Wednesday, December 27, 2023

What Questions Can Support You in Creating Meaningful (and Gentle) New Year's Resolutions

by Elizabeth Venart

You may have a lot of things you want to be different in your life. But overwhelming yourself with unrealistic goals is likely to short-circuit any meaningful change efforts. Rather than enter the New Year by burdening yourself with a list of specific self-improvement changes you need to make, consider creating gentle and compassionate resolutions. First, you will want to thoughtfully reflect on the previous year. What stands out -- the good, bad, boring, inspiring? What did you love about it? What was fun? What worked well? What didn't work? 

Then, give some time to consider your desires for the coming year. When you reach December 31, 2024 and reflect back upon that year, what do you wish to see? How do you wish to feel? What fun do you hope to have? What might inspire you to feel grateful for having lived these 365 days with greater intention? 

As you contemplate more fluid and organic ways of welcoming change, below are some additional questions to guide you. You may want to carve out one big chunk of time to meditate or write -- or it may work better for you to contemplate your answers over several days or weeks. Questions are drawn from friends and from posts by Suleika Jaouad (Isolation Journals) and the Mountain Modern Life blog writer.

  1. What was most memorable?
  2. What did I enjoy most? 
  3. What am I most proud of? 
  4. What could I use more of in my life?
  5. What could I use less of in my life?
  6. What has caused me anxiety or distress?
  7. By the end of the day, currently I feel (fill in the blank). How do I want to feel?
  8. What characteristics would I like to have (or strengthen)?
  9. Where am I saying “yes” when I really want to be saying “no”?
  10. Where am I saying “no” when I really want to be saying “yes”?
  11. What is taking my attention away from what is truly important to me? 
  12. What are my wild and creative ideas for my life?

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