Forget the Resolutions! Try An Affirmation!
How about that?! The gal who thought 40 was as ancient as one could be and still be functional turned 66 today. Let me tell you, I am more than JUST functional. I’m rockin’! The funny thing is, when I think of my age, I feel like someone in her 40s… and that seems vibrant and healthy. It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it?!
A few years ago I gave up making New Year resolutions. I realized all they did was make me feel inadequate… and a bit of a failure when I wasn’t able to keep them. At the same time, I wanted something to mark the transition from one year to another. So let me share a bit of what I have learned. Hopefully it can save someone else the negativity and angst of failed resolutions.
99% of the New Year resolutions I have ever heard of are built on negativity. “I will not do this.” “I will not do that.” Stop, cut back, refrain from, not… You get the picture. The person making the resolution is intending to make himself or herself a better edition going forward, but the focus is on changing negative actions and attitudes.
I tried making positive resolutions (I will eat less, exercise more, swear less, etc.) but it still came down to the same thing. Focusing on negative aspects of my life. Then it hit me. What I needed were AFFIRMATIONS to focus on. So last year I set myself an affirmation to focus on for the year.
“Listen, accept, contemplate, let go.”
I have a bit of a temper. I am also rather opinionated and usually don’t hesitate to share my views. At the same time, I have always been good at looking at the two sides of issues. So why not apply that in my daily life and see what it brings me?
At first it was hard not to snap back a reply. Especially when someone was on my case or expressing an opinion contrary to my own. So I started beginning my day by adding the “Listen, accept, contemplate, let go” affirmation to my morning ritual. I’d repeat it before approaching my email. I’d repeat it when in discussions, especially those with people who were not in accord with myself. Gradually it became second nature to “Listen, accept, contemplate, let go.”
- Listen = Don’t just hear the voice and words. Allow them to sink in.
- Accept = No matter whether I agree or not, I accept the other person’s right to have an original thought, an opinion, a passion, a feeling.
- Contemplate = Really try to consider what the other person has said with an open mind. Look for any kernel of truth or enlightenment their words may contribute to my enrichment.
- Let go = Release judgement. Move forward. Don’t be held back by over-thinking things.
All in all, it’s worked out well. I’m enjoying my interactions with others more. I think I am contributing in a more positive way to those around me by my changed perspective. It’s been a good year. I am pleased. I feel like I’ve accomplished something good.
So what’s up for this year? I’m tempted to continue the last affirmation, but it’s time to move on. I’m thinking. I’ll decide before midnight.
Try it. You might like it!