Effective Resolutions: Past + Present = Future

Timing is everything, right?

What happens when we set goals and intentions for the year ahead, immediately following the time of year when Americans collectively spend more than 465 billion dollars on gifts? How does tossing items that feel “old” and worn, and replacing them with something new and shiny impact how we view and approach life?

Yesterday I saw a large sign off the highway that boldly exclaimed, “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU.” But, something about this felt wrong. 

New? Really?

It’s as if creating New Year’s resolutions is as simple as tossing the things we want to let go of, and adding something to our life that is new and shiny. But what happens when we “throw out” the past? 

This last year has had its ups and downs. I had hoped that 2017 would be a year of laughter- the kind that is able to tenderly hold both light and shadow together. What I didn’t expect was just how much the year would include that pesky shadow part. 

{Transitions, loss, friends who have suffered, a divisive and fear-filled culture, uncertainty in parenting, growing awareness and challenge of my perceived white racial innocence, personal work identifying my false self} 

And so, I get it. 
I do. 
The temptation to say, “2017, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” 

But I can’t. I have the incredible gift of sitting with people and listening to the important details of their story, and what this experience has taught me over and over is this:

Our future is tied up in how we interact with our past in the present.

2018 needs 2017.  (Not to mention 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013….you get the point)

Our hopes, goals, resolutions, and intentions will be ill informed without honestly examining and exploring all that is and has been. What if we treated our disappointments, failures and missed expectations of the last year as gold mines waiting to be explored and extracted? And, what if honestly digging into these things actually moved us closer to our greatness? Discovering our true selves, or who we were created to be - living our best lives, if you will - is a journey that must first go inward before it can flow out; a journey that reflects back before it can accurately look forward.

May 2018 be a year of being present to all that we carry with us - a bag full of valuable, vintage pieces that may simply need a little maintenance.


If you would like some ideas for reflecting and gaining perspective, check out these past blog posts:  December 2016   December 2014