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Opening Up to Possibility In 2018

In my last post I wrote about New Year resolutions, and putting some extra ‘welly’ behind yours by leveraging the positive energy that comes from loads of people making them at the same time. And I also said that it’s not compulsory – if it doesn’t feel right for you to be making them, you shouldn’t  feel bad about choosing not to.

There’s another aspect of New Year resolutions that bothers me too – the way we are expected to “stick to them”.

You can change your mind

The problem with forcing yourself to stick to your resolutions is that it assumes that nothing ever changes. And also that you got it right in the first place.  It may be effective for you to carry on doing that thing that you concluded would work well for you. Or it might not.

“Conclude” comes from the Latin ‘concludere’ – to close in. When your resolutions are based on conclusions, sticking to them closes off other possibilities.  When something new comes along, it may not serve you to be locked into something just because it seemed right before.

It takes courage to admit you were wrong

I’ve written before about the value of questions, and the danger of answers. When you think you’ve got “the answer”, it makes it very hard for you to do something else. Even when it turns out that you didn’t have all the information when you came to that conclusion (or dead end).  You might end up looking a bit inconsistent when you start doing something different.

But which would you prefer: to look consistent and get nowhere, or to risk looking a little bit flaky and make fantastic progress? I’ll take flaky progress over consistently banging my head against a brick wall, anytime!

Nobody wants to look a fool

Of course, it’s best not to be wrong in the first place, isn’t it? And that brings me back to my challenge with being too certain about your resolutions. The more specific you get about what you are going to do, the greater the chance of needing to adjust your plans later.

As an example, one of the things I plan to change for this year is to increase my energy levels. One way to achieve that might be to get more sleep, so I could make a resolution to get to bed earlier. Except I often find webinars and such from the US that I’d like to attend, and time zones mean I need to stay up late. Possibility closed off.

Or maybe I could resolve to allow myself to sleep in later. But that would have stopped me getting up at 5am last week for a delicious 40th floor New Year sunrise breakfast overlooking the City. A different possibility closed off.

Opening up to possibility

The way to remain always congruent with your declared aims is to avoid getting yourself tied into one specific course of action. Instead of going with “the answer”, try keeping an open mind about how you might experience what you desire. Rather than focusing only on specific actions, tune in to the energy of what doing and having that would feel like.

As the saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

So instead of fixating on which end of the day to curtail my life and living, my resolution is simply to increase my energy levels.  And I will explore all the possible ways I might achieve that.  What I’m after is the energy that will allow me to dance my way through life, and to constantly be making new choices that will serve me and my purpose.

It’s all about the energy

I’m not going to berate myself for staying up a bit late for a broadcast. Nor am I going to give myself a hard time for rising before the crack of dawn for an energising experience. Because I didn’t specify exactly how I’m going to do it, I can’t make myself wrong for whatever I do.  I can do anything that is congruent with my aim of having the energy of more energy.

So my challenge to you is to take your resolutions one step deeper, and connect to the energy you were seeking when you concluded on your actions for the year. And then unlock those conclusions, and turn them instead into the energy of the possibility you’re really seeking.

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Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

About The Author

Andrew Horder

Founder of Joyful Genius Coaching, Andrew has been working with business owners for many years, helping them find and maintain their unique focus - those activities and opportunities that they love, and will produce their success, what Andrew calls your Joyful Genius! Andrew's first book, The A to Z of Loving Work is available from Amazon

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