I don't have a particularly good track record with New Year's Resolutions. In the past I have made long, ambitious lists, and started off on 1st January with great enthusiasm, only to run out of steam by the middle of January, because once again, my heart was not in it.
I think that the reason behind this is that I have a certain inner stubbornness that doesn't like being told to do something Just Because - just because it's January 1st, just because it's Dry January, just because it's Stoptober. I know that such Special Months do help a lot of people to start the process of giving up drinking or smoking, and I applaud them for that. But for me, they don't work. I have to have a reason which is relevant to my life, at this exact time, to be able to tackle any sort of major lifestyle change.
So for example, I was able to quit smoking on 1st June 2013, when I worked out that by giving up my 15 a day habit, I would be able to afford to give my two children, then just off to university, and extra £100 a month each! Deciding to quit drinking was a more long drawn-out process, which I have blogged about here. But each time, the choice was mine, at a time of my own choosing.
So when an e-mail from MindBodyGreen landed in my inbox this morning with the title 18 Sacred Intentions to Set for 2016, I was a little sceptical. But the post, by Vishnu Subramaniam, blew me away. It really spoke to my condition. The 18 sacred intentions are about living with awareness, with integrity, being true to oneself. They are as follows:
1. I will take less and give more.
2 . I will work less and live more.
3. I will do less and be more.
4. I will speak less and listen more.
5. I will buy less and simplify more.
6 . I will have fewer distractions and more time for reflection.
7. I will be less realistic and dream more.
8. I will complain less and appreciate more.
9. I will worry less and surrender more.
10. I will judge less and understand more.
11. I will hate less and love more.
12. I will criticise less and praise more.
13. I will follow less and lead more.
14. I will fear less and act more.
15. I will think less and go with my gut more.
16. I will please less and stay true to myself more.
17. I will require less perfection from myself and accept where I am more.
18. I will hold fewer grudges and forgive more.
I am going to print them out and put them on the noticeboard next to my desk in my study, so that I can read them frequently in the coming year. They will be my Sacred Intentions for the coming year.