“If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.”
- Cyril Cusack
So here we are with another year having passed by. If you’re reading this, the year 2013 has officially clocked in! Do you feel any different? Are you seeing any change happening? For me it feels very unique, pleasant and peaceful at the same time. There’s a very strong feeling of this being unknown territory, where the future is one big canvas just waiting to be painted.
Looking back about three or four years ago I remember envisioning the world being a very different place, different from what we were all experiencing at the time. I had expectations of what it would be like, I also had excitement and I had goals and visions of how I wanted to play a role in this global change. I felt like a little kid with the world at my fingertips. I wanted to change my life because I saw how shifting my own life could impact and affect the world around me, in a positive way, by bringing much needed change to our experiences. Looking ahead at that time, I saw the end of 2012 as a time in history where infinite possibility would open up for us to experience something new on Earth. We are in a very unique time right now and what I feel is most important for us to look at is the fact that possibility is something that exists in every moment, not just one particular date, and that we always have a choice in what we want to experience and how we experience it. So what choices are we making and why?
A hot topic that always begins to create a buzz around the end of each year is the famous “New Years Resolution”. I’m sure everyone can relate to having at least one they’ve wanted to achieve at some point in their life.
In Canada and the USA, surveys have found that approximately 50% of their populations create a resolution for themselves each year. But get this, 25% of resolutions are abandoned within 15 weeks and only about 8% actually follow through! These statistics surely get you thinking. To give you an actual example, I’ve had conversations with personal trainers and many of them have told me that the first three months of every year are the busiest time for new signups at the gym. A lot of people who seem motivated and inspired to get fit and healthy flock the gym scene. Ironically, the following three months are also the biggest “drop-off” period! By drop-off I mean people who stop going to the gym. So I have to ask, why do so few people actually achieve what they think they want?
A thought that comes to mind is the fact that although our resolutions come from a place of wanting to change, most often it’s based on an empty feeling within us, a void that we need to fill. There’s a part of us that we are not at peace with and think that by achieving something externally, it will make us feel better and more “whole” so to speak. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome to have inspiration to do something new, but it’s important to look at why this is happening, what exactly it is that we’re striving for and where the desire is coming from. We tend to get excited about changes we want to make and experience and we create intentions for ourselves. We set goals and standards. We make promises. We try to motivate ourselves to get stoked about the idea of really doing something different this year, but sometimes it may not play out as we had hoped and there’s nothing wrong with that. When it doesn’t come into fruition, most often it’s serving a purpose for us to look at things that are limiting us now before we move forward.
“You cannot solve a problem in the same level of consciousness in which it occurred.” – Albert Einstein
In the past, it was very easy to just sweep things under the rug or cover them up by doing something that will distract us from looking at these challenges, but now, there’s no more hiding or running. It’s all being brought up for us to observe and let go of and with moving forward into a new year, let’s really make a point of taking a new conscious approach to our resolutions.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of 2012’s most popular New Years Resolutions.
- Lose weight and get fit
- Eat more healthy
- Quit smoking
- Quit drinking
- Get out of debt
- Spend more time with family
- Live with less stress
- Travel to new places
- Learn something new
These are just examples but all of them are great intentions to set and I think each of them can play a role in changing our individual lives, but the key is in our awareness and how we go about them. To put it very briefly, we are experiencing a shift in consciousness on the planet. What does that mean? It means that we are now becoming more aware of ourselves and the world around us. We’re seeing the truth and limitations of our experiences and how we can move beyond them. This shift is about change and it’s about creating something new. So it is important to take a moment and see whether what we are doing is in alignment with that?
Let’s look at the example of losing weight and getting fit. This one is huge for people and probably one of the most popular ones I hear every year. From my observations, the majority of people who say that this is going to be their resolution are at a point in their lives where they feel they want to change some things, but it’s coming from a perspective where they are judging their overall experience as well as their body. This is a big reason as to why those statistics are what they are. We create our desires to be such a massive struggle even though it doesn’t have to be. We’ve bought into the idea that things need to be hard and difficult and we have to really “grind” to make it happen. It’s because we’re resisting, fighting, judging and fearing what’s in front of us.
We can look at ourselves in the mirror and not like what we see. From there, we create all kinds of stories in our minds such as being ugly, being too skinny or too obese, that we need to keep up with what society deems as the “ideal” looking male or female, we can even create a feeling of being small and powerless and it leads us to think that we need to impress others to be accepted by them. In looking at this stuff it’s clear that it’s very limiting. So how can we go about it differently?
With all of these beliefs we’re putting ourselves in boxes by creating a trap of always looking for things externally that will cover them up. Like the thought of wanting to go to the gym and to lose weight and get “buff” or “slim and sexy” so that we can feel better about ourselves. But what happens is that we just create more belief systems on top of other belief systems. If we do actually achieve the “buff” physique, if we’re carrying judgment already and are feeling a sense of separation between others, our minds can grab a hold of that and then we fall into the belief that we’re special or better than others because we’re now among the “sexy” and “strong” in society. It’s all really just playing a mind game that we’ve been playing over and over. It will never bring us true peace.
This year, I invite you to try something different but at the same time, make a point of being observant of why you want to do it. An important question to ask is how is it creating growth in myself, others around me or even the entire world? This shift is about being the change we wish to see and leading by example, letting go of belief systems and being our true selves. Try posing these questions to yourself. Why do I really want this? Do I really want to keep playing this game? Is there something I’m not at peace with? Is there something I fear? Am I judging myself or something else? Do I really need it? Will it truly bring me peace, or is it just going to be an escape and distract me from facing my challenges and looking at my beliefs that are driving my life?
We don’t have to be “spiritual gurus” to become powerful beacons of change and leaders in the world. Anyone can look inside. Just be yourself! A more conscious approach to your New Year’s Resolution starts with observation, listening, feeling and taking action from the heart!