Setting Resolutions: Let Your Seven-Year-Old Self Be Your Guide
By Jennifer Davis Flynn
We heard your…silence. When we asked you a couple of weeks ago to share your New Year’s resolutions with the community, we got zero responses. So, we thought we’d take a different approach and talk about positive intentions for 2018: some small things you can do to feel better all year long.
In her wildly popular book The Desire Map, Danielle LaPorte recounts a New Year’s Eve at home with her husband a few years prior. She sat down with big sheets of poster board and starting mapping out her resolutions in a new way – not as actionable goals – but as springboards for how she wanted to feel in her life.
“Behind every desire is a feeling. And your feelings will lead to your soul,” LaPorte writes.
How do you want to feel in 2018?
Adventurous? Motivated? Centered? Prosperous? Sexy? Free? Bold? Creative?
Here are some of my intentions for 2018. Borrow these or draft your own.
As an overreaching intention: this is the year I want to put my needs first. My feelings and my happiness are important, damnit. In fact, I can only be the best, most loving, most authentic version of myself if I think about my desires first and foremost before I start adjusting my plans, ignoring my intuition, or keeping my mouth shut in order to please others.
I want to feel brave.
It’s easy to get stuck in your day-to-day routine. It’s comfortable and familiar. It’s the path of least resistance. Bravery translates to all aspects of your life. You can be brave in your relationships, in your career, in your hobbies and outdoor pursuits. I’m going to be the loud, confident, expressive girl I was at seven-years-old. And I really don’t care if you don't like me. Do men spend agonizing hours at work or home worrying if their boss or mother-in-law likes them? Basta!
(By the way, here's a recently unearthed clip of me at seven-years-old, when it was obvious that I gave zero f#*ks about what anyone thought.)
Bravery is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. You start small, by trying something new, by reacting to a situation in a different way than usual. Your confidence grows when you realize that the world doesn’t end when you tell your husband, “No,” when you take on a new, unfamiliar assignment at work, when you glide down a snowy mountain on skis for the first time.
Growing up, my father used to say “Courage is always rewarded.” This year, have the courage to be yourself.
I want to feel connected and valued.
My relationships are my most treasured “possessions” in life. So, why do I cheapen and degrade them by interacting digitally on Facebook or text? Basta! This year, I want to spend more face time with loved ones. And I want to feel more engaged with my surrounding community. I want to connect with and help others. I want to perform small acts of kindness for others and receive kindness and understanding in return.
This means more entertaining, more phone calls, more travel, more last-minute get togethers. I also want more hugs, more physical touch, more smiles, and above all, more laughter.
I want to feel powerful, energized, and unstoppable.
This year, I want to channel my inner Wonder Woman and take on the world. I want to analyze feedback received at work or in social situations and determine whether the criticism is valuable or meant to discourage me and clip my wings. I cannot control how people treat me, but I can control my reaction to their behavior.
I want to surround myself with people who believe in me and value the gifts that I can give to the world. I want to grow my confidence exponentially. I want to have faith in myself.
I also need to remember that nurturing myself first is what creates those feelings of inner strength and resilience. From experience, I know that some of the best ways to nurture myself are: sleeping eight hours a night, eating healthy, nourishing real food, meditation, weekly high-intensity exercise, reading for pleasure (not on a screen), keeping a clean, organized house, and asking for help when I need it.
How do you want to feel in your life? And what are some of the ways you can take care of yourself and nourish the brave, Bold Betty inside?