January 7, 2014
I wrote my new year’s resolution days ago. I spent a whole morning laying out what you might call my 2014 manifesto; a document detailing all the baggage and distractions to leave in 2013 and all I intend to “manifest” in 2014. Every resolution starts with the words “ I am” and not “I will”. The makers of “The Secret” would be proud. After I laid it all out, I put down my pen and closed my journal feeling inspired, complete and most importantly, in control.
That was seven days ago.
Today, I’m wide awake at 4am; dwelling on fears and failures and falling into patterns that are far too familiar. Plenty of questions are racing through my head. “What am I missing? “ Why isn’t this working??” “Didn’t I leave all that in 2013?!?”.
We all wish the new year was some magical moment when regrets and fears fade away and we suddenly become the best version of ourselves. Then reality smacks us in the face. The new year is no different from any other moment or any other year. The difference is what you do with it.
By writing your intentions down, all you’ve really done is made your life that much more difficult. You’ve raised the bar. You’re no longer ignoring what you really want or who you really are. You’ve set a clear expectation for yourself and your life. It’s staring right at you; taunting you, questioning whether you have what it takes to make it happen. The fact that these goals are YOURS makes this task personal and raises the stakes even higher.
Turns out the secret is not writing out your intentions, it’s living them. And that’s the part that wakes you up at night. Steven Pressfield, author of the War of Art, calls it Resistance. It slows us down. Stops us from ever getting started. The only way to deal with it is to face it. Take a step, then, take another. With every step, the path will grow clearer and align with your purpose.
This morning, I’m taking the first step of my long and windy journey. I hope I can encourage you to begin your own. Feel free to share details along the way!