For many people the New Year is a time for reflection and renewal. A time to think about changing oneself for the better. Personal growth can be exciting and very rewarding. The key is to make your goals positively supportive and within reach. Try to stay away from demanding and punitive expectations that set you up for failure.
Most New Year’s resolutions sound like…
I will exercise more. I will eat a better diet. I will be nicer to my loved ones. These kinds of resolutions don’t build awareness and almost never last.
I would like to suggest an alternative…
Our personality is made up of a range of qualities, some are wonderful…others, not so much. We tend to express these qualities unconsciously and habitually. What would it be like if you could intervene with conscious awareness and learn to express your finer qualities more of the time? This would be a New Year’s resolution worth making!
Here is a mindfulness exercise to hone in on a goal that will help you develop your best self.
Identifying a Quality of My Best Self Meditation
- Read through the instructions before you begin.
- Allow at least 15 to 30 minutes of private uninterrupted time by yourself.
- Take a piece of paper and pen/pencil to a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed.
- Sit comfortably or lay down.
- Shut your eyes and take 3 long, slow, deep breaths.
- Allow your body to come to stillness and relax as best you can.
- Reflect on who you are when you are at your best. Picture yourself feeling really well, on top of your game, or any time when you knew you were really expressing your finest qualities.
- Hold this picture for several minutes and try to experience it in as much detail as you can. Notice any sensations in your body. Notice how you feel about this experience. And notice any thoughts that come up. Really allow yourself to observe your experience. If you come up with more than one example, explore each one in detail.
- Now hone in on ONE QUALITY about yourself that really defines your best self. This is not something that you “want” to be…this is a quality that you already have.
- Form a resolution deep within you that prizes and affirms this quality of yours.
- Say to yourself, “This year I will become more and more aware of how I express (insert your quality here) in my day-to-day relationships and activities.”
- Take a few more deep breaths and gently open your eyes.
- Now write down what you discovered.
Making it Stick
- Making this experience stick involves staying conscious!
- Practice watching for your “quality”. Notice when it emerges without effort. Notice when it’s not around. See if you can consciously turn on the tap and let it flow out of you. Nurture and develop your chosen “quality” to emerge in different situations. Track your progress by keeping a log of what you notice. This will help develop more and more awareness of how your “quality” exists within you.
- You may find it helpful to repeat the exercise periodically.
- If you want support in developing more consciousness, contact me for an appointment to explore this exercise in-depth.
My best wishes to you for a year filled with awareness and growth.
Your comments are welcome!
Please share your experience of making New Year’s Resolutions.