It’s the time of year for goals and resolutions innit. How does that usually work out for you? My brain likes to come up with a resolution and then IMMEDIATELY start rebelling against it. Yep, the thing that I just made up in my own head, I rebel against like it’s an actual real thing to do battle with. How DARE you (me) tell me (also me) what to do!! Bonkers!
One year, I had a resolution to not buy any new clothes. I think I had read a book about a woman who didn’t spend anything (apart from a very basic food budget) for a whole year. I knew I had more than enough clothes to last several lifetimes and thought it would be a good way to stop filling up my wardrobe. It just drove me underground. After the first month, I sneakily bought a few things and then kinda got off on the surreptitious nature of secret shopping. I mean, really?! In times gone past, I have done the stop smoking resolution and have also done the getting fit one. Of course. Who hasn’t?
I’m going to make a case for NOT setting goals and resolutions AND also tell you what helps if you DO want to.
I’m definitely not suggesting that goal-setting is bad per se, goals are really bloody useful sometimes, I do use them for me, my clients and my business. It’s just the more I see of women over-working their ‘Masculine’ these days, the more I question how helpful it is to add yet another layer of PUSH>DO>PUSH>DO into the mix. Linear goals with a deadline such as “I will get into a size ___ dress by my cousin’s wedding in June” are very Masculine by nature and it doesn’t take into consideration our cyclical nature and the fact that we, as women, tend to move in spirals, more frequently than in straight lines.
There doesn’t need to be judgement on this, that one way is better than another, straight line versus spiral, although I’m sure we’d all probably prefer the most direct route, we are human after all (with deadlines) but spirals are commonly found in nature, sacred architecture (see Fibonacci, DNA helix, whirlpools etc) and I would suggest that growth can often feel more like a spiral than a straight line. It might feel like you’re going in a circle, when you’re trying to make a change, and don’t appear to be getting very far, but you can’t go back to exactly where you started from, so it’s more like a spiral in fact. Trying to iron out your spirals into straight lines is exhausting, by the way, so don’t even bother trying.
This Directive of choosing a goal and slapping it on yourself is also very Masculine. I am on a personal mission to shift my own mix of Masculine/Feminine to become more balanced (I had practically grown a set of very hairy testicles over the past few years), and it’s also my mission to help other women to do the same. It isn’t good for our health - mental or physical. It uses up more adrenalin for women to achieve things in this way, which has big consequences to our hormonal health as well things like our weight and our energy levels. It also isn’t playing to our strengths, which by default might suggest that there is only one good way of achieving something - the straight line method. What’s wrong with achieving the same outcome, but in a more flowing intuitive, spiralling way?
Yes, of course there are times when a ‘work-it-don’t-stop-til-you-drop-girlfriend” attitude to achieving a goal is most fun, but what I’m suggesting is that you take a look at your own balance of Masculine/Feminine first. If everywhere else in your life is go-with-the-flow, then a bit of straight-line action taking might be what you need to mix things up, but if it isn’t I would ask you to reconsider if you really need yet more directives in your life?
What would happen if we were to receive instead? What if we were to receive the wisdom of our bodies and let it decide what it wants in 2019. It really might not want any more fucking CONTROL being exerted on it. Most women’s bodies would probably choose to move more, but it might choose to move freely, more wildly rather than be strapped to a bike in a spinning class (please note, I am not dissing any form of exercise here - whatever works for you). It might prefer to be naked whilst it moves, rather than be trussed up in compression clothes. Tricky at the local gym, I grant you, but consider other ways of moving your body that aren’t scheduled or directed. You can do whatever you like in the privacy of your bedroom, or living room with some great music, for FREE!
I say this, because for a LOT of women their goals will revolve around their bodies. What if you were to hear from your body that it’s goal for 2019 is more REST? Rest is a radical action in this day and age. What would you do? Would you listen? What if your goal was simply to tune in and hear what it really wants? What if your body asked you to tune into the seasons and spend more time outside in nature? What if your body asked for more pleasure? More touch? More kissing? What if your wisdom asked you to spend more time drawing or writing? What if you’re body was asking for you to forgive yourself, or to allow yourself to heal?
How about it being something to get in touch with from the inside, rather than enforcing an outside missive that is being VERY heavily pushed at this time of year, because big money gets made when you jump on the get thin/fit bandwagon. What can you do to go inside yourself and find out what you really want to achieve in 2019, or who you really want to be? When you figure out who you want to be, often that takes care of the what and the how.
So, find out what your inner guidance system/your body wants. Meditate on it, dance on it, bleed on it, whatever way you can connect to your deeper wisdom. Then write down everything you already have, all the myriad of ways you are already wealthy, all that you are grateful for. In order to create, appreciate. Appreciate everything you already have. This can be a really long list that runs from having a safe, warm bed to sleep in each night and people who love you, to all the skills and qualities you have. I did this exercise a few years ago and it really stayed with me. When you list everything you already have, you are then creating from a place of abundance, rather than a place of lack.
When you’ve done that, work out your WHY, list those too. I still haven’t read that bloody SImon Sinek book yet, but it’s so important to have your why, I’m sure that’s what his book says. I often ask clients to create a vision board or mood board for the year ahead as this is a more creative way of putting together all the aspects of your life in one place, and put it somewhere you can see it so you can keep checking if it feels good. If it doesn’t make you excited to look at it, change it. Follow that feeling.
It’s more likely that you’ll feel inspired to create your whole life vision than the one goal set at New Year because you think you “should”. It needs to come from within you, what is going to light you up, no-one else’s resolution or goal is going to work for you if it doesn't mean anything to you. By all means, use others as inspiration, but then find your own why. If you reflect back over your life, you will have done this countless times already.
What might it feel like to have intentions instead of goals? Like it might never happen? Or less heavy and pressured? Play around with that. What might it feel like to set your goals or intentions, if you have them, on a monthly basis, instead of for the year? You can then, keep building month-by-month towards the bigger vision. You could set that month’s intention with each new moon, if you really want to get tuned in to your cyclical nature, and be aware that within each month it’s likely to be really changeable - some days/weeks you’re gonna be all over it and other days you might not give a fuck. That, is indeed the nature of the spiral, so go with it and see what it brings you.
As always, love to hear your thoughts.