I hate New Year’s resolutions. The very idea of making them just seems like a setup for future self-deprecation and disappointment. I mean honestly, have you ever made a resolution that you’ve actually kept or even remembered for more than 90 days after you made it? And even if you did remember it, it was probably only because you realized that you never kept it to begin with…which them prompted you to engage in all sorts of masochistic internal brow-beating about how you never accomplish anything you set out to do. Hey, if masochism is your thing, I’m not knocking it, but I personally don’t need another thing to make me feel like more of a procrastinating underachiever than I already am. So I’ve spared myself from becoming the victim of champagne-induced delusions of grandeur by deciding not to make a single resolution for 2008.
Yet, I can’t help but feel that this year is pregnant with the sort of energy that will ultimately result in some subtle but very significant life changes – and not just for me. Several of my friends and acquaintances have already started to exhibit behavior that makes me suspect I’m not the only one who’s gotten a whiff of this energy. But it’s not the kind of behavior that stinks of a New Year’s resolution. Nope, it’s way more refreshing than that, with woody, floral undertones (giggle).
Usually, people resolve to do things that they feel they should be doing cuz they know it’s ‘good for them’, but deep down they don’t really want to do. But the stuff I’ve been hearing from others (and even contemplating for myself) are things that we’ve always wanted to do, but for whatever reason just never did.
We need to be willing to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.
So based on these auspicious and irrefutable omens, I’ve decided to give this brewing energy a name. I’m officially dubbing 2008 the year of productive indulgence. What perchance, is productive indulgence? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’m defining it as the act of indulging in the things that bring joy to your sprit that you’ve put off because there were more ‘important’ or ‘responsible’ things to do, or maybe because you just never took the time to tell your inner critic to shut up and encourage your inner child to speak up. These things can be ridiculously little or relatively large actions. Some real-life examples:
- one of my girlfriends has acted on a long-held vision to initiate a monthly book club / sister circle where eleven friends come together to read, share, laugh, and support each other throughout the year<
- a co-worker is organizing a series of workshops for teens and their parents that will encourage them to take small, specific actions centered around a certain principle like, ‘respect’
- I’ve decided to keep regular ‘artist dates’ with myself to engage in activities that serve as ‘soul-food’ – resuming yoga practice, visiting an ethnic farmer’s market, watching the squirrels play in the backyard, etc.
The productive part of productive indulgence isn’t really about producing a certain tangible thing or result per se, rather the focus is on achieving that peaceful satisfaction that comes from acting on your personal truth versus just thinking about it. Productive indulgence is all about doing the things you’ve talked about doing someday, today and every day.
So…what will you indulge in in 2008?