I guess the thing now for new year’s resolutions is to choose a word for your year. Have you heard of it? Maybe you’ve already chosen one. Health, Energy, Boldness, Creativity, Courage.
Or maybe you hate all things resolutions and have vowed never to make them again.
I am somewhere in between. January definitely gives me a wave of new energy. With the Christmas tree and decorations packed up there’s a feeling of freshness, of space…what can we do this year that was different from last? What can I invite into this space to encourage dreams and new ideas?
I don’t have a list of goals to accomplish this year (although I did join the Goodreads reading challenge) but I do have a running list in my head of daily habits I would like to build. These are usually things I’ve tried to do for the past year, and have more or less been unable to stick with. But January reminds me of why I wanted to do these things in the first place. It’s a reset. A fresh start. A new beginning.
A new year is a great time to declutter. My house could use this, and so could my mind. What can I let go of this year to make space for the new?
I saw this post on Instagram recently and thought it was a such a smart way to view habits. I reflect on some of my own habits, most of which are included in this chart, and wonder why I do them. What is the emptiness in me that these habits are trying to fill?
For example, the impulse to grab my phone in the morning, or, for that matter, at every point after that throughout the day. What am I looking for? What am I hoping to find there on the screen, as I scroll through social media, as I check for messages and likes and comments. Partly I’m bored and looking for entertainment, distraction, fun. But I think at a deeper level I am looking for a feeling of company, to feel less alone and more connected.
Instead I would like to start my morning with a routine more true to who I am. I’ve started reading though Henri Nouwen’s You are the Beloved devotional. Each entry only takes a minute to read, but I’ve always found his words to be so encouraging. They remind me of the place of love and belonging I want to live from. Then I take some time to pray through some of my favourite prayers, and spend 10 minutes or so in meditation, or ‘centering prayer’. If I have time before the rush for school begins I will write my three morning pages.
By this time I usually have no desire to check Instagram or Facebook. I feel stronger because I did the things that were good for me even though I may not have felt like doing them. It feels good to start your day intentionally, rather than being swept along by yours or other people’s moods, opinions, and impulses.
If I had to choose a word for my year I think it would be Consistency. There’s nothing too pretty about it, I like the sounds of Courage or Adventure more, but what I want to do most is to be disciplined with the things I have already set out to do. Even when it feels hard, to pray. Even when I have nothing to say, to write. Even when I’d rather watch another episode of Friends, to reach for a book.
What about you, what is a habit you’d like to reset this year? I’d love to hear what you’re dreaming up in 2020!