Some people talk about making New Year’s resolutions.
Other people talk about taking time for gratitude.
Both of these can be really great ways of closing one year and beginning the next, but at this time of year I believe there is no more powerful a question to ask than this;
“What am I committed to?”
Our lives are so busy and if we’re not careful they can become very full of so much we don’t always want, so the reason I love this question so much is because it brings instant clarity when we’re feeling overwhelmed, confused, or overloaded.
It brings into focus that one thing that we know deep down in our bones we want, or want more of, or are ready to commit to, but perhaps until that moment, we haven’t been.
There will usually be just one thing we can roll off the tongue with total certainty that we are ready to fully commit to for the year ahead.
What’s your ONE big thing?
Now I know that we are of course committed to our family, partners, our marriages, our children, the people we love, but what I’m talking about here, what I’m asking you to consider for a moment, is different.
I’m asking you to put yourself ahead of your loved ones and think about what you’re really committed to for you, your future, and your vision.
Yes that’s right, it’s OK to think about what YOU want and put aside the expectations of others for a moment.
So, what do you want to commit to achieving this year?
What will you regret not having done this time next year?
What will you regret more than anything if you never make time to do it in this life?
And what message and legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?
If these questions seem overwhelming then simply start with this one instead;
“How much time have I spent doing the things that light me up this year?”
If it’s not much and it’s left you feeling the way you do now – maybe frazzled, tired, lacking in energy – then make a new commitment to yourself.
Commit to spending a certain amount of time every week, every day even, doing the things you love.
Not the things that are expected of you, not the chores, not the pandering to other people’s needs, not a single thing that you feel you ‘should’ do, but instead, just the things that make you come alive.
How often have you felt alive this year?
We usually feel this way when we have energy, when we’re feeling clear-headed, when we’re in vibrant health, when we’re spending time with people who lift us up, and when we’re doing things that make us happy.
It’s a no-brainer right?
But there’s every chance you’ve spent a lot of this past year not feeling that way.
If this is the case, ask yourself why.
And be honest.
Then make a mental, or written, note of all the things that have contributed to you not feeling alive, free, and bursting with energy.
Was it too many nights out drinking?
Was it when you’d missed a session at the gym?
Was it when you over-ate/ate too much sugar?
Was it when all your time got used up seeing family and going to gatherings and doing a lot of things that you felt obliged to do but didn’t necessarily want to do?
Was it whilst you were at work doing tasks you didn’t want to do?
Was it whilst you were spending time with people who were dulling you down?
Look, but only briefly mind you (I don’t want you to look back over your year and be like “oh shit I hardly got anything done”), at all the times this year when you’ve felt disconnected, unhappy, perhaps a little alone or misunderstood.
And then notice what you were doing or who you were with.
Maybe that’s your commitment right there for this coming year, to make sure those situations don’t occur again.
So now you can start thinking about all the things you can fill your new found time with instead of doing things that don’t make you happy.
My teacher Ana Forrest said to us “The only question you ever need to ask in life is “Does this light me up? Does this make my spirit come alive?”
And if the answer is no then don’t do it, simple.”
Life only has to be complicated if we want it to be, and it only has to be busy and frantic and tiring if we want it to be.
But when we are committed to something, to one clear vision for our road ahead, then it’s easier for us to prioritise, it’s easier for those around us to understand where we’re headed, and even if they don’t always understand, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you’ve made a commitment to yourself to do something for you.
You’ve made a promise to yourself to live life in a certain way according to YOUR rules, YOUR values, YOUR opinions.
Commitment to something that you know is bigger than you.
Commitment to your higher purpose.
Something above and beyond the day to day, the bills, the repetition, the struggle, the expectation, the feeling of a need to do something.
Something that you know in your gut is what you’re meant to be doing; your calling, your soul’s work, what your heart really desires.
It takes strength, courage, determination and passion to fully commit to what you really want.
But I know you can do it.
So ask yourself the question, “What am I committed to?”
Be laser-sharp and honest with your answer.
And then go do, be, lay the path towards your vision.
Because I promise you, it’s worth it, otherwise, what are you doing here, right?