New Year’s Resolutions 101:
“Change” as a noun (the idea/goal/intention): Your heart expands, your smile grows, you feel the rush of excitement. Your shoulders relax, you breathe a sigh of relief, you feel the inner peace of knowing THIS time, everything will be different.
“Change” as a verb (the work/process/practice): “Ugh. It’s hard. Maybe I’ll just wait a little longer. I’ll get to it when all the chores are done and I actually have time.” You’ve learned to be kind to yourself, so you soothe yourself with grace and forgiveness. Yet the undercurrent of disappointment and negative self-talk poisons the well.
It is NOT kind to yourself to stay small. To stay in the old ruts. To deny the expanded life your soul longs to live.
It’s hard for me to write that.
If you know me at all, you know I’m a relentless champion for self-love, self-worth, grace, and forgiveness.
At the same time, I’ve seen example after example in my own life and in my clients' lives where we hold ourselves back and sabotage ourselves under the guise of grace, and then stew in frustration about it.
The key is knowing the difference.
When are you giving yourself TRUE grace, and when are you secretly playing small?
When is the commitment to change externally motivated and misaligned with your true desires and goals? (Follow-through can become excruciating.)
When is the commitment to change calling you into more of who you really are? (Follow-through can become self-sustaining.)
In November of 2022, two of my friends invited me to join them in committing to doing something every single day in December. We'd each choose our own thing, but we'd check in with each other each day and share our progress.
I've been allergic to x-day "challenges" for years. Discipline? Ugh. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. (A lot of them...)
Did I say yes to my friends’ December challenge?
After hesitating initially (and after they graciously renamed it “Friender December” when I objected to the word “challenge” 😂), I did.
Because I discovered I DID have something I truly wanted to commit to doing every single day. Something that didn't feel like a burden, but actually felt like coming home to myself.
I started doing morning pages in December of 2018 when I first read Julia Cameron’s life-changing book, “The Artist’s Way.”
The idea is to write 3 pages in your journal every morning to get the swirl out of your head and clear space for your creative channel.
Morning pages have brought me EPIC inspirations over the years, and they’re an integral part of how I connect to Source.
I was doing them *most* days, but I’d let them slide sometimes, particularly on weekends, on travel, or on Air Force Reserve days.
As I considered what, if anything, I would be willing to commit to doing every single day in a month where I would be on Air Force Reserve duty for two weeks and with family another few days over the holidays, morning pages called to me.
I was "over" discipline. But committing to morning pages felt like DEDICATION.
Now that's a word I can get behind.
I didn't need to prove to myself or anyone else that I could stick to something for 31 days.
I WANTED to dedicate myself to a ritual I knew would help me shine my light even brighter.
And I did it. (We all did it, go team! 🥳)
Is it a coincidence that I have epic clarity about what I’m creating and offering this year? I think not.
The "work" of change isn't all rainbows and unicorns. It takes conscious choice. It takes dedication. It takes curiosity to seek out and discover what underlying protection mechanisms may be keeping you small.
You're worth the work.
Change isn't about becoming someone else.
It's about becoming more of who you ALREADY ARE.
Morning pages doesn’t have to be your thing, but if there IS a ritual or activity that connects you to your own flow of intuition and sources of inspiration, consider: