Monday, January 11, 2010

The “New and Improved” Version of New Year’s Resolutions

By Jillian Maas Backman

This time of year always brings out the best in our “new and improved” versions of New Year’s Resolutions.  It really doesn’t matter what chosen dysfunction you have selected to improve upon; the more pertinent question to ask yourself is: why this one?  What events in the past years have brought you to the conclusion that change is a must in this area of your life? What structures are you going to put in place to ensure success so this year’s resolutions do not end up with the rest of your buried and uncompleted proclamations?

Before I lay out a few suggestions of my own on how to follow through with your resolutions, let’s examine the positive first: 
The New Year’s Resolution ritual is the one time throughout the seasons the majority of the people on this planet; stop to; engage in a reflective moment and take part in one big universal “Internal Check-Intake Evaluation;” like the kind we’re all subjected to every time we go to a physician’s office.  Assessments of where/what we have been in the past; where/what we want to be in the future; willingness to move forward with a new attitude and plan of affirmative actions towards a higher quality existence.

The next part of this inspirational rite of passage is the fact that we are all bound together in one distinct voice to announce publically to the world: I AM NOT PERFECT, BUT I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS TO PERFECTION.   Ahhh, that feels so much better!  Now, we can all take a big sigh of relief.  Somewhere along this timeline of humanness we’ve lost our ability to grant each other the patience and time to fully embrace an adult learning curve together. You must say to yourself: Yes, I am willing to accept my challenges.  Yes, I will work on them, year round if necessary. Sometimes, we have a lifetime of make-over’s to live up to, underscored with the commitment to live a more loving lifestyle than year’s past and a promise to recommit for years to come, if that’s what it takes to be at peace from the inside out.
So where do we go from here?
Unfortunately, many of us do not make it past this point in the progression unless we are forced to do so.  Here comes the reality of the situation: it is time to buckle down and do the supportive work it takes to succeed.  

Support your new proclamations with new measures:

Surround yourself with new people and new experiences.  Break the energy bond you have with those around you.  The reason we keep repeating some of our outward behavior is because we are used to the energy of the company we keep.  There is an exchange of force that builds between all relationships; the closer the bond, the more fixed this energy gets between yourself and friends.  There can be both positive and negative exchanges, so you need to get very clear on who in your life has positive influence and who in your life has a negative influence.  Be honest with yourself and ask the question, “Is this person supporting my intentions and in return, am I supportive of their intentions?”  If not, trust and let go.  Your intentions of living a more pure life will bring forth those that have the same convictions as you do.  

Run your own experiment here; test this theory on your own: let someone go out of your life- with love, not anger- and see what transpires. You will be amazed at who stumbles into your path, by accident! 

Select a friend’s New Year’s Resolution proclamation to support.

I get so tired of over-working my own issues, on all levels of MBS (mind, body, spirit).  It is so easy to get myopic, tangled up in your own issues, concentrating solely on your growth that you lose sight of the rest world growing with you.  It feels good inside to lend your MBS know- how to someone else for awhile. Doesn’t seem like their issues are easier to resolve than your own? Pick a friend in your inner circle to support in their New Year’s Proclamations.

Self Motivation: The glue that holds your intentions in place:

It seems some people have an easier time of following through on their intentions?  I suppose so.  What have they tapped into that you have not in this moment in time?  Self-motivation, that’s what. It is the key to grounding your intentions in a solid foundation. It is one of those strange and illusive traits that have to be practiced over and over until you hit the bull’s eye of what you want to accomplish. 
People ask me this question all the time. How did I get to be the lucky one that has this special trait?

I ask myself this question all the time as well!  What am I doing differently than others, what motives me to keep moving forward? I have spent countless hours dedicated to connecting with inner seeker, part of me that many label as the inner child.  I see it differently; this part of me is an adult, functioning as an adult, curious to the world and all that it has to share with me, part of myself.  That sense of self that does not adhere to someone else’s expectations does not resonate with someone else’s time clock. My inner voice keeps asking relevant questions, like what’s next?  I treasure the connection of knowing myself more and more each day I serve here on this planet.

Here is a good example:  those of you who have made resolutions for this year or even in the past have picked up and dialed inward to the private line known to the world as your inner voice only for you, by you, and only you can keep the dialog going throughout your life. 

Years ago I went out for a walk with several dear friends in the woods.  I was complaining that all I could hear was ringing in my ears.  My friends, being my friends, quietly told me to pick up the phone!  I realized that day, that my internal self-motivation mechanism had been there all along reaching out to me, and I was the one avoiding the soulful phone call.
I applaud you for taking the initial stance of declaring your yearly resolution, encourage you to shake up your support system and focus on helping others achieve their own resolutions.  Lastly, I ask you to commit to dialing in your own self-motivational landline to keep you going throughout the rest of this year and beyond. I know there is always a sense of urgency to change everything at once, but THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME TO TAKE YOUR TIME!  

In loving gratitude, Jillian

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