“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau
I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I disappoint myself every time by not doing what I resolved to do. Then I beat myself up. What a trip.
Rather, I now decide what my intentions are for the coming year. Intention is a softer, gentler, more loving word than resolution. Or, at least, to me it is. Intention means I can change my mind, if I want. More room to adjust my intention as life unfolds.
When I intend something different in my life, the first thing I have to do is make room for it. Letting go of something old, makes room for something new. What in my life is old, worn out, no fun, no longer in my highest good? What am I ready to leave behind. Maybe old programming, old beliefs, an old self image, habitual behavior, a job, a relationship – you can add to the list.
For me, step one is – what needs to end? That’s the step a lot of us skip over. Before we set intentions, the closet needs cleaning.
Without first letting go, when we just pile on more intentions or resolutions, we simply add more stress and more confusion.
Let’s say you intend to have more financial freedom, less debt. Until you simultaneously intend to let go of spending money you don’t have, you are simply setting yourself up to disappoint you. That could lead to an intention to let go of or loosen your need for material things. Which might lead to a realization of what’s really important in your life – peace of mind or things?
Or, you intend to have more peace in your life, more time to rest, be closer to nature. In order for that to actually happen, you might first intend to clear your social calendar, be more selective in choosing your commitments and your friends – let go of social busyness. Let go of feeling you must have every moment scheduled. Maybe it’s OK if you don’t have hundreds of friends on Facebook?
Remember our lives are the result of our choices. Letting go and making room is a choice – as important, if not more so, than intending something new.