By Suzanne E. Harrill
How many New Year’s resolutions have you kept so far? Did you pass on even making some in January because you don’t like to promise yourself something that you know you won’t deliver? It’s not too late. May is a perfect time to make some resolutions, as is any other month. Made wisely, resolutions move you in the direction of your highest desires for your highest good.
Springtime with new growth in nature is a great time to look at your own growth and plant some seeds in the garden of your mind. When I know that I need to make some changes, get back on track, or simplify my life, I spend quality time with myself. I get clear about what I want, what stands in my way both real and imagined, and I recommit and set intentions for a better me. Honesty is important. Instead of being overly optimistic, I get in touch with what I can commit to and make happen. I take the time to ponder exactly what my true needs are – the key.
Now you might ask, "What exactly are my true needs?" Luckily we have things in common, so I will share a few of mine that will get you thinking about your own. When I set intentions that are in alignment with meeting my true needs – what I really want – then I more easily move in that direction. A note here is to recognize where inner conflicts hide. Sometimes we have to work with competing needs. For example, we may want to put exercise in our day and also want to put “down time” in our day. Both compete with our spare time; it is common to get frustrated and end up doing neither. There has to be some compromise in this situation, so each need gets expressed. Consider exercising one day and then sit and ponder and journal write the next. Change happens slowly for most of us. Go easy on yourself when you do not meet your goals as fast as you’d like.
Let’s become more aware of our needs so we plant good seeds in our garden and meet success. I like to divide needs into five categories, social, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Examples of some of my true needs in each area are listed here. My list is only a starting place for you.
social – spend intimate, quality time with people I care about; strengthen connectedness by nurturing friendships by meeting for a walk and a talk, sharing a meal, emailing or phoning, limit time with people with whom I do not resonate.
physical –build a stronger body by getting regular physical exercise; get quality sleep by clearing my mind before bedtime and deep breathing; eliminate one item from my diet that I know is not right for me; stop one activity that no longer supports me.
emotional – enjoy time with loved ones and my close friends; gain clarity about any conflicts that arise by writing about the situation and getting my feelings clarified; take a risk to share with another what I am really feeling; pet my dog.
mental –build awareness by listening to a lecture while driving or walking; write affirmations to make concrete what I want to create and override negative thinking; focus on self-discipline to use my gifts of writing and painting daily.
spiritual – spend daily quiet time to connect with my true nature/ God; help another in need; use my talents, make a contribution to others, a group, the world; spend quality time with my daughters and grandchildren; feel grateful; bless, say prayers for others.
Besides making resolutions to meet your true needs, also ponder things that will simplify and improve the quality of your life. Gift yourself by eliminating people, things or activities that no longer serve you. One thing I am gifting myself with is to be more in the present moment to really enjoy this stage in my life and the lifestyle I have created – time to paint and develop my talents, to spend fun time with my husband, daughters and grandkids, to talk on the phone with my sister on a regular basis, to connect with close friends, and to walk my dog.
Now you have the idea of making New Year’s resolutions any time of the year. Getting in touch with your true needs will help you manifest the future you want.