Happy New Year! It’s the time when everybody’s best intentions are still shiny and new, and there is a collective lift of energy. It’s a time when everything is possible, just like opening a brand new notebook. The New Year is the perfect excuse to make shifts that you have been wanting to make for a while. It is also the perfect time to reflect on your journey so far, what is working well and what you’d like to let go of.
We can all take advantage of this collective energy, when more people are open to living with more intention.
The success and failure of New Year’s Resolutions has little to do with personal willpower, it really hinges on how well the resolutions align with your priorities and values. Have you got your priorities and values crystal clear? Now is the perfect time to review or identify what your priorities and values truly are.
Your priorities determine what is important to you, such as family, friends, time in nature or having a creative outlet.
Your values are different – they determine how you want to live. Your values are based on ethics and personal ideals, religion or spirituality and the things that bring you fulfillment and satisfaction.
Priorities and values provide a framework for living your most joyful life.
Your goals and your New Years Resolutions should fit inside this framework. If your goals are harmonious with your values and priorities, you will succeed. Goals in and of themselves do not always bring satisfaction. Just like items on a to-do list, there are always more on the horizon. However, if a goal brings you closer into alignment with your core values, then carrying out that goal can bring immense satisfaction. Even if the goal is not fully attained, you will still feel more fulfilled just by making an effort to live in alignment with your values.
On the other hand, any goal that does not match with your personal values or priorities can never bring you lasting fulfillment. For example, many people chase monetary success – higher salaries, bigger bonuses – without stopping to assess if this money is bringing them any joy or fulfillment. If it comes at the expense of meaningful relationships with friends and family, is that truly success? There is nothing wrong with valuing financial wealth – nor does it always come at the cost of disconnection with loved ones. My point is only to demonstrate that without setting clear priorities and values, we can easily overlook or mistake what is truly important to us.
So! In order to have successful goals, successful New Year’s Resolutions, we need to be clear about our personal priorities and values.
Get Clear On Your Values
It will take a heart-to-heart with yourself, and it may take some time. There is no wrong way to do this, and no such thing as bad values! It is important to be honest with yourself about what really brings you satisfaction, joy and fulfillment.
I like to arrange a calm space where I know I will not be interrupted. I begin with a few breaths and maybe even a short meditation to become really receptive to my inner voice and my subconscious. We spend so much time being interrupted and distracted that it is not always easy to spend time with ourselves and acknowledge what we really want and need. Take all the time you need. There are no expectations.
I love to use a notebook and pen – feel free to use your phone, a computer or whatever you like. Begin by writing down 3 things that you are grateful for. Really feel and acknowledge the joy of having these things in your life – they may be emotional or physical, people or things, memories or objects. It is a great place to start identifying your priorities and values, and what you want to attract more of.
If you feel stumped, you can get ideas flowing by just writing stream of consciousness for a while, until your thoughts begin to get clear. It can also help to imagine and write down what your ideal or perfect life would look like, and how you would feel.
Priorities are things such as: self-care, family and friends, daily journaling practice, clearing debts, education, or time in nature.
Values are things such as: altruism, patience, your personal philosophy, environmentalism, minimalism, and positivity.
These lists may change and grow over time. Some values and priorities will be more important than others. Everybody has a unique blend. You can use your priorities and values like a grading system, to see how compatible your goals and New Year’s Resolutions are with your framework.
Where Your Resolutions Fit In
Your yearly goals will usually be projects that you wish to complete within the year, progress on a path you are on, or continued dedication to a daily habit. It could be that you want to write a book, continue to learn a language you’ve picked up, or drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Each of your Resolutions should relate to one or more of your priorities or values in some way. For example, your goal of learning a language may fit with your priority of world travel, or your value of communication and understanding between different cultures.
If you understand the motivation and reasoning behind your goal, you will be more empowered to achieve it. It is easier to dedicate and take steps towards our goals when you are supported by your priorities and values. They are the principles which let you know that you are going in the right direction.
Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is a noble goal – but it can become mundane if you forget why you do it. As long as you remember that you are nourishing your body, feeding every cell and rejuvenating your skin, fascia and muscles – it starts to take on more meaning. Drinking water can be boring, or it can be an act of self-love, healthy habits, and of respecting your body – in other words, it can be a representation of your values.
Shift your goal into the framework of your priorities and values. Ask yourself how that goal is serving to represent your personal framework. Your goals are little manifestations of your values and priorities. Your actions shape your life, and if they are in alignment with your framework they have a strong foundation for success. This is how you shape your most joyful life, daily. Small and simple actions, towards goals, in alignment with your values and priorities.
What are some of your personal goals and resolutions? Let me know in the comments!
Wishing you a joyful New Year,
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