Organize, Intend, Resolve: Which Will You Do as the Year Begins?
Everyone has their own routine for ringing out the old year and ringing in the new. Like many, part of mine involves cleaning out the old year’s files and setting up new ones for my financial records. (yes, I still maintain files for hard copies despite the availability of paperless records. Old habits die hard.) Some years, it doesn’t happen until I’ve done my taxes (typically as close to the due date as possible).
This year, however, I’m endeavoring to start things off on a stronger note, and that means getting organized sooner rather than later. That being said, my 2017 files have been moved to the file cabinet, 2018 folders have been created, and I have a stack of paperwork to be shredded as I’m no longer holding things for 20 years before deciding it’s time to let it go. OK, so what remains to be shredded is from 2007, but 10 years back is better than 20, right?
In keeping with this mad desire to organize, I’ve cleared my desk of most of the extraneous paraphernalia and created a “To Do” folder to help solve the accumulation of papers on the corner of my desk problem. (Though as far as the cats are concerned, I simply cleared space for them to sprawl while I’m working to keep their bellies full and their bodies warm and cozy!) Here’s hoping I remember to use the folder, and, more importantly, look at it once in awhile!
Resolutions Are Made to be Broken
By now, many of you have compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions, especially made on a specific date and solely for the sake of making resolutions has never been my thing. I see it in the same way I see losing weight. If you lose something, it means you intend to find it, and if you resolve something, it means you’ll break those resolutions.
Enjoying the Flexibility of Intentions
Instead, I continue my practice of setting intentions whenever and wherever the mood strikes. It happens the mood struck on the last day of the year, merely by coincidence. I was mentally reviewing the year’s accomplishments as I wrote my morning pages on December 31st, and found I wanted to up the ante, so to speak, on what I could do with what I’d already done. Here are a few of the intentions I made:
- Publish “Forgotten Victims”.
- Write something besides my morning pages each and every day. (so far, I have not managed to get this one going, but setting intentions doesn’t imply we’ll achieve all of them at the same time).
- Have more healthy eating days.
- Get back to my 3 days a week gym routine (again, still working on getting this one going).
- Forgive more and take less things personally. Everyone has their stuff and oftentimes, they are reacting to their stuff and not to anything I’ve said or done.
- Have more “no sugar” days. (so far, so good. 4 days and counting).
- Keep up with the habit of making my bed every day I set a couple of years ago. (we all need a gimme in our intentions. This is mine.)
- Use the notes I’ve accumulated for books and stories in progress to actually create something new or improve on my works-in-progress.
- Take the steps I need to move closer to the life I have been envisioning. (took a step closer when I signed up to beta test Josh Koerpel’s Fire Builders accountability program)
- Deep clean my house more often than at the holidays.
- Pull up the rest of the old, disgusting carpet in my bedroom.
- Continue de-cluttering my space.
- Devote more hours per day working on my career and less on wasting time/procrastinating.
- Acquire and read more books on self-improvement and business success.
- Resume the WTGOWL program and release the rest of the weight I need to divest myself of in order to reach my health and fitness goals.
- Work on getting to bed earlier and rising by 8 AM more frequently.
In the last 5 years as I’ve gotten more consistent about setting intentions, I’ve learned that writing them down and putting them where I can see them every day is one of the best motivators, not only for manifesting my intentions, but improving upon them as I get closer, or even occasionally hitting one out of the park.
Planting Our Own “Carrots”
I’ve always been a proponent of baby steps; small steps taken on a regular basis to reach our goals, but in the process of following my own advice, I’ve learned we all need something to reach for; something which is not quite attainable at this moment in time. As I get closer to a goal, or achieve an intention, I am compelled to raise the bar and create something new to reach for.
Sometimes it seems like a mere blink of the eye to get past a block which kept me from fulfilling an intention, while others can and do take years. It took me 9 of them to finish the first draft of “Forgotten Victims”, and 4 to finally act on the one I set to attend a writer’s conference. Yet I know the timing for both was exactly right. There are goals we set which have steps we may not even see, but despite our lack of vision, we must take those steps before realizing the prize at the end. It may be frustrating at times, and we may fall into the trap of beating ourselves up about it. As self-flagellation is one of my many sins, I created a sort of mantra around it: Everything happens in its right and proper time.
Feeling the Energy of a “Life” Year
I can’t speak for everyone, but I feel an energy this year which wasn’t present in the past. A kind of cattle prod to the back, spurring me to move forward faster. It should come as no surprise, really, as the Hebrew symbol for “Chai” or “Life” is also the symbol for the number 18. Last year was, for me, more of a “ducks in a row” kind of year; a time for finishing old projects, self-care, and relationship-building.
Looking back on the year, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing I could have done more had I been less scattered and lazy. Yet, my mantra says it all. Just as “Forgotten Victims” took 9 years to write, those lazy, scattered, motivationless times are necessary too.
Last year, I found a book on my shelf I didn’t remember buying: Sue Monk Kidd’s “When the Heart Waits”. It sums up not only 2017 for me, but the years since I quit my day job. We have to allow those periods of waiting; of hibernation so to speak. That’s when our bodies, minds and spirits are going through huge transformations. Those transformations can’t be rushed or short-cutted. If we try to do either, we’ll only set the process back, causing it to take longer than it should. But even then, when we do feel like we’ve sabotaged the process, we’ve only done what needed to be done. There’s always a reason and a time, though we don’t always recognize it during the process, or even long after we’ve completed it and moved on to other things. Learning to trust in the process is, by far the greatest lesson I’ve learned while following my own path these last 4 years.
Making the Most of Our Time on the Planet
Whether you choose to resolve or intend, or maybe you simply go with the flow, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself and not judge. Trust that you’ll know when to move and when to sit still and listen if you let your heart and gut be your guide rather than you overactive, and overcritical mind. May 2018 be our best year yet.
Gratitude: The Ultimate Motivator
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful for the connections I’ve made or renewed over the last few years.
- I am grateful I’m able to learn new things all the time, and embrace life’s changes with less and less fear every day.
- I am grateful I finally completed “Forgotten Victims” and am looking forward to earning a publishing contract this year.
- I am grateful for the courage to step outside my comfort zone with larger and larger steps.
- I am grateful for the years of hibernation in which I learned to trust my heart, shut down my inner critic (at least for a minute or two), and attract the support I need to turn my baby steps into giant leaps.
- I am grateful for abundance: love, encouragement, courage, friendships old and new, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. Her specialties are finding and expressing your authentic self. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author