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The Importance of New Year’s Resolutions

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The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

~ Leo Tolstoy

I was at an event recently where the audience shared their personal practices regarding writing New Year’s resolutions. I was shocked to see in that group that only 50% of the participants created resolutions. I am completely ritualistic about starting a New Year. It is a time to revisit my last year’s resolutions and to come up with new ones. During the month of January I also have my annual viewing of the movie Our Town. My dad and I used to watch that together, and as the years pass the poignancy of the message is even stronger. Life passes so quickly and our time with people we love is incredibly precious. The movie really gets me in the mood to tackle my resolutions for the coming year. New Year’s resolutions are an important annual ritual of closure and intention for me.

I start with the list of intentions I had for the past year. What was accomplished, what became less important, and what remains incomplete that is still a goal? The list for the New Year starts with the ones that were unfinished that I still care about. I like to divide what I hope to do in the next year into categories. For 2016 these include health and wellness, work, family, and experiences. At the beginning of the year I jot down things that I’d like to accomplish, and over the next few weeks more things will come up. The process crystallizes my intentions for the coming year, and gives a moment to celebrate the gifts of the past year. We find ourselves a year older and wiser with more clarity to our goals. So often, we keep dragging the same goals and intentions forward to the next year when we clearly no longer have any desire for them anymore. Streamlining our list and releasing that which is no longer useful is an exhilarating and empowering process. Just like Elsa sings in Frozen, “Let it go.” Sometimes it isn’t happening because we really don’t care that much. I am positive that the process of setting annual intentions has given me some real traction knocking items off of my own personal bucket list. There are things I know wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t start imagining it in January and giving it more form throughout the year…

For all of you, I hope that 2016 is a year filled with focus on what you truly want, celebrated accomplishments big and small, wonderful surprises, and loving connections with friends and family!