So that was Christmas. To me, Christmas is red, green and gold, velvety warm and cosy, with love and giving and receiving. (And, yes, I do realise I am fortunate in this.)
But now, it’s nearly the New Year and that, for me, is a very different beast altogether! It seems icy blue and white, shiny and cold and filled with triggers for not feeling good enough… with other people’s goals and New Year resolutions being trumpeted all around me.
But, wait! I’m a COACH! And for coaches, the New Year post is crucial – it’s where you sell your programmes to all the people who have bought into the global fear that they’re not good enough and so must
- self-improve to be remotely acceptable and
- purge all the enjoyment and indulgence of the last week or so because they did not, after all, deserve it…
I just can’t do it.
For a start, the word “goals” produces an instant expletive from my inner child – made rebellious from many years of trying desperately to please the big people, so as to ensure survival. I have to confess it still makes me want to kick furniture… Then there’s the exhaustion that growing up in an unsafe emotional environment can leave. There’s little energy left to “power up” and strive to do anything except make it through the day if you are white-knuckle coping as it is. And if you know that whatever you do will not be enough, well, sooner or later you give up.
So New Year resolutions have always been a very tricky issue for me!
However, year on year, I have worked my way through the emotional debris* and although I must confess to some residual resistance when anyone implies that I “should” do something, I have reached a point where 1st January no longer brings the reflex thought “Another bloody year…”.
This year I am following a gentle process of enquiry to find my “Word” for the year to come (it’s created by Susannah Conway and available free here). This word will help me set my intention for the coming year and I am working my way towards finding a word that really resonates, that doesn’t frighten my (still convalescent) inner child, and has kindness and loving support implicit and explicit within its meaning and its connotations. You receive five daily emails and, at the end of each, Susannah suggests you “put this to one side and go and do something else”. This, alone, is balm to the soul of anyone who was told to “sit there until you’ve finished and, by the way, hurry up!”
I will be following this up with another free resource from Susannah – a workbook called “Unravelling the year ahead”. Again, I will be taking my time, listening to myself and stopping as often as I wish in order to go and do something else (probably to have a cup of tea) and I’m not setting myself any arbitrary deadlines for its completion.
So, to recap, over the next few days I shall be choosing a word that will set the tone for my year, as well as using intuition and imagination to consider some aspects of a year that I would wish for and can create for myself. And then I’ll probably put it all down and go and make another cup of tea.
How have you got on with previous New Year’s resolutions? What went well – and what didn’t? What do you plan or hope for yourself this year? Do write your thoughts in the comments box underneath this post and, if you have enjoyed reading this, please do spread the love by sharing it, using the buttons below.
And, finally, if you’re wondering whether I could help you discover a more comfortable way of living with any of the tools that have worked for me*, please do get in touch here to arrange for a free initial conversation.
Oh, and I wish you a very Happy New Year!