Although I love ceremonial times of the year, I‘ve always found the resolution hype around the clock changing from Dec 31st to January 1st a little odd. For me, New Year’s is about recognizing that culturally, a lot of intention is being created and a large shift is occurring, so I tend to step away from the idea that making a resolution that will change my life dramatically and instead, what I focus on is how to each step into the next year with purpose.
I wanted to give you a list of the top three tools I use to do this, tools I have found hugely impactful in my own life and in the clients I’ve worked with.
Number 1. Develop an avoid-at-all-costs list (for one year).
Rich Litvin once told me a story about Warren Buffet that has stuck with me to this day. He said Warren had a private pilot who’d worked for him a long time. One day, he went to the man and asked him if he wanted any help achieving his goals. The pilot had a whole bunch of different visions and ideas and so Warren asked him to write the top 25 things he wanted to accomplish that year in a list.
The pilot did the task, brought it back to Warren, who then told him to take five minutes and circle his top 5. The pilot did so, then took his top 5 back to Warren who asked how he was then going to accomplish the other 20. The pilot suggested he would allocate the majority of his time to the top five, and in his spare time, work on the other 20. Warren replied that instead, the pilot needed to make the other 20 his avoid at all costs list.
We all have a bazillion amazing ideas. Most of us don’t understand how dissipating our energy amongst 25 things means we rarely accomplish anything, and that the *really* sticky ones that draw our attention away are actually numbers 6,7 and 8.
Number 2. Commit to how you want to feel instead of what you want to accomplish.
Most people create New Year’s resolutions as goals, like making x amount of money, having x relationship or losing x weight. Very few people set intentions about how they want to feel. This is problematic because rarely do external things make us feel our desired feeling. Even if they do, it’s often very short lived.
If you make it a commitment to a feeling instead of an intention or goal, like feeling fullness, freedom, joy, pleasure, more connected, then chances are, you’ve won the year before it’s even begun. You can do this by working backwards. Ask yourself these simple three questions:
- What do I want to achieve in 2020?
- How will achieving it make me feel?
- How can I cultivate that feeling in my life, right now?
For example, a lot of my intention and attention lately is around buying a home on a little land. I imagine it will make me feel boundless, peaceful, relaxed and spacious. It’s fuelled everything I’ve done over the last 6 months—saving money in places I’ve been free to spend it; getting me on mint.com. It prompted me to get on the phone and pay of debt, something that was really uncomfortable for me. And in the process, I am creating and generating those feelings in myself already. I still want the house and I’m doing everything I can to get it, and, I already feel the kind of feeling I imagine I will feel when my family and I move into this house. I have already won. That is true freedom and choice. I’ve won 2020 and its not even 2020 yet.
3. Transmit Who *You* Are
I believe everything in the universe is made of energy and some is more manifest in form than other. Our physical being has a fairly strong form manifestation is energy. We know 75% of communication is non-verbal, which I don’t think is just body language—it’s because our being transmits. Whether we like it or not, we each need to recognize that we are always transmitting something.
The question we then need to ask is: How consciously are we willing to transmit the truth of who we are? It could mean making Facebook Lives—transmitting the being, belief and sound current of you, to let it be felt and heard and seen in the world. It could also mean deciding to dress each day from the inside out. It could mean making art, writing blogs and sharing them with the world. This work is not easy, it takes something, because often people will look at you funny for doing something different or wearing something weird, and we have to be willing to remain inside the intensity of our own feeling.
If someone doesn’t like it, you are not the transmission for them, but you will be the right transmission for the right people. You don’t need to require anyone else to change in order to be you.
If you go through the process of deciding on your top 25 and making an avoid-at-all-costs list; if you put your primary intention, attention and commitment on how you want to feel and are willing to generate that feeling for yourself; and if you get in touch with the truth of who you are and be willing and vulnerable enough to transmit your shadow, your pain, your glory, quirkiness, beauty and creativity to the world, you just can’t fail. You will have a rocking 2020.
P.S. Feel free to leave your comments and questions below, and I will respond asap.