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Do Your New Year Resolutions Have a Home?

January 8, 2015

By Jacinta Hin

Are you still invigorated by your New Year resolutions, rolling out of bed each morning ready to be and do whatever you said you would? Do you feel charged up by the energy of the change of years?

Or are you already slipping or finding it hard to come up with ideas to make it all happen? Perhaps you skipped resolutions this year all together, discouraged by your track record so far.

If you resonate more with the last paragraph than the first, you’re in the good company of the majority of our world’s population.  As a species we struggle to stay on track with our goals and commitments.

Why?

There are tons of reasons that, despite our best intentions, we fail to act on promises to ourselves and to others.

We forget to make our new commitments a priority. Our goals lack vision or are not relevant enough to the bigger picture of our life. We didn’t create a plan. Tomorrow always seems a better day to get started. Worse, we cannot be bothered, unsure of the purpose of it all, doubtful if our efforts will pay off or make a difference.

The list goes on…

I would like to offer a reason that, to me at least, seems important:

The absence of a soul/self-grounded home base, a place from where we start and to where we always return, to recoup and reflect, and figure out our next steps.

Allow me to share a personal story to explain what I mean.

This year I spent most of the year-end holidays alone. I was sick and home-bound for the first part, and went on long solo walks every day once I felt a little better.

I loved every minute. Despite my somewhat bad physical condition, I enjoyed a deep sense of aliveness and felt at peace and in balance.

I’ve always known I love being alone. But I never knew how well I do being alone for days in a row. In solitude, I realised that I connect with a deeper-rooted self than I’m usually in touch with or even aware of.

Without the distraction of people, conversation and work demands I found I was connecting with my inner and outer world in a spontaneous manner, tuning in to and staying with emerging thoughts and insights for hours instead of catching bits and pieces here and there  - the default pattern of most of my ‘regular’ days.

Solitude, I’ve come to realise, is my home base. It’s my place of knowledge and grounding. In solitude I am one with my soul, close to my most inner me: my self. I am fearless, limitless, without boundaries and other filters that tend to creep up when I am with others.

This past week I figured out so much about my self and where I’m heading. I could see where in the past I was going wrong with goals and intentions. I could see how I tend to go about them in a staccato, drifting and easily distracted kind of way.

Many years ago I wrote an essay about a deeply transitional time in my life titled ‘the Grasshopper in the Pinball Machine‘. Most days I still feel like this grasshopper, bouncing back and forth between activities, always busy, traveling between countries and homes, hustle and bustle and obligations. Goals and life plans reduced to an endless to-do list of tasks, often failing to make the day’s quota, destined to be postponed to a later moment, again and again and again.

Solitude has always been a means to give my inner grasshopper a rest. To catch my breath and rewind from a busy day. To be alone for a while, away from people and social commitments.

No wonder I wander off course. I turn to solitude for balance, while I should be living from solitude as my base.

How about you? Do you know what (or indeed where) your home base is?

We all have our unique place of self-grounding. For you it may be family or a spiritual practice. It could be the role you have in your company or organisation, a form of creativity or your professional occupation. The way you relate to the world and the people around you, a calling to be of service, the fundament of your behaviour, your code of ethics. It could be your actual home, a specific place, a hobby, a way to relax or connect, a state of being.

Let’s return to your New Year resolutions for a moment.

Think about them in the context of your soul-centered home base. Do they still make sense? Should you (re)organise your life so that your resolutions have a chance? Perhaps you need some time to figure out what your base is, before revisiting and recharging your goals.

After all, you can start your New Year anytime.

Just make sure your resolutions, commitments, goals, vision, plans or whatever words resonate with you, are grounded in your self and have a permanent home.

Jacinta’s New Year reflections in previous years:

- Getting Ready for the New Year

- New Beginnings


About the author: Jacinta Hin was born in the Netherlands and has been living in Tokyo, Japan, since 1989. Her professional background is in human resources, career management and coaching. She is passionate about helping people, herself included, discover new perspectives of possibility, move to embracing and working with their transitions, and designing and realizing changes aligned with who they truly are and what they truly want from their lives.
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