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I’m not drawn to New Year’s resolutions. True vitality is hardly nourished through a once-a-year declaration.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t set goals or have intentions. But doing it once on the New Year and expecting that we’ll uproot decades-long behavior patterns and conditioning too often leads to feelings of guilt or shame when we, understandably, don’t stick with the changes we set out to make.

If you’re considering a New Year’s resolution (or any change to support your health and healing), I invite you to consider a shift in your approach and get curious, instead. Keep reading for three simple experiments that, explored alone or together, will give you more than another resolution ever could.

Please note: I’ve kept this blog as brief as possible, so it doesn’t detail the research on or nuance of this topic. I’m here if you’d like to delve deeper and explore through a partnership with me.

Not Another Resolution

Attend to Basic Needs

Making resolutions and setting behavior change goals without consideration of our needs is missing the mark. (For more on how needs impact motivation, explore Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).

Our needs can be categorized into needs for surviving or needs for thriving, and both are important. But if our surviving needs aren’t met, we can’t adequately tend to our thriving needs. Wherever you are on the continuum of met and unmet needs, it’s a powerful experiment to get curious about them.

I invite you to start with the body (the seat of our survival physiology) by just checking in with it each day. Create space to meet your body with compassionate attention, and ask your body: What do you need most right now?

Maybe the answer is sleep, more water, connection with another grounded human, a nourishing meal, rest, or time and space to just be.  Whatever the response, listen and then practice honoring the expressed need. This is not a commitment to do something every single day. It’s a commitment to attend to a most important need in the moment. It may be as simple as pausing to go to the bathroom between work meetings. Seriously.

Connect with What’s Important

Another experiment centers around this powerful question: What are you wanting in your life that is MOST IMPORTANT to you right now?

When you get curious with this question and check in with your heart and mind each day, you invite behaviors that are more aligned with what matters to you. This generates intrinsic motivation, and when we operate from this place, any changes that we make are more sustainable and meaningful.

Again, listen for the answers that come from this question, and then practice honoring the whispers of your heart and mind.

*Note: If this question feels tough to answer, that’s OK. It may be that parts of you want different things and these parts may be in conflict with one another. If this is the case working with a trauma-informed therapist or coache familiar with Internal Family Systems could be supportive.

Nourish Vitality

This last experiment involves getting curious about your own vital force.

We live in a culture that easily weakens our vital force. Our collective lifestyles aren’t sustainable for humans or for Mother Earth.

What if, instead of thinking about a single, difficult-to-commit-to behavior change, you think about turning towards your vitality and strengthening your vital force? Vitality is your inherent state of being. And a strong, resilient vital force is the source of that vitality.

There are countless ways to strengthen your vital force. If it’s helpful, I’ve included a list of ideas, AND also consider what is unique to you…what lights you up, what inspires you, what energizes you, what moves you? Feel into what is life-affirming for you, and find one small way to honor that today.

Strengthening your vital force:

  • Quality sleep (and enough of it)
  • Connecting with the natural world
  • Moderate sun exposure
  • Whole, colorful foods
  • Safe, meaningful social and emotional connections
  • Homeopathic medicines & tissue salts
  • A felt sense of safety
  • Community support
  • Giving and receiving
  • Authentic self-expression (emotions, creativity, etc)
  • Minimizing suppressive medications
  • Intentional movement
  • Rest
  • Meditation
  • Sense of purpose
  • Learning and exploration
  • A curious mind
  • Gratitude
  • Choice (having and/or perceiving options)
  • Connecting with ourself
  • Dwelling in awareness

Questions? If you’d like to go deeper into one of these areas, I’d love to explore with you. Book a free exploratory session.