2012 is suddenly well under way, and, watch out because it is speeding along with the same unstoppable energy as 2011 did. If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions yet, you have a chance to do it in great style. But, do it before January ends so you will have eleven months to succeed, although I must say there is no statute of limitations on being aware of how we can be better people.
But how in the world are we supposed to take these promises to ourselves seriously enough to follow them and become the new and improved people we want to be? Make a list? Lacks drama. Make a promise out loud to yourself? Might forget what you said. State your intent at a party where people may not be paying attention to your goals or taking you serously? Too easy to back out.
We need a way to talk to ourselves that will hold water; that will have the force of a contract; that will make us want to pay attention to our own good intentions. Yes, I have a thought, and I am sure you know what it is. A love letter to yourself. Yes.
Your New Year’s resolutions as a love letter to you. Before you laugh, or right after you stop laughing at me for suggesting it, sit right down and write yourself a letter. Be kind, encourage yourself sweetly and base your resolutions on all your best qualities.
Want to lose weight? Assure yourself that although you look just fine as is, you would feel better 15 pounds lighter, that your clothes would fit better and that you deserve the luxury of going from fine to fabulous. Write down the specific good-for-you foods rather than just promising to eat better. Want to find a new job? Tell yourself all the reasons you qualify, list all your talents and then encourage yourself to put them to work. Make a list of companies and employers to contact and say why each would want you. Want to be a better parent or son or daughter or friend? Remind yourself of the ways you are already good at it and then add the new ways.
Point is, be gentle, be positive about who you already are, be encouraging and be serious. Sign that letter from you to you with love, strength and admiration. Choose beautiful stationery. You want it to last all year. Or forever. Maybe you will do this every year and build up a legacy of your own self-improvement history.
All in your own handwriting is best, but at least the signature needs to be handwritten to carry the force of a contract between you and you. You wouldn’t welch on a contract written in good faith would you? If you have never written to yourself, try it. It is a real eye-opener to get a letter from yourself. When that letter gets to you, I can pretty much guarantee that your heart will skip a little beat at seeing something loving in your mail pile. You will see that the you who wrote it is not the same as the you reading it. I’d stick that letter on the fridge or the bathroom mirror, someplace you look at frequently.
By the way, if a whole list is too daunting, make just one resolution. Better to accomplish one thing and know you succeeded than drowning in a list too long to tackle. Let me know how it works out. Good luck.
From me to you with love in the air,