It goes without saying that come January we will all have at least a passing thought about the New Year’s Resolution idea, and along with that passing thought will come some sort of conscious or subconscious decision to engage it or not. Well, regardless of what you choose, we still believe the new year is a legitimate time to take stock and consider where you want to go. However, a different approach may be more helpful than a list of ways you want to get better that sits dormant until Spring cleaning time where it finds its way to the recycle bin. Here’s the alternative…
The alternative we suggest is a practice some of us at LifeWorks have been doing for years with great results. It’s called “HELLO/ GOODBYE.” The premise is simple. What do you want to say GOODBYE to from 2016 and what do you want to say HELLO to in 2017. There’s a quote that says “If you can’t say goodbye to your past, then you just can’t say hello to your future.” Sometimes that’s true. Sometimes our past holds us back. You don’t need endless therapy to agree with that (but we’re big fans of emotional health- including counseling/therapy)
So on with HELLO/GOODBYE. You can find more resources, including a printable workbook, for this at www.leadstoresmedia.com, but I will run you through a quick review. It’s not complicated, so don’t over think it.
Have open hands with all that happened this year (good and bad). Release it all. The year is soon to be over. Can give up the things you need to let go of?
Write the first few things, or the very first thing, that comes to mind to say GOODBYE to from last year. The author’s of this exercise note “This is not simply so you can make a New Years resolutions list. While those can be helpful, the point is to listen to [your life].” This could be concrete ideas, like stopping a group you are in, or it could be a matter of the heart like, saying goodbye to shame. Listen to your life and expect there to be ideas or even pictures. Write down what comes to mind as you reflect.
Now write the first few ideas of what you could say HELLO to, have freedom to adapt or change the ideas as you work through this section. “This is more than a list of what you are adding to your life. While those an be helpful, the point is to listen to [your life]” for what needs to be embraced as you enter next year. They may be concrete ideas like a specific task or goal to accomplish, or it could be a matter of the heart like saying hello to accepting love or that you are enough. Write down what comes to mind as you reflect.
Write out your list for each category (GOODBYE/HELLO). Put your list some place you will see it.
An additional alternative to the standard New Year’s resolution rigamarole is the commitment to practicing gratitude. Gratitude often changes our heart in ways that graciously leads us into changing our actions or habits.