New Years Intentions vs. Resolutions

I used to make New Year's resolutions. Not anymore. Every resolution I made out of frustration and criticism (Read: the inner critic. I call him Dr. Codger), didn't come from the core of me, and I couldn't sustain it. I'd get discouraged and give up.

By contrast, lasting change comes from acceptance. It comes from heart, not head. Instead of measuring what I didn't do "enough of" last year, cogitating on my results in writing, exercise, or business, for example, I look at what I did right. Even if my right action was for ten minutes, I recognize it.

Take painting for example. I'd like to do more of it. I could chastise myself because the only painting I got done was for my Clark College watercolor class last winter. I could get all critic-brained, creating charts and measurements, resolving to be: different! disciplined! new!

Or, I could affirm myself. Look what you did! You painted at least once a week for two whole months. That comes to twenty hours painting last year, plus the year before. Add to the equation that summer class you took. And don't forget, you're taking Lee's class again this winter! Then I can conclude: Hey, this really is a part of your life.

When we start a creative endeavor, we begin out of joy, experimentation, curiosity. No need to continue on with a sense of lack, inadequacy, failure. Then we discount the good, brave things we have done. Pish.

Whatever it is you've accomplished - taking a single class, or keeping a journal for a couple of months, or writing a short story - celebrate that. That is now a part of who you are. Feel good about that.

Your good feelings will expand and grow and keep you changing and creating in the new year. They'll keep you doing the things you really want to do.

What do you want more of? How do you already have this your life? Good! Now keep going.


  1. Love, love, LOVE the way you reframe things and turn them into opportunities for learning and growing and moving forward! What a wonderful tool for reflection, Christi :)

  2. Oh, thank you, Edee! And speaking of learning and growing and moving forward, you are the poster child.


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