Happy New Year to Me

By Laurie Grace

Resolutions for a new year? Now?

Well, yes, I’ve had a birthday in the past week. Many people make resolutions on Jan. 1 each year but I find doing so on my special day seems more fitting.

During the past few years, this has become a birthday ritual for me. This year, it took on new heights — 6,375 feet to be exact, direct from Lake Tahoe.

I retreated there for a pre-birthday getaway for four nights to reflect, recognize, and reestablish.

Why? To ensure I am moving forward in my desired direction.Sounds so nice and easy, simplistic even, right? Not quite.

I now can relate to one of my clients who recently told me “this [coaching] inner work is hard work, and no one else can do it for you.”

Yep, I knew she was right about two weeks ago when she said it, but I experienced its truth in Tahoe.

I am a natural writer and reader. My suitcase was filled with more books and journals than clothes. I think I counted eight books I packed. I spent most days outdoors since the weather didn’t exceeded 72 degrees.

Indeed, a nice respite from Dallas’ ongoing heat wave.

My primary activities while there included writing, having hot tea, reading, and drinking wine. I guess my secondary activities were sitting on the front deck of my cottage and lounging in the hammock. Very nice, no question.

But, all of those activities were really just the setting for the work I was doing there. I had decided while at Tahoe I was going to take my reflection time and create something tangible from it.

Sure, I always have many handwritten pages to show from this kind of inner work, but I wanted something more this time. Something that would hold, would stick, would be a kind of stake in the ground.

A personal manifesto.

It would reveal my aims, motives, intentions. My own policy manual of sorts.

It became very exciting. I plunged right in, and I was reminded of how much effort it takes to get still, get quiet, and listen.

I held my focus to who I am, who I aspire to be, and who I am in the process of becoming. It was more about “be”-ing than doing.

And, there it was before me, my personal vision — my manifesto.

The process was restorative, cleansing, and invigorating all at once. It certainly called for a different kind of sweat equity.

I found great value in establishing the vision before jumping into actions and details.

It gave me new insight and perspective of myself.

Interestingly, the actions came with ease once the manifesto was established. The next steps seemed almost obvious.

Things became simpler. The whole thing felt kind of surreal. What I realized was that as individuals we, too, can benefit from a strategic plan of sorts for our lives.

We often focus on it in our professional lives, and maybe we do the same for our financial planning, but beyond that, it’s rarely about our personal lives.

Well, I say let’s get a new perspective, try things in a new way and see what new results show up for us.

Whether it’s a manifesto or something of your own creation, perhaps you too will explore and make resolution for something new on your next birthday.

Laurie Grace, an East Dallas resident, owns and operates Laurie Grace Coaching, which helps people work toward a higher level of success in life, relationships, and business.


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