Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Year's Challenge

Are you thinking about a resolution for New Year’s? Many of us say we don’t, but we still think of the new year as a chance to change things, to get things right, or do things differently. We say we don’t do resolutions because we never keep them. Usually, of course, the problem is that we have too many resolutions because we’re going to ‘fix’ everything this year.

But I have a suggestion for you as a way to support any changes you do want to make this year. It’s something from Julia Cameron’s books and it’s a simple tool though it does take a commitment. The tool is called ‘Morning Pages’. All you need is a spiral notebook or blank filler paper and a pen. Each ‘morning’ you sit down and write out long hand (no computer) until you fill three pages. Fill three pages with what you ask? It doesn’t matter. Just write. About anything, anything at all. It’s whatever is on your mind. Keep your pen moving until you’ve filled through pages.

For some of you the idea of writing like this will make you a little crazy. For folks like me the idea of getting up a half hour early to fit this in will be the stumbling point. But I’ve been doing this for seven or eight years. I haven’t been constant. There have been long stretches of time when I didn’t want to mess with it. But I keep coming back to writing my morning pages. Here are some of the benefits for me when I do Morning Pages faithfully.

  • A better start to each day.
  • I feel more grounded.
  • I accomplish more over time.
  • I find answers to questions and solutions to problems.
  • I’m more creative.
  • I do my job better.
  • I live my priorities better.
  • I live my values more clearly.

It isn’t really magic, but there are times when it feels as if it were magical. I know that I miss doing the pages when I don’t do them for some reason. I know the ups and downs of life are easier to manage when I am doing them. And I know that I am braver in both my leadership and my creativity when I do my morning pages regularly. If you are looking for a way to keep yourself going on your resolutions or if you want a way to be a bit more creative or any other change you want to make, I have no doubt this tool will help you.

If you are interested in learning more, here’s a site that will help explain it. This is one of those things that you have to try in order to understand, that you have to commit to for a while before you experience the changes. But after all that’s true of any change we want to make isn’t it. It doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t hurt, and you don’t have to give up much (just a little sleep) to start. Already that makes it better than most New Year’s resolutions, doesn’t it? Good luck if you decide to give it a try and either way I hope you have a very Happy New Year!


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