2008 New Year's Resolutions Alternative

Last year, I shared my thoughts on the inherent weaknesses of New Year's Resolutions -- New Year's Resolutions -- Reasons Why They Fail. I've also written about manifesting abundance with the concept of Ta-Dah! Lists versus To Do Lists. But I do love new years -- new seasons, new projects, new life periods -- I thrive on the energy of Beginnings. I actually work with these concepts throughout the year, at multiple points, combining neo-pagan calendar quarters with more secular, collectively social seasons.

You will no doubt find plenty of wonderful discussions in the blogosphere regarding manifesting, setting intentions, and working for the changes you wish to see in the New Year -- such as Adam Kayce's recent posts at MonkatWork -- Top 10 Ways to Get Ready for 2008. Although written a few weeks ago, Andrea Hess's article on The Value of Tossing out Your Goals is another of my favorites.

So, I'd like to establish and continue to share a tradition of offering a creative alternative.


Normally, I discourage anxiety-based time-traveling -- living in the past and/or the future, instead of focusing on the present. I also feel that the popular mainstream doesn't approach psychic prediction or prophecy or fortune-telling in a healthy or realistic manner -- I don't engage in doing readings based on predictive questions without a lot of tweaking.

But the truth is, I do believe in proleptic intuition or what you might call probability lattices or potentiality matrices -- larger, broader swaths of the fabric of linear time. Working from the point of present circumstances, the threads of your reality extend both backwards and forwards for months in both/either direction, and are unlikely to radically change. Again, think fabric or analogies of knitting, weaving, or sewing -- a total break or change would be a rip -- major breaks or tears or rips in the reality of space-time don't sound very desirable to me...

Gradual Changes over Time

To turn a corner when you knit, or to weave in a new colored thread, requires a gradation of change -- nudges -- little shifts in perspective and behavior that are ultimately cumulative. In other words, the great changes you wish to see are gradual -- where you want to find yourself six months from now is less likely to drop out of the sky on a single day than it is to arrive by a series of subtle adjustments made each and every day leading up to that moment, and extending beyond it. It's very complicated and hard to describe -- each and every present moment is a still frame in a sequence without any hard breaks or interruption. And every moment bears the possibility of change and dynamic creation.

Ugh, this is a tangent without conclusion… I best get back to my Alternative New Year's Resolution exercise. I've employed this exercise for the past two years with great delight and success.

Writing Messages to the Self (from the Higher Self)

This is a bit like channeling your own forecast -- it combines automatic writing, intuition, connecting with your spirit guides and the wisdom of your Higher Self, a bit of probability analysis, and ultimately personal affirmations.

Identifying the Wisdom of Milestones

Hindsight is 20/20 -- so let's start with the power of that perspective:

Look over the major events, milestones, or cycles of the past year and ask yourself "If I could time-travel back to the most important moments of my recent past and deliver messages to myself, what would I want my self to know?"

For example, let's say in March of 2007 you were desperately searching for a new job. By April, you were beginning to truly panic a bit -- feeling that you weren't making any progress, and running out of options. But in May, an opportunity came that changed the situation for the better.

Above and Beyond the details and circumstances

  • What was the Big Energy of the message you needed to hear in the middle of the challenge, when you couldn't see the door -- the fork in the road -- coming up around the bend?
  • What was the turning point?
  • What tipped the scale?
  • What was the lesson you learned?
  • What was the wisdom you needed?

Maybe you sent out 100 resumes and nothing happened -- but it was resume 101 or 102 that broke through. You don't need 100 job opportunities anyway; really, you only need one -- the right one.

Maybe you only needed to persevere, to push through and keep doing what you were doing.

Maybe you needed to look for a solution in a completely unlikely place.

Maybe it was communicating with another person that made the difference -- opening up and asking for help from someone you trust. Or maybe it was taking a chance on faith with a total stranger.

Maybe the second resume you sent out -- or an earlier interview that showed promise but didn't pan out right away -- simply came to fruition later than you could've imagined. Maybe you only needed to be patient.

Maybe you worked yourself into a panic and became crippled by uncertainty, fear, and doubt. Maybe you needed a message to come through "It WILL be okay. Your worrying is your worst enemy."

