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How to set meaningful New Year’s resolutions to grant you lasting happiness

January is a month when we all speak about ‘New Year’s resolutions’. If you think you are not ‘that type’, at least for sure there are some of us who use a lot sentences such as ‘this year I will’ or ‘this year I’m planning to’ or ‘this year I’m traveling to’ etc. Most of us, whether we do it consciously or not, make some new plans in the new year.

I’m not going to speak to you about what to do to ensure you stick to your New Year’s resolutions nor about the 10 reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail.

I want to speak to you about the REAL THING. About what you chose this year as opposed to what choses you, about what will really make the difference this year.

I want to speak to you about what makes your heart sing. I want to speak to you about what you would do, about how you would like to feel and what memories you would like to have collected if you died in a year from now.

Most of us set resolutions related to exercising more, reading more, learning a new language, traveling to a new destination, getting that new job, buying that car, etc. And these are all wonderful positive goals that contribute to our wellbeing and enable us to develop towards reaching our highest potential. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be setting such goals; we should definitely have such goals that are meaningful for us. What I am saying is, if each year we only set this kind of goals, when will we have time for the REAL THING?

Imagine, if you die tomorrow, what would be your top 5 regrets? I dare to bet that among the top 5 regrets you won’t find anything about not getting the job, the car or not speaking four instead of three languages. What would it be then for you?

What about the way you choose to spend your time? TIME is so precious and because what TIME is in reality, is LIFE. How do you want to spend your life?

What must you give more death to today, in order to generate more life? What must die in you in order for you to love more?

Think about all the toxic people, toxic situations and relationships you have in your life. Do you have your whole life to waste with them? What would you like to have instead?

Are you living your life or the life you were conditioned to live, the life somebody else or society designed for you?

How would it be if you loved yourself unconditionally and if you dedicated yourself to unapologetically building the life of your dreams?

How would it be if you truly loved yourself and committed to maintaining and beginning relationships that are aligned to your values, that are positive and loving, relationships that make you thrive and shine?

What if you drop that ‘To Do’ list and chose to BE instead? Observe how it feels to simple be alive.

What if you chose to take that dancing, painting or piano class, what if you chose to start writing that book? What difference would it make to your life?

What if you chose to completely surrender to love and love your dear ones unconditionally and without any expectations?

What if you loved your partner totally and completely, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and experience Love at its strongest intensity, passionately and dissolving all fear.

Think of all the things that excite you, that make your heart beat faster, that make you smile and laugh; the things that make you feel generous and loving, those that feel so good that you want the whole world to experience because you feel loved by Life and when you are loved by Life you know that everybody deserves to feel this way. What if you add all these on your priority list?

What if you dedicated your life to something that you love doing so much that you would even do it for free?

What would the quality of your life be like? What kind of mother, father, husband, wife, daughter, son, sister, brother, neighbour, manager, colleague would you be?

What kind of place to live in would the world be if we all committed ourselves to following our hearts, to loving ourselves unconditionally and to choosing love and joy above anything else?

In the first days of the year I came across some powerful thoughts in one of Brene Brown’s books that I would like to leave you with.

‘We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them - we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.’

I challenge you to revise your New Year’s resolutions through this lens and choose wisely.

Life is a precious gift.

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