I stood in front of the mirror this morning and considered, “So, what about this year Linley? Will this be the one where you drag yourself out of the doldrums and become an entrepreneurial Adonis?”
Battering the spark of hopeful intent is my ‘inner bitch’ telling me that NYE resolutions never work, and will this year will be any different? YES!!!! This year will be different. This coming year already feels different to the last few… My vision is clearing. Being in deep grief for me has been like I imagine myopic vision to be like. The only point of clarity in my mind is a tiny pin-prick of light which can be either shockingly bright and penetrating or a dull squint worthy point in a far off tunnel. I have had a dark tunnel surrounding all that I see, feel and experience. I have not had peripheral vision to see opportunities, dangers, beauty, appreciation, love, or even life. I am still far from seeing life through a panoramic lens, I reckon I am at the ‘square’ option on my iPhone.
What makes this year different? I have a plan to ‘Live What Matters’ or live by my values. I am opening my vision beyond the immediate, and setting a plan to live my values, rather than simply set goals. By opening my 2019 plan to incorporate what matters to me, my values, I am creating many choices, options and challenges to achieve all I can.
Once of the gravest mistakes we make when we set New Years Resolutions is we expect quick results, we craft our resolutions around what we want, we set goals and we then ‘hit the pavement’ without truly considering the core purpose of our plan, what deeply matters about our goal, the rigidity of our potential achievement of such a goal or indeed what achieving this goal may mean to any change in our living. We pound into the new year with masses amount of intentional enthusiasm; then we hit a hurdle, a late night makes getting up for a run hard, so we miss one morning, then two; we get caught up in the work-race and forget to walk the dog; we open the account and withdraw the savings at the first electricity bill.
What does your ‘inner bitch’ say to you when you miss a run, or forget the dog or have no savings? Most of us place ‘success’ in achieving our goals and getting what we want; where as true success is being the human you want to be, living who you are despite the obstacles, living aligned with your values. Values are your hearts deepest desires for how you want to live and behave as a human being; they are the qualities you want to bring to your ongoing actions. They are the story you want others to tell about you, they are who you imagine yourself to be.
There is a saying I have read many times that goes a bit like;
“The adventure is not in the destination but instead in the journey we take to reach our destination.”
Living and planning through understanding your values and what matters most to you, is planning for the journey, for living.
Values are not codes of conduct or ethics or morals. They don’t tell you what is right or wrong or what you “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing. There’s no “should” or “have to” or “must” in a value. So if your NY resolution is “I must lose 5kg”, you are not planning for the challenge of weight loss, instead you are applying a ‘rule’ that you have potentially unconsciously undertaken about weight and your body appearance. What if you lose 4.8kg, does that mean you have failed?
Values are not obligations. Have you ever done something out of a sense of obligation? Did you feel how it sucked the life out of you? “Obligation” means you’re doing something fused with the rule “I have to do this”, “it’s the right thing”, “my duty”, an “obligation”. If your goal is: “Visit my Grandmother weekly”, you are potentially setting yourself up for failure; what happens if you miss a week? Does this make you a bad person?
Values are about doing something because it’s important to you, being true to you, being the sort of person you want to be, deep in your heart.
Values are freeing, while obligations and “should’s” and “musts” and “have to’s” are kind of pulling you down, as in a burden, with the associating feeling of heaviness thrown in for good measure.
What else is important about values?
Values are in the here and now, in the present moment. I have a choice. I can act on them, or not, in any moment. Goals are in the future. I’m moving toward them, aiming for them, striving for them. In the moment I achieve them, they’re not goals any more, they are no longer motivating or something to strive for, while values are right here, right now, in this moment and never have an expiry date.
Values are freely chosen. I can choose them. Provided I am mindful, I can choose the values I want to live by right here, right now. If I believe in kindness and I’ve not been acting kindly, perhaps I have been gossiping about another, I can choose kindness right now and bring it into my life instantly by stopping the unkind behaviour and acting kindly towards another.
Values are intrinsically rewarding, giving a sense of purpose or meaning or vitality. Living my values is rewarding in and of itself, yes, doubly rewarding if I achieve the goal I set myself but even if I don’t achieve the goal, knowing I am living what matters most to me is rewarding.
Values never need justifying. You might need to justify your actions but not your values. You never have to justify kindness, but you may have to justify who you choose to be kind to or how you show kindness.
So, what of my values and goals for 2019?
What matters to me: fitness/health, compassion, industry, connection, love and forgiveness.
For at least 30 minutes everyday I will undertake an activity specifically aligned with building my health and fitness. These activities may include: walking, running, stretching, mindfulness, gardening, dog-training, creative endeavours.
Everyday I will seek to understand the experience of another person, by either: asking questions about them, sitting with them and listening, stopping to pay attention to them, seeking to understand, showing they matter.
Everyday I will take time to build an aspect of my business. This will include engaging a business support consultant; looking for opportunities to network my business; updating my website and marketing processes; plus other creative ideas. I will endeavour to re-focus the purpose of my business to align with my strengths and experience, to build a secure and consistent income sufficient to finance a two month adventure overseas with Keira and Gweed.
Each week I will connect with a family member, colleague, friend or client of my present or past, this may be through a variety of means, and I will ensure that each person is made aware of how I appreciate their role in my life.
First and foremost, I will begin the challenging journey to truly love me and all the foibles and imperfections that are me. I will seek support and guidance in this journey, understanding that undoing 50 years of learning is a iterative process that requires love.
‘Forgiveness is letting go of all expectations of a better past.’ I will cease seeking the approval of others for the choices I make or have made. I will no longer give my power to those who have hurt me by expecting them to realise the impact of their actions and seek to make amends – pfft. I will take at least 10 minutes everyday to pause and be present to the here and now, notice with gratitude all that I have and all that I am, and capture this experience through any means I can.
For me, my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are choosing how I want to live, who I want to be, and understanding the difference I want to make in the world. I can then live these through an unlimited number of ways….
Want to pause and consider what matters to you in 2019? I would be delighted to offer you a chance to work this out through a coaching conversation with me. Interested? Let me know here.
My wish for you, enjoy the adventure of every new moment! Bring it on 2019!