I quite like this time of year.

Here in the northern hemisphere it is wintery and cold. Giving us good excuses to hunker down indoors and create cosy living rooms and burn coal in fireplaces. Creating an atmosphere of snuggling down into a nice warm den and finding ourselves becoming reflective of what last year has given us and start dreaming up ideas of how we want this year to be.

And that’s what I find I am doing as I sit there in front of a fireplace, legs tucked under me, glass of something nice in my hand. As I watch the coals glow and fire burn slowly in front of me, I find I’m tuning out of the conversation surrounding me and tuning in to the pictures in my head of what I want to start putting in place to make this year the best year yet.

And I think I have a great list so far. Here are just a few of the highlights:

*Cut back on sugar
*Declutter my digital life — those million and one photos and emails (and ruthlessly delete)
*Declutter my mental clutter — starting by meditating every morning for 10mins
*Eat more healthily
*Do another yoga challenge
*Donate or throw out one item everyday.

Excellent. I snuggle down even further in to my chair feeling satisfied. I’ve got some good goals to be getting on with. I’m feeling smug.

But then reality hits. As I know when it comes to the end of January and I’ve only managed to meditate four times over the space of 30 days, my digital life is more cluttered than before (as I want to catch up on all the ‘sales’ emails flying through my inbox), my donation box has a paltry 2 items in it and my good healthy eating is blown out of the window as I’m out meeting friends for the 3rd time that week.

All my good intentions have now turned into transgressions.

Making resolutions are so fun to do, but why so easy to break? Why do I feel I am slipping back into old habits that don’t serve to make a better me? These good ideas, such resolute resolutions are burning up quicker than paper on a fire.

It slowly dawns on me why. It’s because I rush at these things all at once, all gung-ho, feeling overwhelmed by them all. Then, when I don’t see the results I want – I collapse. Into a puddle of self-loathing and pity and annoyed at myself that I’ve let myself down — again.

Why oh why – again?!

Because I didn’t do the most basic of goal setting. I didn’t embed it into my psyche. I didn’t fine tune it into my subconscious. I didn’t really attach any sense of accomplishment to how they would feel — the doing, seeing, walking, talking in achieving each of them. I didn’t hold myself accountable. I didn’t give myself any consequences.

So this year I’m going to try something different. I’m going to make the decision to embed my grand plans for my 2017 schemes into my psyche — deep. And feel each and every one of them out. Set my intention to be resolute in making a ‘call of action’ for each of them — and show up to them mentally, emotionally and physically. And realise that each day gives me a choice and chance to not beat myself up when life gets in the way of my strict set of 2017 rules.

Sometimes a fire burns best when it burns slowly.

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