I don't know when it happened, but New Year's Resolutions are no longer a thing. People just aren't into them anymore. Perhaps this is because they are largely unsuccessful? Too hard to keep? Don't have action steps or plans behind them? Truth be told, I honestly can't think of a time when I earnestly set a New Years Resolution; it just was not something my family or friends did when I was growing up.
In it's place however, a few practices seem to have popped up: the first is picking one word to focus on for the year. The word is supposed to help guide their decision making, help filter the things they say "yes" to and the things they say "no" to. It's this idea of simplifying your life to one thing, one purpose or one path. Words like "intentional," "health," "begin," "hope," "be," "wild," ... The word is something to look forward with and to look back on through out the year, keeping it in the forefront of your mind as you hit the daily grind of life.
For the last four or five years I've done Jennie Allen's "Dream Guide" along with my friend Alex of Inspiration Clothesline. We sit together and reflect on our previous year and then look ahead into the coming year. This resources covers four sections of your life -- spiritual, relational, work and personal. It's way of taking an inventory as well as a place process to help you dream about the upcoming year. I love this tool and it's been fun to go back and look over the past years and see how much I have grown.
Another resource I learned about from a recent podcast and am going to try out this year is put out by Lead Stories Media called "Hello Goodbye." This tool is about self reflections, who have you been and who do you want to be? Saying "goodbye" to the things or habits or people that no longer serve you for good, and saying "hello" to new things, habits, people, etc.
I think the point of these tools and resources is to get you to P A U S E. To actually slow down and ponder. What would it look like for you to take a moment, an hour, a day, to sit and think, to reflect and to examine? Can you be present in your body, your family and your work life and really look at what has been serving you well this past year and what hasn't? Are there things you want to do better or differently? What are the things you want to continue doing in this next year?
There's just something about the start of another year that give people permission to change. As if we can't any other time of year, the newness allows for and really calls us to grow, to shift or alter our course, to make changes, be it big change or little ones. There's hope for more. That as we engage our own lives and our stories we might become more of who we are and what we were made for.
My friend wrote in her Christmas letter this year some advice that her late husband had given their son. He said, "if you do what you love, you won't work a day in your life." I am really pondering this and holding that with my natural skills & abilities as well as my God-given calling. I am wondering what this look like for me? So over the next few days you'll find me processing out 2019 and dreaming big for 2020.
Here's the links to some resources if you'd like some help with "year end"
Also take a listen to our latest podcast about wrapping up the year. In this episode we sit down with Becky Allender, one of the Founders and Core Facilitators of the Allender Center, author of “Hidden in Plain Sight”, contributor at Red Tent Living, speaker, and more. Becky highlights the importance of ending the year well, giving some examples of how she works with anxiety, knowing her body, and embracing a new year. Listen here: