As we near the end of 2020, I’m noticing many people entering into 2021 hoping to make the same kind of “new year, new me” resolutions & shifts that are so common at the end of each year. Understandably, it’s been a year of immense change, confusion, and challenging circumstances that have shaken a lot of us up. However, the truth is that nothing that happened in 2020 was unpredictable – it’s just that many of us weren’t paying attention.  This is exactly why I haven’t set these high expectations for a completely new me or a new year resolution for nearly a decade. I don’t mean to trash on these things as they do have value.  It’s just that I know all too well that real change – whether personal or systemic – comes from relating to our lives & ourselves honestly.  So here are a few ways you could approach this new year that might both feel & work better for you!

1. Assume there is nothing wrong with you.

You don’t need a ‘new you.’ The reason I don’t like the hype around ‘new year, new me’ is that it contains an energetic uncurrent that suggests there’s something wrong with you. People who feel as though their dream isn’t big enough or that they’re falling behind, can be swept up in the high standard resolutions that the people around them are so adamant on achieving. But when people set these expectations for the new year, are they admitting that there is something wrong with them? This is distinct from being present to what you most deeply desire & setting structures in place to support you in creating the kind of life & world you want to live in.  I urge you to consider how you form these resolutions and if they come from a place of personal struggle rather than classifying it as a ‘new year, new me’ facade. 

2. Figure out both what is, and is not working.  

We are habituated into looking at what doesn’t work. I encourage  you to look at what does work and what has been working.  Rather than only looking at what you’d like to change, try writing a list of what is working for you & what you’ve done really well in the past year. Look at the systems or habits that have been in your life for a long time and acknowledge what’s working, as well as what’s not working. It’s important to do this because we tend to take the things that are working for granted. When we enter into a new year we can feel the need to change everything. Instead, take the time to distinguish the really good habits that sustain your life and how you might expand on these. 

3. Don’t make year-long resolutions

What if you committed to a resolution for a month instead of a year? What if you allowed yourself to reevaluate after a month, to see if you wanted to continue doing it? Why do we assume committing to things for a year is the optimal way to do things?  If you do decide to set a resolution, don’t set it for a year, set it for a week or a month. Then actually check in & evaluate how it’s going – change it if you must, keep it if it’s moving you towards what you most deeply desire. 

4. Focus on getting to know yourself

What if, instead of asking what we can change about ourselves, we instead focused on becoming more and more intimate with who we truly are? More importantly, I invite you to devote your time to becoming more intimate with yourself as you are. Not focused on changing, but rather on discovering & tending to all the parts of yourself. We lose intimacy with ourselves when we think we already know everything about ourselves. Commitments and resolutions in a way are saying, “I’m this way and I should be this way”. But what about making a self-commitment to meeting & being with ourselves instead? 

Each new day and each new experience evolves us. Take the time to become intimate with yourself in the new year and uncover what it is to know yourself more deeply. After all, the one that will always be with you, is you. 

Watch the full video here (note: this teaching video was recorded in January 2020, before COVID truly took hold in the USA & stay-home measures were put in place.  Many things have shifted, but I believe these principles remain valuable.):

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