I woke up feeling tremendous anxiety today, the first day of the new year. Last week, I wrote about setting goals for the new year. I had seven goals. Though my suggestion to you was to keep them broad, after thinking more about those I had chosen, they still felt way to directive.
Last night, I followed through with the ritual I described. I lit a candle, prayed the serenity prayer, and wrote down the goals that came to me. Five times I ripped up the paper and started over. Finally, I thought I had it down, wrote a note to my Higher Power on it, and even kissed the paper as a sign of love, folded it, and put it in the box!
So, when I woke up such a wreck, I thought that maybe I hadn’t been true to myself. I thought about someone I know who is in recovery from compulsive spending who picked just one word for 2016. That word was “brave.” And I watched as she took step after step to act courageously in 2016.
[Note: I had a wonderfully detailed section right here about my friend and the amazingly brave things she did in 2016. But it occurred to me that without getting her permission, it wasn’t really appropriate to publicize her life. And I wasn’t able to reach her before needing to get this post out. But trust me, you would be awed and amazed by what happened to her in 2016 because she decided that “brave” would be her mantra!]
So instead of goals for 2017, I started thinking along the lines of themes instead. (I would have loved it if my theme for 2017 was simplicity, which would mean I would just have one word. But that is an aspiration for another year.) So instead, I wrote the following words as my theme for this year:
2017 Courage, Focus, Commitment
Sure, there are lots of things I hope to achieve in the coming year, such as getting a handle on my emotions, especially anger and impatience, gaining more clarity about my life, finding meaningful work, being kinder and more compassionate, oh, and finally, finally finding my one true creative passion and doing it.
Whew! That’s a lot to put into the pot. For the most part, these are results (though, of course, I can work on kindness and compassion as an action).
When 2016 started, my friend could have no idea what she would face during the year. But because she stayed sober with money, and continued working her steps and her program, the theme of bravery worked out in a way she never could have imagined … and better than she had hoped. Every time she faced a tough choice or an obstacle, she remembered her theme for the year, and kept moving forward with the concept of “being brave” foremost in her mind.
So, rather than telling my Higher Power what is in my best and highest good (result), I’m going to focus on these three actions and let my Higher Power mold me, like a piece of clay, to help me actualize Courage, Focus, and Commitment in a way that I’m sure I cannot even imagine today, in a way that most likely will far exceed what I expect. Yep, I’m going to let my Higher Power figure out the best way for me to embrace Courage, Focus, and Commitment.
So take some time, whenever you read this post, to pick your theme or themes for this year. And then, after you put it out there, release it into the hands of your loving Higher Power to help you manifest those themes in the way that is best for your greatest and highest good.
Wishing you a sober, solvent, abstinent, outrageously healthy, peaceful, happy, joyous, creatively fulfilled, and abundant 2017.