The new year is a time for reflection and setting resolutions. But what if you could go beyond the standard “lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier” goals? What if you could uncover your true desires for the coming year and create your intentions with those seeds? In this blog post, we will discuss how to tap into your inner desires and create resolutions that resonate with you. Are you ready to discover your true potential for the new year? Let’s go.
Reflect and Process
First, take some time to reflect on the previous year. If you are a frequenter of social media or you keep a journal, spend some time reviewing your previous year and then process what it meant to you. If you don’t have any physical record of your year, turn on calming meditation music and spend time reviewing each month in your mind’s eye.
Either in a meditation practice or with pen and paper, reflect on these questions and any others that come to you. What experiences did you have that you want to show gratitude for? What goals or intentions had you set and then achieved that you want to celebrate? Celebrate them.
What about the expectations you set that didn’t come to fruition? Give yourself a moment to grieve those. And what patterns in your behaviors or in your relationships do you notice? Try not to judge patterns. Just view them with curiosity. What lessons did you learn?
Now think back to your first meditation. What did you grieve? Are there lingering hopes there that were left unrealized? Or have you evolved past wanting those now? As an example, I set an intention with my 2022 self to run a marathon, but in the process of training, I injured my foot. I grieved that injury, but upon reflection at the end of my year, running a marathon wasn’t a priority for me anymore. I may go back to it in a few years, but it wasn’t calling to me for 2023.
Close with Gratitude
After spending some time digging deep into your thoughts, it’s time to show gratitude. You are a new version of yourself after last year. Celebrate her. She overcame challenges, explored, and made discoveries. Without this opportunity to process, you may find yourself repeating the same patterns you experienced the previous year. Close the book on 2022, understanding that in the grief and celebration, there was beauty.
Your Future Self
Sit down with a pen and paper or open up a blank word document and start writing. Keep your hand moving as you ponder what your ideal self would look like. But pay special attention to your body while you write this part. If you write something down that brings up a negative emotion for your current self, close your eyes and compassionately breathe through the emotion, feeling the vibration in your body.
As an example, maybe I believe that my future self drinks a spinach-and-kale protein smoothie every morning. So I write that down and immediately feel terrible because I’ve been trying to start my days with a green smoothie, and I suck at it. Now I’m going to close my eyes and breathe into the sucky feeling. I will find it in my body and consciously feel the sensation. “It does suck when I don’t do what I say I’m going to. Of course I feel terrible about this, and that’s okay,” I compassionately tell myself.
It’s also possible that I believe my future self wakes up at 5 o’clock every morning and goes to the gym. When I write that down, I feel sick to my stomach because I have tried waking up at 5 o’clock, and it feels like being ripped out of sleep to go be tortured. I’m kind of exaggerating…
So now I’m going to close my eyes and breathe into the repulsion in my stomach and chest, noticing the nausea and exhaustion. “I’ve been really hard on my body trying to fit this in. I am tired, and my body is reacting. Of course it is. I hate waking up that early,” I compassionately tell myself.
Then I ask myself, “Does Future Me really want this? Or does Future Me want to let go of that expectation?” Only you can answer that question. It’s possible you desire it, but you have current roadblocks in the way of making it feel desirable. But for me, repulsion specifically is a red flag that the expectation I’ve set does not align with my true desires and is instead based on what I feel I should desire. Consider letting it go or revising it.
Remember, your future self understands that your current self is exactly perfect for this time of your life. There is nothing wrong with your 2023 self. But 2024 self will learn things that 2023 self couldn’t yet. Just like 2022 self. And especially like 2005 self and 2050 self.
So tap into Future Self’s wisdom for a moment: What does she do in her free time? What clothes does she wear? What does she eat? How much sleep does she get? What do her relationships look like? Who is a part of her life? What is important to her? What brings her joy?
So far, you have closure on the previous year, which includes unrealized desires, and information from your future self. Now, see if you can organize these thoughts into a list of desires you want in the next 1-6 years. Get your list created and then number them from most urgent to least urgent on your desirability scale.
Congratulations, you have your list of goals for year 2023! Now you can refer back to it throughout the year and begin setting micro-goals more intentionally to reach those expectations. That may look like a broad desire to learn to play the piano, and then you check in throughout the year to course-correct the actions you’re taking towards that goal: practicing for 20 minutes a day, downloading a piano teaching app, hiring a piano teacher, studying music theory note cards, etc.
As an example, my goal for 2021 was to get out of credit card debt. From that goal, I failed pretty spectacularly for the first quarter of the year. I no longer used my credit card (which I totally celebrated), but I made no dent in lowering the balance. And my husband still used his. Rather than get lost in judgment and shame around the first quarter, we just noticed that our current strategy wasn’t yielding the results we wanted. So, in the second quarter, we hired a (truly fabulous) personal finance coach and found a budgeting app that really worked for us.
Aaaaand then my husband lost his job. *Facepalm.* Right when we thought we had things under control, he was unemployed for the third quarter of the year. But by that point, we had committed to no credit cards, so we listened carefully to our coach’s direction and used my (much smaller) income, unemployment, and some savings to get us through. By the fourth quarter, my husband found a new job he loved, and we ended the year extremely budget savvy and completely out of credit card debt. It felt like a miracle–like magic happened that year.
You Can Have Anything You Want
We refused to give in to all-or-nothing mentality and leaned on the support of a good coach and our list of priorities, which had personal finances at the very top. By the end of the year, we could see clearly the purpose of each up and down, and how they all worked together to serve our ultimate goal of removing the credit card debt, but the strategy we may have begun the year with would not have served us well in April or August.
So what would you like to accomplish in the coming year? What dreams have been lingering in your heart that you’ve yet to take action on? This is your year to have compassion for yourself, lean into what you desire, and see it through to the end. You can make magic happen.