By Lorraine Iverson
Reflecting and affirming, reviewing what was and planning what will be. That’s what the New Year is about for many of us. We have made this time so monumental for changing that we intimidate ourselves. Changing our addictions, our bodies, our jobs – anything we find to be less than perfect, we throw it in the resolution mix rather than accepting it all as absolutely perfect. If we could just come to the New Year’s resolutions with acceptance and gratitude, it would be so much easier to make changes that are not about right and wrong, good or bad.
A New Look at New Year’s Resolutions
Instead, I’d like you to try this: honor your awareness and successes and then resolve to continue the good work to an even higher level.
There would be no beat-up for how we failed or got fat or whatever it is we choose to beat ourselves up for this last year. It ain’t black and white, folks.
And we all know in hindsight that many of our biggest “failures” were merely new doors opening, new roads to travel.
Every job I lost led to a much better job. I have even found gratitude in pain, showing me how lucky I am not to have it very often. I’m still trying to understand what gift there is in gaining back weight that I’ve worked to so hard to lose… but I think I will figure that one out, too! Then, I won’t have to keep repeating it 😉
Our Red Leather Journal
Every year at this time my husband and I get out the beautiful red leather journal we keep for this purpose, and we look at what goals we set for the previous year. We are usually delighted with what we have accomplished.
Sometimes we have to laugh at the stupidity of what we wished for or the fact that it’s been on the list every year. (Yes, dammit, it’s the same 25 pounds.)
We also list all of our other accomplishments and items we are grateful for. It’s a wonderful tradition. Then we write down the goals for the coming year.
This year I want to frame this process in light of not change but expansion. No beat-ups for goals not reached, just a reframing of the intentions. Instead of cutting back on alcohol or losing weight this year I will affirm that everything that I consume will serve me well and keep me healthy. Instead of figuring out how to generate more income, I will be grateful for my abundant life. Rather than repeating my yearly promise to get my closets and cupboards organized, I will claim order in my life.
Change, In a New Light
This is not a cop-out to making changes; it’s a kinder, gentler way to move things in your life. No longer is it about the right and wrong, black and white bluntness of winning and losing. Rather, let’s think about these items as “good job, now let’s take it to the next level.” Motivation vs. ass-kicking. Could this work for you, too? I think it can!
Think about last year’s mistakes, losses, setbacks; now reframe them and find the benefit and gratitude in them.
You had a long-term relationship fail. Where’s the benefit? You know there are so many – you no longer feel judged, you don’t have to listen to him snore, you can spend time with people you like again, on and on you can go.
The benefits of the relationship were: list them here…
The benefits of the break up were: list them here…
A New Perspective on Anything You Like
You can do the same exercise for losing a job, a friend, almost anything that appears to be a failure or loss. Now start at that point and see what door has opened. Walking through that door and taking a new road are your goals for next year? No big earth-shattering changes that you have to accomplish or face “failing” again. Just appreciate where you were, where you are now, and take the next steps in your expanding awareness and growth – gently and with love.
We all want to keep growing and improving, and that’s a good thing. But the world will beat you up enough, so you don’t need to do it to yourself. Being kinder to ourselves also makes us kinder to everyone else as well.
I think the world could use some of that. Don’t you?
LORRAINE “RAIN” IVERSON – Life
Rain Iverson has traveled many paths and is always recreating herself. As a businesswoman, she co-founded and managed a technology public relations firm and one of the first computer conferencing software companies. She has served on non-profit boards, retired at 50 to become an artist and then ten years later came out of retirement to become CFO of her son’s company. Rain is the matriarch of a large, blended family with a great husband, children, grandchildren and lots of extended/blended family members.