I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s intentions–well that’s another thing.
So what’s the difference? New Year’s resolutions are usually about something we’re doing wrong–we’re not going to the gym enough, we’re not spending enough time with our family….etc. New Year’s intentions seem to me to be a little more playful. I have a colleague–who is a woman of color–who vowed to spend the year ‘walking into the room like a old, rich white man.” She wanted to walk into a room with a sense of entitlement on behalf of the projects she was giving her life to–with the sense of confidence that she imagined privileged men felt most of the time.
New Year’s resolutions are about work. They’re usually about addressing our weaknesses. New Year’s intentions are creative and playful and are about taking our potential to the next level. They are about the glimmer of possibility–what could be–even if we can’t see it fully yet.
Women who come into my workshop with some type of agenda are often the ones who make the most out of our six weeks together. It’s not about content knowledge or research–these are women who come in with some sort of instinct about the way they’d like to grow, to more fully reach their potential, even if they don’t yet know how they might get there and what the end result would look. These women have ‘their taxi lights on.’ And when, in the menu of tactics and strategies the workshop provides, one resonates, they hit the ground running in integrating it into their growth.
While people often wait until late December to think of the next year, I think the prime time is now, in that briefest of pauses between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. It is in this season of joy and possibility where we can put our antennae up on the question–where have I come and how might I grow in the next year? In a joyful, empowering and playful way? This season of reflections means we can land on an intention….and start to put the pieces in place to hit the ground running come 2016.
So what do these intentions look like? They are highly personal and specialized. Here’s a few from women I have worked with over the past few years:
Stop putting myself in jobs that aren’t challenging..,because I’m afraid to ask for more.
Be more social! Come January
+Put my agenda front and center in managing my time instead of doing what others dump on it
My workshop places a high premium on action–you wont grow unless you do something about it–but I often find women appreciate it for it’s guided reflection. To act with purpose, you need the the time and space it gives them to direct your actions.