In today’s Wireboard article, I would like to propose two new ways to think about the New Year. Yes, I realize that New Year’s Day was almost a week ago but all that really means is that many have already ditched their annual resolution (which seems not to last very long most of the time anyway). That is why I would like to offer two new ways to consider 2016, with the goal of moving us off of stale, largely-unhelpful ways of thinking about New Year’s resolutions and into patterns of thinking and acting that will actually, sustainably and genuinely change us for the better.
So, my first suggestion on how to do something sustainable and genuine here at the beginning of the year is found in the word “resolution” itself. It doesn’t take much to see that from resolution we get “Re-Solve.” And that is where some magic can happen. What challenge, issue or opportunity in your way is like a recurring thing that needs to be re-solved?
It is quite likely that you have at least one thing in your life that needs you to repeatedly bring a solution. This is just the nature of certain dynamics in life — they morph and resurface and reiterate themselves, but this can be deeply discouraging. So discouraging, in fact, that we simply accept it as who we are and allow it to continue to hinder us. Maybe we have tried to stop or change in the past and have failed and just don’t feel like we have the energy to try again. That is why we need to re-solve the problem. Perhaps “re-solving” means coming at it from a different angle, with a different perspective. Perhaps someone in your life can offer a different view of the same old issue. Either way, re-solving an old challenge could be a most welcomed event.
The second suggestion that I have is to create a theme for the year. Because we are so into sustainability at Rewire, themes are good ways to keep commitments nearby without the same ruts that resolutions tend to fall into. Themes are less action-oriented and more cognitive or thinking-based. Perhaps your theme is “experience more peace,” or “be more present with my family,” or “listen to my spouse more acutely,” or even “my physical health matters.” A really great one I heard recently was “catch myself being judgmental.” These are all ways of thinking that can easily stay with you throughout the year. So find a theme. Tell people close to you what it is and then walk with it like a companion, letting your theme be an internal agent for change. I think you’ll be surprised how naturally change comes when it springs from thematic thinking as opposed to resolutions we try to keep with brute force of will.
All of us here at Rewire wish you a fruitful, thoughtful year. May your lizard brain be stilled and your thought life be abundant as you make the changes that bring growth.