“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
~ Hal Borland ~ Art by Mark Duffin
As one who has spent decades reinventing myself career-wise or at least ‘adding to my collective skill-set’ depending on how you view it, I know a bit about setting goals for yourself.
This time of year people often create New Year’s Resolutions to hopefully change their lives or themselves in some way—by trying to make themselves more attractive to others, or by trying to become better people and help others in some way, or they want to simply feel happier with themselves (less self-loathing or eliminating a sense of guilt over some questionable personal behavior, or even for eliminating that feeling of inner dissatisfaction with the focus of their life in general).
There can be many reasons that we desire change—some reasons we are currently aware of and some reasons we only intuit at a deeper level until our unconscious mind makes it glaringly apparent and unavoidable to our conscious self.
I once made New Year Resolutions, but now I don’t. What I realized is that no matter what “resolution” I had set for my inner or outer “intentional change for the better,” if my heart and my willpower weren’t behind the intended personal improvement, that resolution would be discarded by mid-January. Few of my actual New Year Resolutions survived. Most fell away, until I began to view this yearly “resolution” dictate differently.
What I instead replaced them with was a year-end assessment in my journal of what had actually occurred in my life that past year, and then made “suggestions” to myself on how to improve my life situations and to improve the overall ‘feel’ of my existence for the coming year ahead; i.e., like how could I be more joyful overall, or how could I simply enjoy each and every day more than I was currently experiencing it. You know, start simple and see where it goes—make simple daily changes and see where it takes you.
It’s like that ‘gratitude and appreciation’ focus that you can learn to adopt—it enables you to stop for a moment and ask yourself if your most basic needs are being met (ample food, warm place to stay, some endeavor to occupy your mind, and enough outside activities—like walking—to keep your body moving so it doesn’t deteriorate).
And if your basic NEEDS are being met then you have very good reason to be appreciative, and when you adopt that ‘gratitude and appreciation’ mindset, your energy field changes to magnetically attract more and more situations and experiences into your life to enhance that ‘appreciation’ mind-state. “The energy you hold is the energy you attract.” It just is.
Here is the simple KEY attitude shift to developing more ‘gratitude and appreciation’ in your life:
Start observing more and judging less.
Start each day with this simple mantra: “Watch and Learn,” — observe every aspect of your life, all interactions and situations without comment or criticism, including self-criticism, because sometimes we are hardest on ourselves.
Take notes at the end of the day on what you ‘observed,’ and write down what you saw that day and how it made you feel, and then ask yourself WHY you felt that way because of what you had observed. You don’t have to label the feeling good or bad, just note what it was that you honestly felt about what you non-judgmentally saw.
Do this for at least a week—stating the WATCH & LEARN mantra to yourself wherever you are. ‘Observe, don’t judge.’ Just watch everyone and everything without comment or criticism. (Not easily done.)
At the end of the week, then ask yourself in your journal, what did you LEARN from that exercise?
The real value in the process is the inner realization of how most things that arise in our life path are fairly neutral in intent toward us, but WE choose to interpret their significance to us one way or another—adversely or beneficially. And that INTERPRETATION of what we are seeing is on us.
When you can shift your perspective to be simply more observant and less judgmental about everything that crosses your daily life path, you naturally become more flexible and adaptive to be able to either avoid potential drama-inducing situations or to take advantage of possible opportunities that suddenly appear before you.
Maintaining neutrality throughout your day enables you to reinvent yourself moment by moment, depending only on how open you stay to all those ‘multitudes of possibilities’ that may arise before you with every step taken.