Mindful New Year Resolutions

Every December, come the 29th or so, I get into what almost feels like nesting for a new year. The diaries get purchased, wall planners blu tacked, rooms, cupboards and shelves tidied. My very special guest, the new year is about to arrive and I need to put my best face forward. There was also a time I would diligently write up my resolutions. I had various approaches to planning what goals were going to define my new year, but lets just say across a decade there were common themes:

·             Lose weight

·             Exercise more

·             Drink less

·             Be kinder

·             Make more time for friends

·             Save more money

·             Be neater/tidier/cleaner

·             Blah blah blah

When I think back now, those resolutions are simply a wish list of ‘adulting’ and unsurprisingly if I hadn’t nailed shiz like tidying my room already, wasn’t likely I was going to nail that in a new year. No wonder new years resolutions have a short shelf life, and tend to not only get abandoned but leave a nasty feeling of failure; What I should have had on my list, to save a lot of time and heartache was much shorter:

·             Tidy my mind

·             Surrender to what is

That is all. By uncluttering my mind, being present and focussed, all the other outcomes would have happened as they are outer symptoms of inner disquiet, rather than being the thing to fix. That memo would have been welcome in a Christmas cracker a couple of decades earlier. Tidying you mind (well in my case) has felt a lot more active. Tidying feels like I’m gently picking up stray crumbs with a dustpan. In reality, it’s more akin to bringing in a front end loader and shovelling piles of waste onto a tip. Mmmm. I can feel the Iibis and seagulls pecking over my rotting mind waste as we speak.

As my resolution list diminished, I realised that planning was part of the problem of believing that I had a lot more control over what was coming down the line. By making plans that were related to what I wanted to happen, I wasn’t creating a blueprint for what I needed to do to make the space to appreciate what could happen. Small but subtle difference. If I mash up my spiritual with my lean start up, which as you know I oh so love to do, it is creating measurable short term goals to reach a quarterly result, which are inherently agile. They contribute to an overarching outcome, and have values at their core, but they aren’t the only way to get there, and I have to have a loose grip as an opportunity may materialise that is far better, but I would miss it if I stuck to a fixed path.

Surrender to what is makes agility easy, you don’t have to do anything except the incredibly hard practice of staying present and mindful, to really being where you are and immersed in what you are doing, and who you are doing it with. By being here now, you get the immense benefit of actually experiencing life in the moment, which is actually the best version of adulting there is.

Polly McGee