“I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”
– Anaïs Nin
An Ounce of Suggestion is Worth a Pound of Resolution
Uh. . .yaaaaaaaah! Because by now the “resolved” demands you’ve made upon yourself may have started to reveal the weakness of domination and rigid control.
Look, none of us in our “mature” years respond very well anymore to guilting, shaming or unsympathetic demands being made upon us. And that goes for those being made upon us by us.
Rather than achieve progress, if the proposed changes are too rigid, our inner child may rebel and maybe even go the opposite direction of what our mature self wants.
By this age we know that much of our life is not directed by conscious thought but, rather, the subconcious. And the subconscious — whoo boy! — play carelessly with that fire and it will seemingly burn you just to keep you safe.
Suggestions land softer on the subconscious and respect one’s inner sovereignty with the desire to grow without the firm rigidity of resolutions.
So, if your resolutions have run their course already (as studies show they will by now) without winning the race for you, I suggest that you manage the rest of the year by inviting and entertaining suggestions.
You can find lots of lists out there or make up your own. Considering various ideas and then implementing the ones that resonate for you as a part of your daily/monthly/quarterly practice can have 2024 be an ongoing growth-producing experiment rather than a one-and-done resolution run.
For example, here’s a few iterms from a list I ran across a couple weeks ago which I’m taking as suggestions to have 2024 be uniquely grounded. They come from a therapist host of a favorite radio show, Life Examined by Jonathan Bastian:
1. Create “stop-doing” lists and begin subtracting items from, rather than adding items to, my never-ending growth aspirations. I can find at least a few things to drop that no longer serve me.
2. Create three-person book or listening groups. I actually did this a couple of years ago when The Back Forty first came out: only 3 people. I agree that there’s an intimacy available with a small group that can get dropped when groups becomes less personal and accountable. If you’d like to hear about the reading group coming this spring that will dive into the now award-winning The Back Forty book, let me know.
3. Take a digital sabbath each week. This one will require a LOT of mindfulness on my part! But, then again, that’s the point.
4. Stop asking “What if?” and instead ask “What now?” This is so aligned with the message of The Back Forty that I wish I had coined that phrase! My own growth continues to be in dropping the woulda/coulda/shouldas that still emerge in a past-addicted mind and focusing on what I can experiment with now!
5. Live the 80/20 rule in pursuit of my goals, which is what inspired my message above. Slow and steady support of my goals by consistent and extended daily suggestions rather than only immediate and intense drive will have me grow beyond the hot and passionate moment of “resolution.”
(Read the full article by KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian here.)
I suggest you reconsider a good and sober grasp of your amazing opportunities for 2024 growth ahead.
Think differently, play better.
CareerGuy and Back Forty Freedom Flier
“Don’t let the New Year get old.”
– Anthony T. Hincks