If you are setting off into 2020 hoping to improve yourself, you are already off on the wrong foot because resolutions are really about self-knowledge, not self-improvement. Here’s why:
In spiritual terms, we all reside in a permanent state of perfection. We are already complete, just as we are. There is absolutely nothing to improve upon.
When we forget this and create resolutions with the intention of self-improvement, our commitments tend to be underpinned by our own negative judgments and laced with self-rejection. No wonder most of our self-improvement goals are all but forgotten by February!
If we want to create lasting resolutions, the key is to build them around positive and genuine commitments to self-knowledge and personal development. Here are ten of my absolute favourites:
1. I Will Listen To My Body
Your body gives you subtle feedback all day long. It tells you when you are tired, whether you actually want to eat that cake, if you are thirsty. If you have attuned yourself to function by ignoring these cues, commit to listening and responding to your body more often this year and see what happens.
2. I Will Strengthen My ‘No’
Most of us have been socialised to be people-pleasers. We say yes to all sorts of things we do not want. This year, be authentic and ground your integrity by speaking your truth. Understand that when you say ‘no’ to things you don’t want, it creates space for the things you do.
3. I Will Circulate Energy
Practically speaking this means recycle, repurpose, gift or throw stuff away. Clothes, photographs, files, papers, books, ornaments, cutlery, utensils, the lot! Ask yourself: what percentage of the things that you own or control has a current purpose? Then commit to increasing your percentage by a set amount this year.
4. I Will Be Curious
Each lifetime is an experiment in self-leadership and self-realisation. What did you learn about yourself last year and what are you curious to discover this year? Book that course, take a chance on that retreat, learn something new.
5. I Will Take Care Of My Word
Think about everything that you say as being energy that impacts you first. If you want to experience more compassion this year, be more compassionate. It starts with you. See also if you can let go of your negative self-talk (eg I’m lazy, I’m not bright). The truth is that you are brilliant and have a unique purpose – tell the world that story.
6. I Will Become Familiar With My Inner World
The world of mind, emotions, thought and intention requires exploration, discovery, courage, curiosity and compassion. Commit to exploring your inner world of consciousness this year. Start with a commitment to meditate more than you already are.
7. I Will Create
We were all artists at school. Where is your creativity today? Choose one artistic project that inspires you and bring it to life this year.
8. I Will Prioritise My Wellbeing
Even if you are well, a plan of maintenance is essential. Who is on your wellbeing team? Mine includes a coach, healer, osteopath, kinesiologist, GP, dentist, dental hygienist, massage therapist and colonic therapist. Draw up your team, book appointments early, and keep them.
9. I Will Move Into Alignment
Alignment feels quite different to success. Whilst success is predominantly egoic, alignment goes far deeper connecting your actual state of being with your words, actions and experience. Whilst success is easily lauded by others, alignment is a little quieter, and once you have it, you don’t need others to tell you well done. Seek it out this year by aligning who you are with what you think, say and do.
10. I Will Be Guided By Joy
Joy is the natural human state. This year, move towards the experiences, people and conversations that make you feel joyful.
Now it is time to adapt these suggestions and add specific ones of your own. When creating your own resolutions remember:
Resolutions Must Be Expressed Positively
The Universe does not understand negatively expressed intentions. If you commit to not eating sugar, the Universe hears that you want to eat sugar. Expressing this positively, you might therefore commit to eating healthier foods.
Be Clear and Accurate But Leave Room For A Surprise
In other words wait until you are absolutely clear about what you want, express it accurately but trust the Universe to work out the details.
Shout Them From The Rooftops!
Well, not quite but it is important to read your resolutions out loud once you have made your list. Taking them from a silent commitment to a spoken declaration is a powerful first step.
Have fun and here’s to a very mindful New Year!
International Mindfulness Advocate and Conscious Visionary, Neil Seligman @neil.seligman is dedicated to sharing the power of mindfulness globally, transforming lives, and inspiring excellence in all aspects of human endeavour. He is the Founder of The Conscious Professional, the Author of 100 Mindfulness Meditations and forthcoming title Conscious Leadership, and the Originator of Soul Portrait Photography.