I will not make New Year’s resolutions.
Whew, that was close. As you know, New Year’s resolutions suck. They mostly boil down to one simple statement:
See? That sucks.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that, while they might get us pumped up for a day imagining how our lives will be so much better this coming year (we’ll finally get in shape, fix the relationship, make the money, blah blah blah…), all we end up with in the end is a crummy list to measure next week’s failures.
Life is not a list!
Life is not driven by New Year’s resolutions.
Life is driven by life, and our job is to discover what’s most important to us, how we behave when we pay attention to that stuff, and how to make sure when life lobs us a doozy, we have the balance to respond as well as we can. The rest is just a matter of showing up, awake.
I built Pilot Fire around one simple idea:
A passionate life is what happens when what you do aligns with what you believe.
Yes, it is January, and many of us feel it’s a good time to address our habits and make big changes. That’s fine, but let me offer a much better alternative to New Year’s resolutions. Every year I lead an all-day Year’s Plan workshop. I’ll be doing it again with a small group in San Francisco, and this year I’m also going to lead that process through a series of articles.
The goal is simple: plan the big stuff.
Follow along with this series, and in the next few weeks, you will:
- Identify your big goals.
- Figure out what to focus on this year.
- Find the key paths to fully engaging in your.
- Learn how every week can get you closer to your passions.
- Build a plan around one of your most important goals this year.
Before we get started, consider this: sharing goals is one of the best ways to stay focused on what’s important to you. Ask a friend or two to buddy up with you. Send them this article, and do the exercises together. It’ll make a big difference.
Step One: Light Up
Instead of making a list for the new year, I suggest we do a little soul cleaning first. Make a list about last year with these instructions: Small Steps to Start Wrapping up the Year.
Once you have your list, go outside and burn it. It’s a great ritual to do with friends, and if that’s a something you know you’ll do, go for it, but be honest, if there is any chance you won’t pull it together with company, then right now, light it with your stove in the kitchen or the matches next to the toilet, and dump it in the sink while it burns. Just don’t not do it.
There, we lit our fire. Smell the smoke; feel the heat. Fire is a good thing. Fire is required to make passionate life. Let this little one smolder for now. We’ll get out the gas soon enough.
Read Part Two.