After six months, half of the people who made New Years Resolutions have forgotten about them. If you made a resolution this year, when was the last time you thought about it? Oops! Don’t worry, it’s not too late. Regardless of whether you made a New Years Resolution or not, now is the perfect time to make year end resolutions and dedicate yourself to finishing the year with a sense of accomplishment. Here’s how.
I stopped making traditional New Years Resolutions several years ago* when I realized that, like most people, I never kept them. Instead, I choose a word or phrase as my theme for the year: something I want to work on or bring more of into my life (I’ll be sending you a little gift in December to guide you through my process for choosing a theme – just whetting your appetite now!!). My themes over the years have included “look up”, balance, open-heart, love, and “be the change” (coincidentally the year I finally quit my job).
This year I chose “dedicate.”
Here’s how I resolved to integrate the theme of dedicate into my life:
- Make conscious decisions; decide with intention.
- Follow-through with my decisions by committing wholeheartedly and unreservedly to what I choose to do (tweet it); concentrate my effort and try to cure myself of my chronic dabbling and multi-tasking.
- Commemorate the beginning and ending of things; incorporate more ceremony and celebration into my life. So often, I move from one thing to the next without taking the time to note or acknowledge the accomplishment, challenge, or change.
- Give myself the resources I need, including the time, space, and financial investment.
Living with dedication as my theme has proven to be powerful. I’ve achieved a lot this year because with each decision I make, I have a clear intention of why I’m doing it, what I want to get out of it, give myself what I need, throw myself completely into it, and celebrate the accomplishment. I focus on what’s important and tune out the noise. My theme revealed that I thrive in mastery and focused immersion, even though I chronically dabble because I love to nibble on information.
With limited time and a laundry list of things to do before the year ends, I think we all feel a little overwhelmed towards the end of the year. I know I’ve fallen off the dedication wagon. My to do/watch/read/learn/accomplish list seems infinite. My old multi-tasking habits come back. I feel unfocused, I’m less productive. I am overwhelmed by too many choices, so do nothing. Are you feeling the same?
I tell you about “dedicate” because it’s not too late to dedicate yourself to something and achieve it before the year ends. When you dedicate yourself to a goal, you create the intention, space, resources, and clarity to realize it in that short amount of time.
I’ve created a roadmap for creating year-end resolutions. Use it to dedicate yourself to something you want to see happen before the end of the year (click on the image for a pdf version).
One of the projects I want to dedicate myself to for the rest of the year is my yoga practice. Even though I’ve done teacher training and several subsequent trainings, my practice is irregular and haphazard. Here’s how I’m going to rededicate myself to yoga:
- Declare: I am dedicating the next three months to defining and refining my yoga practice.
- Intention: By dedicating myself to my yoga practice, my intention is to ground myself in a regular spiritual and physical practice.
- Commit: For the month of October, I’m going to do yoga every day (want to join me? Learn more about Yogtober here). Month-long challenges are a great way to commit to something – learn more about how I’ve done them in the past. My end goal is to have a regular yoga and meditation practice that nourishes and grounds me. I’m going to do a 40 day meditation practice and re-read my teacher’s teacher’s book, The Four Desires.
- Assign: Time every day to practice, conversations with my teachers, time to read.
- Clear: For the time being, I’m going to let go of my explorations of other branches of yoga and other spiritual teachings. I’m just going to focus on my lineage and really experience it.
I’ll let you know what my celebration is at the end of the year 🙂
*Side note: this year I actually did make a resolution, which was to “only do things that light me on fire.” So far the best resolution I’ve ever made!