by Sharon Eakes
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning
but a going on, with all the wisdom that
experience can instill in us.
As an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions, I suggest three simple questions to close out one year and welcome in another.
- What did you learn in 2012 that you want to remember?
- What are your highest hopes for 2013?
- What do you love about your current life?
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
What you learned and want to remember might include just about anything – something you really understood for the first time, a feeling of love you experienced, a truth you discovered by accident, the way you resolved a situation, or any of a million other things. Here are a few of mine for this year:
- Stay away from sugar and I don’t crave it.
- Cheapest plane reservations can be made Tuesday afternoons at 3 pm (thanks NPR.)
- I have more energy for the day when I exercise first thing.
- I’m happier when I focus less on myself and more on others
- The love and support of family and friends is priceless – I want to be there for others
- Life is memorable at unexpected moments: hiking in the Dolly Sods wilderness with Stephanie, Lisa tattooing my bald head, dancing with 2 year-old Fianna! Reminds me to stay wide awake!
WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHEST HOPES?
I like to talk about hopes instead of goals because they tend to pull instead of push you. If the hope is strong enough, a plan seems to form itself and take you there. It helps if you can really envision how things will look and feel when this hope comes to fruition. A couple of mine:
- Vibrant health, including increased stamina
- Hiking again in the wilderness
- Teaching and coaching opportunities to spread peace and love
- Thick, curly hair
My friend Donna likes to name the upcoming year. The name she’s given 2013 is If not now, when? I’ve named my year Let there be peace. For me this brings up images of peace inside my body, peace in the world, and my bringing peace into other people’s lives.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT LIFE?
I’m convinced that the answer to this question is the key to happiness. When all of what we love is either past or future, it leaves an empty present. Not everything is wonderful in anyone’s life, but if we get in the habit of noticing what IS wonderful, it has a tendency to grow. For me the list is long, and includes:
- A snow covered train speeding through the all-white landscape
- My work
- My cat Bonkers
- My loving relationships with so many people
- The cozy feel of my house
Take the time to reflect on and answer these three questions, and name 2013 for yourself. It is a great way to say goodbye to one year and step confidently into the next. I hope that your 2013 is your best year yet!
Sharon Eakes (www.hopellc.com) is an executive coach who works with people who want to make a difference, contributing their talents to make the world a better place. Sharon also teaches in the Arbinger Choice in Coaching master training program.