Counting down to 2008

Christmas has come and gone and now we approach probably my favorite holiday of the holiday season – New Year’s Day. I love that for many people on the Gregorian calendar, it’s a perceived fresh start, a way to reboot, a way to mentally delineate between what was and what could be.

Some things to consider over the next week:

1. Review 2007 from a perspective of accomplishment. It’s always good and fun to review the year past and make note of accomplishments, as well as ways in which things might have gone better. You’ll have your fair share of both, but it’s perfectly okay to pat yourself on the back for momentum achieved.

2. Review 2007 from a perspective of education. What did you learn this year? How did you grow? What things, ideas, and people helped you to transform this year?

3. Start thinking about 2008. What goals do you want to achieve? How will you measure them? What things might stand in your way of achieving those goals, and how will you sidestep or transform those opposing forces into allies?

4. Start energizing for resolution. My teacher’s teacher, Stephen K. Hayes often says that a goal not written down is merely a wish. The word resolution is part of resolute – to be firm, unshakeable, unwavering in the face of all the things that would stand against you, that would work to diminish you. As you contemplate what you will be resolute about in the New Year, find an emotional anchor you can tie it to. Write down your goal, and then as you hold the paper, wooden plank, or other instrument of written commitment, find one emotional meaning in your goal.

For example, if your goal is to improve your health and you’re a parent, think of the joy on your child’s face as you’re able to run and play with them outside without tiring, or take them on that mountain hike they’d always dreamed about. Imagine the sheer joy of seeing and breathing new experiences that come from a body that obeys effortlessly your mind’s desires.

For each positive energizing vision, contemplate the wrathful, negative as well so you’re inspired to push away from the negative and pull yourself towards the positive. In the same example, imagine the look on your child’s face at your early funeral because you neglected your health.

Grim, yes, but nothing is as powerful as our human desires to avoid pain and embrace pleasure. Habits we form can only be changed if the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, and by emotionally “charging” yourself up, you’ll give your goals the energy boost they need.

Get ready to reboot.

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