The winter sun casts its long shadows. The darkness gathers quickly, and the cold wind blows. Yet, within each of us there kindles a small flame, a hopeful twinkle to answer the call of the long winter months ahead. How will your light shine in 2023? Where will you go and how will you measure success beyond your bank account or 401k statement?
Great things in life seldom happen without resolve and creative action. The fruits of your labor are the result of vision, meaning, hard work, and patience, and an understanding that you will likely not succeed before you accomplish something. But you will learn, and you will grow from both success and disappointment.
There’s some truth to what naysayers’ voice about resolutions, but the concept remains a good one. Used well, daily, and with meaningful intent, resolutions can provide a focal point needed to turn aspirations into that “new normal” we keep hearing about.
We all have answers to what we want out of life. The problem is we ask ourselves the wrong questions. Change “Why is this happening to me?” to “This is happening to me.” Lead with “How will I do this?” or “How will I make this helpful?” See the difference? Now, say it out loud. Most people who try something new are rarely successful on the first, second or even third try. Yet, they can persevere.
If a dream is worth dreaming, then it’s worth relentless passion and creative action to realize your true north. Perseverance and resolve are key. Little in life is accomplished without these. So rather than abandon your New Year’s resolutions, try adding this one: “I resolve to create a life worth living.” Ask yourself, “Where and what is my Polestar, my true north?”
Navigate those uncharted waters and stop being your own worst critic. Celebrate both your successes and failures. They make you who you are.
To be open to joy, acknowledge the suffering in you and others. Understand that commitment and kindness matter. Remind yourself frequently of what you hope to achieve and pursue it with an urgency that says my time here is short, with no guarantees. Life didn’t leave you behind. It’s starting now. These are more than just platitudes of encouragement; this is the reality of your existence. Show up, participate, feel sorrow, embrace joy, know disappointment, but above all else, embrace your Polestar.
May you head into 2023 believing you can make it a year filled with new goals, old dreams, and hope.
Peace and kindness,