When I was a rebellious young woman, New Year’s Eve was synonymous with debauchery and bacchanal good times. I measured its success in sweaty, hip-writhing beats, sexual exploits and a steady flow of libations paired with wily frolic.
I’d adopted the Witches’ New Year and snubbed my nose at my society’s trite traditions. Every January I glared at the Muggles with their resolutions as they clogged my gym for two months and hogged the equipment.
But over the years the hangovers lost their appeal and my priorities shifted. Even my biases softened. After all, regardless of one’s views of the Catholic Church, we’d been using the Gregorian calendar for centuries. It’s impossible to live in the Western world and not adopt this system; it’s how we track the days.
Eventually, I started to acknowledge the significance of reviewing the passing year and intentionally moving into the next. At some point, I did a 180 and traded licentious benders for reflective evenings and New Year’s Day rituals.
I’ve never been a fan of resolutions, as statistically they’re doomed to fail, and prefer reframing them into themes and intentions. My intentions are guiding principles that I breathe life into daily. They’re spun from the vision I hold of the idealized, highest version of the me I wish to become. But this year I’m taking the challenge, and giving myself some concrete, attainable, specific goals. This is what I’m taking to heart.
- Know your whys: Last year my intention was balance and finding community. With a deep dive into love and marriage, and a myopic focus on a colossal creative project for years, I’d become a serious recluse. I stopped watering friendships and the roots of community. One day I woke up to a chasm of withered connection echoing through my heart. I got really clear on the why of my intention and let it grow into action. To become the best and highest version of myself I knew I had to rebuild community and restore friendships, so I built Temple Shakti and committed myself to becoming a part of tribe again.
- Set realistic intentions: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel with every flip of the fourth digit. Start by reviewing your last year’s intentions. If you’re still on track, ask yourself how can I refine and upgrade what’s already working? Avoid creating an ambiguous or overly broad goal like, “I’m going to exercise more.” Instead, schedule time to exercise into your calendar like you would an appointment. Make it part of your daily routine.
- Write it down: Know what your kryptonite is. What are the self-sabotaging stories and unconscious beliefs that undermine your heart’s desire? Name them and hit the delete key. Write out your new story and then have a habit of evening and morning reflections to keep you on track. Ask, “What did I do or not do to be in alignment with my highest version of self?” or “What can I do today to be the bad-ass (fill in the blank) I am?” I love having my friends over and speaking my intentions into the circle. Somehow the act of speaking out loud and writing down my intentions makes them more solid.
Don’t beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. Dust yourself off and start again. Just don’t give up. Remember your whys, your purpose, your vision and your desires and align yourself with what is true. Happy New Year. Let’s make it the best year yet.