with them.
So, in order to set effective goals, we must back up and assess our core values. Being clear about our values also means making sure we are living with our values and not someone else’s. As I have spent time with my values I realized that some aspects of them were things I picked up from my parents and society and many no longer served me or never served me. It’s wonderful to know we have choices here and we can shift our values to align with the person we have become or the person we are striving to become.
It tickles me to have a felt sense of my choices because feeling stuck isn’t something I like at all. Having a choice in creating values really opens up possibilities into potential. I think when we set goals that align with our values we are able to live more satisfying lives. When we set goals that don’t align with our values and fail at them we open a new path to self-loathing and dissatisfaction with our lives. No one needs that.
I am excited about ringing in 2021 and making some resolutions that I keep. If ever there was a time to do it I think it’s now! Do you need help getting clear with your values? How about setting goals and reaching them? If so, I’m here to help! I wish you success in finding your best self.