There is a love hate relationship with people and resolutions at this time of year. A year ending and a new year beginning always sparks a time of deeper reflection for me. The outcome of reflection is insight and insight brings awareness and the seeds for resolution. The fun for me is working out how to bring a resolution to life. A resolution, at its heart, is a wish for change.

How we perceive change influences our ability to engage with it. What I know is that having skills to manage change makes me more resourceful in a world that is constantly changing and being able to engage with change in an accepting way increases my sense of inner peace and personal power. The word acceptance is not suggesting you have to like the change. Sometimes we have to adapt to horrible things. To resist what changes is to reject what is. This keeps us trapped in a place that is not here, now; and when we are not present, we cannot change anything. That means that we set ourselves up to the experience of being constantly in something what we don’t want. The practice of resistance keeps the negative cycle going. The practice of acceptance allows for something new to emerge. The resolutions born out of acceptance are more likely to become real and lasting.

I see resolutions as ideas about how to change my experience of life for the better so I don’t restrict them to once a year. When I recognize something has changed in the world that I would like to adapt to better or when I want to change something specifically to improve my personal experience that’s the time for resolutions.

The way resolutions come to me is through observation. If my observation leads to an “aha” I start to think about what my world would look or feel like if I was able to change. If that new world is compelling to me then I start exploring the steps I think would get me to there. Then I begin. It is always an experiment and unexpected results occur which makes the journey interesting. And if it stops being interesting you can change direction exactly the same way.

I believe that good resolutions come from good observations. To be an observer of life requires the spirit of curiosity and to be a successful resolver requires the spirit of adventure. Change is constant so being able to manage it in a proactive way gives us the opportunity to enjoy life more or to accept what is with the knowledge that things will change.

Some useful things to remember when making resolutions:

1. You can only change yourself
2. Don’t change for anyone except yourself
3. Change requires action and the first step will always be uncomfortable because it’s new
4. Resolutions are personal, what you find difficult someone else might find easy, don’t compare yourself to others
5. When you fall, don’t give up, get back on track

May you be present, curious and courageous in the quest for fulfilling your personal resolutions.