Tuesday, December 29, 2015
We start the new year with such good intentions. Whether it is a resolution or an intention, tradition says that the first day of the year is a good time to change something in your life. According to online statistics, as few as 8% of people consider themselves successful in their resolutions by the end of the year. This is obvious when you compare attendance at gyms & fitness centers from January to March.
I remember the time I resolved to quit smoking. I think I made it until 12:01 AM. Eventually, I did successfully quit but, like most life changes, it took time and a few failed attempts. This was also the year that I quit resolutions. Why set myself up for failure, knowing that for me, change takes time?
Many years ago, sitting at a table with a group of friends, I had an "Aha Moment". It was one of those moments where you see yourself in a situation clearly, as others do, and you cringe. I reflected on that moment for days and after a time I
accepted that this habit, or personality trait I had that I wanted to change was deeply embedded. It wasn't going to be easy. I thought about it more and asked myself what could I use as a reminder when I found myself in certain situations and I chose one word.
For a long time (years!) I would remember my word too late, after the fact, but I remembered. I kept bringing that word into my mind. I started to recognize situations sooner and to bring in that one word sooner. I chose that word over 15 years ago and I still use it at times.
Last year I realized that it was time for a new word. I had become aware of my reactions & responses to other situations that I did not think were useful or in my best interest. Again, I boiled it down to one word, one word that reminded me to step out of my habits, my insecurities, my conditioning, and see clearly. I will carry this word for as long as it serves me and when I'm ready I will add another. Each of the words clears away more of the dust that has settled in my mind and on my heart over the years and honestly, makes my life brighter, sweeter, and infinitely easier.