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Mother B*… I mean, Happy New Years!

Welcome to 2021. Phew. We made it. Looks around outside at the dumpster continuing to burn. Yup, that tracks. Sighs. 2020 is over. That is true. But the ripples of the disaster year are still spreading. There is still work to do. Unfortunately, this new year isn’t going to magically be better then the last. That’s just not how it works. There are still problems out in the world that need solving, and there are still problems within ourselves that require attention. What are we going to do about those? Loose hope because that magic elixir of the New Year has worn off and the harsh reality of 2020 is still present? Fall into despair because we are still dismantling the patriarchy that didn’t suddenly demolish itself over night? Rage quit because the game is still going and it’s just getting harder? No, we aren’t going to do any of those. We are going to take some time to breathe, then pick ourselves up and keep trucking. Because that’s what we do. That’s what we have to do.

By way of virtual hands, how many people have set a New Years resolution? Ok, by way of virtual hands how many times have you successfully completed a resolution in the past? Wow, ok way less hands. By way of virtual hands, how many have you given up on setting goals for the New year because of the fear of letting yourself down or experiencing failure? My hand went up, what about yours? How many of you agree that resolutions just suck? Resolutions just SUCK! We set ourselves these impossible tasks with so much hope, only to find a few months in (if we are lucky…) to realize that that dream was dropped the minute we picked it up.

As people, we are taught to “reach for the stars” or “climb every mountain” or “swim every sea” but there are inherent problems with these because if you don’t have a spaceship or suit, you will die, if you don’t have climbing gear or the physical ability to actually climb a mountain, you won’t, and if you can’t swim… Well… You get the point. Resolutions SUCK. But dreaming… Dreaming is thinking. Dreaming is creating. Dreaming is only the beginning.

I’m going to propose an idea. For this year, I want you to pick something you’ve always wanted to do. Make it as big or small as you need. Pick something that you would like to see completed by the end of this year. Maybe it’s learning an instrument, or learning how to draw, or maybe it’s running a marathon or participating in a triathlon. Or maybe it’s something simpler like being more kind to yourself or others. Maybe it’s learning how to handle tough situations like a boss. Grab a piece of paper and write it down at the top of the page in all caps, underline it twice and add a few excited marks (I know its exclamation points, but excited marks is more fun to say) at the end. Then crumple that fucking piece of paper up and throw it the fuck away. Just kidding, but seriously, do it. Do it with gumption. Tear it up into little pieces and throw it in the trash. Now, grab another piece of paper with that same idea in mind (or a different one because it’s ok to change your mind) and write down the reasons you have around why you want to complete that task.

Maybe it’s wanting to be more organized.

Maybe it’s wanting to be more playful.

Creative.

Excited.

Joyful.

Peaceful.

Kind.

Strong.

Focused.

Whatever it is, write it down. Make a list of at least 5-6 things you wish to experience more of this coming year.

Did you do it? Ok, good. Because this next part may surprise you. I want you to think of the things you wrote down and choose two or three that correlate well with each other. Maybe it’s creativity, joy, and desire. Maybe it’s strength, focus, and excitement. Maybe it’s peace, kindness, and happiness. Maybe none of them fit together, that’s fine too. Pick three (or roll some dice to help you choose) because you will begin to see how you can fit them together as the months move forward.

At the beginning of each month (set your calendar to help you keep on track), I want you to think of an activity or something you can work on during that month (including January or whatever month you happened to find this in) and I want you to choose up to 5 activities or projects you can do to help you experience those three things, either all at once or one at a time. For joy, one thing you could do is create a playlist that contains all the songs that help you experience joy. Maybe it’s taking a walk around town or through a park. If you’re an animal lover, maybe volunteer some of your time to a local shelter caring for the animals there. Either way, make sure what you choose to focus on each month supports the idea you are working towards cultivating for the year.

You can plan a few months ahead, but I advise against planning out your entire year at the beginning or narrowing your view too much that you box yourself in. Allow some creativity and some stretch with your activities.

But Storm!! I really want to write that book, or paint that landscape, or learn guitar!! I REALLY want to! I hear ya. I do. I really want to write that book. I’ve really wanted to write that book for years now. And I have written a few books. None have been published or seen public eyes, but that hasn’t stopped me. What I am doing is observing that desire to create and cultivating creativity in many ways. Around all of that, I’ve chosen different things for this month to focus on while I write that book. Creativity doesn’t come in boxes and it certainly isn’t cultivated in boxes either.

The point of choosing to remodel the way we build and execute resolutions is to work on expanding our horizons when it comes to completing a task. There is a lot that goes into writing a book. There’s the planning, the plotting, character building, learning how sentences flow, foreshadowing and so much more. By breaking it down to the expression you wish you experience, you can begin to transfer that expression to the task. Doing this will also help you to make more menial tasks enjoyable. Not every part of writing a book is simply creation. It’s research, editing, asking yourself (and your characters) how and why. It’s world building and reasoning.

Going back to the task I had you write down in all caps and underline twice before I had you destroy it. If you want the super advanced (not really, it just sounded cool) portion of this post, try tailoring your monthly activities around supporting that goal. Find ways to make the more annoying aspects of that task enjoyable. Change up the situation in which you execute that task to better suit your pallet. Find creative ways that parallel the completion of that task that may surprise you. Maybe the task you want to complete is to become healthier this year. That’s a wonderful goal! But it’s super hard if you don’t know where to start. Exercise is hard. Eating healthier foods is hard. Becoming overwhelmed is super easy. Maybe for the month of January, you set the task of trying out new ways to eat. Change up where you eat or how you eat. Do you mauw down on an entire bag of chips while watching whatever’s on TV now-a-days? Could you eat at the table instead? Or in the backyard with the birds? Could you pour a bowl of your favorite chips and say “I get to eat all these!” instead of saying “This is all I get.”

Then, carry that new way of eating into the following month while trying out new dance routines on Youtube or the Toks. Maybe develop a practice of laughing every morning before work. Big belly laughs for 5 minutes burns calories (its true! And it improves your mood!).

If (and I should say when) the activity you set for yourself this month falters or fails, choose another activity to do. That’s why I had you choose multiple for the month ahead. Maybe you chose to be more creative this year and January was your month to draw. You, inevitably will not want to draw on one of the days. That’s ok. Rearrange your living areas. Watch how tos on youtube or the Toks. Whatever it is, choose something that supports what you are trying to accomplish and broaden those horizons (anyone else hear Jack just then?!). Think outside the box we all were tasked with creating. Reach further and be ok with “well, it’s only a little creative” or “it’s only a little adventure to down the road” because in the end, the little things add up to something amazing. I just want to say I believe in all of you. I know you can do this. I know it. So go, do the thing. Or things. If you chose to do nothing this year, do nothing in your very best way. Because even doing nothing is super powerful. Happy New Year, Y’all. I’m looking forward to writing about a lot of new things coming down the line for me. Eventually, I will get around to talking about the big change that happened to me last year, but not today. Good luck, and love to you all. You got this!

Published by Lady Storm

I am a spiritual practitioner that has walked many different paths. Some could call me a jack of all trades when it comes to belief systems. While I don't hold all the answers, I hold many tools that will help unearth answers to questions anyone may have.

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