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A New Year—What Are You Going To Do With It? January 2, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations.
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Welcome to 2011…If you’re like me you’ll spend the first 30 days or so of the year making sure that you don’t write ‘2010’ on your checks or other important documents. But before you know it you’ll really get the hang of living into a new year.

A new year—a new beginning—if you choose. I like new beginnings. They give me a chance to clear the slate of the stuff that didn’t work so well in the last year while providing a chance to embark on something new. That’s called HOPE and we all need that. I always say you can never be too rich or too hopeful—ok, I know that’s not exactly the original but it fits, right?

This is the time of year that people engage in the practice of NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS. I am not a fan of new year’s resolutions, mainly because they have the stigma of being vacant dreams or promises to oneself.

  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Exercise at least 4 times a week
  • Get a better paying job
  • End the toxic relationship
  • Be a better person

Any of these look familiar? I have written many a new year’s resolution list only to look back at it at the beginning of the following year with dismay. Have you done that once or twice? So my solution is simple. Stop making resolutions.

Ok, before you get too disillusioned let me go on to explain. (How can any self-respecting life coach not set goals?) Instead of making resolutions I define my intentions for the year. Intentions are a bit different than resolutions. For me they often answer the question: Who do I want to be in 2011? In setting intentions I am charting a direction in which I intend to go. And out of that direction, actions present themselves as appropriate.

Along with two of my wonderful writing friends, Karen and Rachel, I am engaging in a goal setting process for 2011. We each approach this using our own preferred styles. One of the things that we are doing is selecting a keyword or two for the upcoming year. The purpose of the keyword is to suggest possible actions for the upcoming year.  My keywords for 2011 are expansiveness and service. I’ve chosen these words because they seem to get to the heart of who I want to be in 2011. Using these two words as a guide I can make plans (not resolutions, mind you) to act into my stated intentions for the year.

If you are very linear you may not be attracted to this approach. However, if you’ve make dozens of unfulfilled resolutions over the years maybe you’ll find more satisfaction in this process.

Whatever you decide to do, how about you intend to have a productive, fulfilling and joyful 2011?

–Amara

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