I was out with my family having Christmas dinner, and as we went around the table making our resolutions, my mind went blank. This happened partly because I didn't want to set myself up for failure: I know how hard it is to implement new habits and break old patterns. My resolutions usually last from Jan. 1 to Jan. 12 (if that). And when I do fail to follow through, I start to judge myself as a failure. So, I thought: I am not going to do that to myself again this year. But, at the same time, there are things I'd like to change and improve upon. So, what do I do?
To manage this problem, some of my wiser friends commit to "New Year's intentions," rather than resolutions. I like that better.
Intentions set a direction toward a new vision, opening the vista to see where one wants to go, making it easier to go toward the intention. There is less resistance with intentions than with resolutions.
My mother (those of you who have read my book and my many blogs know how much I rely on her wisdom) had a mantra that she used to tell me and my sister whenever we had a challenge or wanted to achieve something that seemed impossible: There is always a solution.
This mantra is an approach that fits my sensibility for what I want this new year. Let's say I want to feel lighter in my body and want to let go of some excess weight. If I say to myself, there is always a solution, my creative self starts to come up with strategies for releasing weight.
Solution Number 1: Get more sleep, set an intention to go to bed before midnight (I am a night owl), play soft music before bed, turn off the TV, and put down my Blackberry earlier.
Solution Number 2: Increase my daily movement, cardio for 30 minutes, take a Zumba class, make workout dates with my friends.
Solution Number 3: Continue my no-wheat, no-sugar diet and find treats to eat that don't have sugar.
Solution Number 4: Meet with fun buddies to work out with, share, and ask for support.
Solution Number 5: Make lists of foods that make my body feel good and start with a healthy breakfast.
My creative part ignites and helps me find solutions. Instead of being stressed, my problems feel like a scavenger hunt, and I am engaged. There are no "shoulds" -- instead, my issues feel like a puzzle, where infinite solutions await to be unlocked.
Now, let's say I am dissatisfied with my romantic relationship. Tell yourself loud and clear: There is always a solution! And then find it.
Now we have opened the field of possibilities, and we are no longer stuck. We might not see the solution right away, but there is relief that comes simply from the process of searching for a solution.
Solution Number 1: Talk to a wise friend who understands relationships to help see new strategies and opportunities to connect.
Solution Number 2: Talk to your partner about what is dissatisfying in the relationship.
Solution Number 3: Ask for divine inspiration and assistance from your higher self to help you see with clarity.
Solution Number 4: Explore the option of leaving and moving on. Ask: Is it better to be on my own?
Solution Number 5: Stay and ask him or her to create an ideal scene of what we need to do to enhance openness and lovingness.
When we think in terms of solutions, we see opportunities of growth and improvement, and we have our inner cooperation. When we think in terms of solutions, our consciousness cannot dwell in the luxury of negativity or depression or bitching that life isn't fair. When we think in terms of solutions, we are busy solving our conditions and seeing that we are not alone. Within us lies a mechanism that is dying for us to succeed to have what we want to have.
Within us lies an intelligence that stays dormant if we complain -- if we rely on wishful thinking and don't act. If we put the responsibility on others, blame life for things that should be different or better, or even blame and criticize ourselves for not doing better, we are trapped, and the boogie man wins.
So instead, let's open it up to this amazing being that resides within us.
First, accept things exactly as they are. That includes accepting ourselves. We must allow our imperfections to breathe, exhale, and have space. Then, as we take dominion of all of our qualities from that presence of seeing the perfection, we will see the solutions that are offered to us to make the changes we want, from the little personal things to the bigger issues that we face.
And let us be our own cheerleaders by broadcasting and amplifying: There is always a solution!
Let's now go find it. Because we are the creators, and we are never alone in this process of our human growth and evolution.
Wishing you a year of unbound hearts that are filled with solutions for all you want and you deserve. The best is yet to come.
For more by Agapi Stassinopoulos, click here.
For more on New Year's 2013, click here.