Or maybe you spent most of your time thinking and planning and praying, but not truly taking concrete action until much later than you should have… Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

Translating the wisdom of the Higher Self who knew all along

Remove the details and find the Essence of the wisdom you needed to embody. Using the examples above the Essential Wisdom might have looked something like the following:

"Persevere. Don't give up. Keep doing what you know works. When you've tried 100 times, find action 101 and 102."

"Think outside the box. Break a pattern. Go for a long shot."

"Other people are your greatest resource. Ask for help. Tell everyone you know what you need."

"Hope is not a plan. Stop thinking, planning, worrying, and wringing your hands and take a concrete action to set things in motion."

If you can capture and record This Voice, then you know how to channel -- to access and to use -- the voice of your Higher Self. This is what she sounds like. These are the kinds of things he will say.

By going backwards and retrieving that Voice, you know how to time-travel to a higher vibration than anxiety or regret. You can now take that same Voice and apply it forward.

Looking over years of my accumulated journaling, channeling, automatic writing, and manifesting techniques, the cyclical nature of my seasons -- my yearly, quarterly, and monthly ups and downs -- display a general Pattern that is almost uncanny.

Examining these personal energy cycles as data allows you to observe the degree to which your patterns hold true over time, in time, or even regardless of time. Your personal strengths and weaknesses, your behavior or response to events -- good or bad -- the challenges you face tend to be repetitive. These are your Life Themes/Life Karma -- You're more likely to encounter multiple lessons in the same life area, or graduating forms of an over-arching lesson.

Once you've identified the milestones of your past year, extracted the lesson, and translated the wisdom into the present tense voice of your Higher Self, you can play with these messages to the self -- you can extend the messages further to retrieve additional information, and you can package the messages in a variety of ways.

Can you identify milestones for each month of the past year?

Honestly, my personal cycles are not necessarily so frequent -- I identify quarterly or seasonal milestones and write (channel) longer messages for each milestone. Whatever works for you is fine - a short message for once a month or a long message for four points out of the calendar year (or anything in between).

Purely for the sake of example, let's say you're going to identify a brief "fortune cookie" style message to the self for each season -- Spring, Fall, Summer, Winter.

Identify and record the message for Spring 2007.

Make sure it's in the present tense and that you've captured the essence or wisdom (free of specific circumstances or detailed contexts).

I like to use index cards -- the perfect space for a brief, concentrated message.

You're going to seal the message in an envelope and date it forward (Spring 2007 will be opened Spring 2008). Either plan in advance the exact date you will open the message, or identify a "looser" rule governing when you read your messages. If you're doing monthly messages, you might make it the 1st day of the month -- or, beef up the potential serendipity and synchronicity with the intention that you may open and read your message at any day in the designated month that you feel moved to read it or feel you particularly need it.

You're working within that personal Voice of wisdom, the Higher Self that exists out of time. You're essentially channeling -- take the opportunity to channel new/predictive information.

Add something unique to each message -- something extra, additional -- don't think about it or fret over it too much… If you have recorded one brief sentence for each message, add a second sentence. Be creative, be impulsive, don't question what you feel moved to write and don't over-analyze or use your Thinking Mind too much.

Don't be "logical"; be magical.

Don't keep a list of the messages where you can see them or think about them again before their designated cycle comes around. Forget about them. Don't try to remember them...

Variations on this concept: Divining -- Let's say you've created a message for each month of the year. Instead of designating the message for each month, shuffle your envelopes and open one each month, according to the divinely "random."

I've played this game for the last two years -- 2006 and 2007 -- and I can't ignore the fact that this exercise happens to correspond with the two most significant, empowered, "best" years of my life so far.

I've also expanded this concept into an on-going home-spun oracle card deck that I often add to and use to do readings for myself. I'll save the details of that project for another time; I'm looking into options for physically publishing the deck so that I can share it with others who might like to use it, too.

But the act of creating your own is a powerful alternative to using the wisdoms of another. (A yearly astrological forecast comes to mind. Not that I'm dogging it -- but most people complain than the biggest weakness of horoscopes is that they don't feel personal enough...) Any psychic or medium will tell you that it's more difficult to do readings for oneself than it is to perform them for another person.

This type of exercise is effective because it allows you to externalize your wisdom while still retrieving timely spiritual guidance that is intensely personal. And ultimately, it allows you to evaluate the energy cycles of the Past Year and work with the New Year.

Seek Wisdom, Practice Love, and Play with your Divine Creativity in the New Year!