I saw a tweet just a bit ago that said something along the lines of “why do you wait for New Years to make changes and resolutions. Make your changes immediately and you’ll actually see success.”
I know this time of year is filled with optimism, filled with a desire for change, filled with motivation to just move forward. And yeah, I definitely feel the above. Why wait?
While I understand the thoughts behind this statement, there is so much to be said for the power of the Blank Slate of a new year.
My friend actually replied to the tweet and had a really good response:
“True, but I can understand the sentiment. Years are relatively arbitrary divisions in time, but we give them meaning, and some people find it easier to start fresh with a new year! I definitely agree with you, but as long as people are changing for the better, I’m happy.”
Um, so just overall, solid RETWEET to that???
I know for me, the past couple months have been a struggle. I haven’t felt like myself, I’ve made some really questionable life choices, I have felt hopeless, I have felt overwhelmed, I have felt that feeling of jeez. When. Will. It. End???
Right before the end of 2018 hit, I was shown a thing called Year Compass.
What it is is a printable [or digital! Your call] 20-page booklet of questions about 2018, and some questions about 2019.
More specifically, according to their website, it is
“a booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one. In the routine of everyday life it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and aspirations. And even though we all have dreams, only a few of us plan for them. Effectively, at least. YearCompass works simply. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals.”
“1. Find a few quiet hours for yourself.
2. Prepare a hot drink.
3. Answer the 20 pages worth of questions that will close your year and plan the next one.
4. Praise yourself – you took a huge step towards the life you want.”
And it’s completely free to view and download.
They’re not kidding.
This shit takes a while. But WOW. The questions look easy on the surface, but really dig in deep. They’re not so easy when you stare at them. This booklet also commands complete honesty with yourself. One thing that surprised me when doing it was the section about forgiveness. It asks about what stuff has happened that you haven’t forgiven yet– whether it’s related to other people, or related to stuff that you yourself have done and haven’t quite forgiven, it asks about it.
And then it asks you to forgive. And let it go.
The idea is that you pinpoint everything from 2018, hold it under a microscope, then set goals for 2019 and close the book on it all. It’s a pretty simple thing to do, but super powerful.
I find with typical New Years resolutions, they get written down [hell, I’ve written a fair share of mine here], and then they’re forgotten about as the busy sets in, and we may keep up with a few, but there’s also the looming pressure to keep them in mind, to achieve it all, and it can sometimes spiral downward into a mess of the achievable, and turns into discourage and distress. [Of course, I know some people take them super seriously and are successful, and that they make resolutions and stick to them and everything is nice and happy, I’m merely reflecting on my experience.]
This asks the *hard questions*. The ones that linger in my mind, and push my consciousness toward exposing itself and ultimately moving forward and changing my
considerably irresponsible ways.
I also noticed something else while doing this booklet.
I had a disposition to fixate on the broken, the empty, the sad, and the misgivings and shortfalls.
I had to go back a couple of times and remind myself of the highlights, the joys, the friends, the love, the small wins, the bigger successes. In a way, it’s like the internet has decided to just frame 2018 as this big bad wolf that has a one way ticket to banishment.
But there were some beautiful parts of 2018!
I challenge you to look at this booklet, maybe event print it out, ask the questions, and see how you can move from there.
It’s done wonders for me, and has really helped point me in the directions *I* want for me in 2019.