I made two things on New Year’s Day, and neither one was a resolution: I made a phone call to my mother while also mixing a champagne and soda cocktail. (That’s two things, right?)
I have nothing against New Year’s resolutions. In fact, they’re often a dream come true for this recovering over-achiever. And as a coach, I love any special day that sparks hope and change (especially when accompanied by ditching bad habits). The truth is, though, that every big change is created by an inner resolve – rising from soulful reflection, thoughtful intention and conscious action – not from an arbitrary date on a calendar.
The date simply provides the inspiration; It’s you who creates the change.
By now, some of you will be knee deep in your fresh start – exercising and cleansing and dieting and hopefully even meditating – and some of you will simply not be ready to get started at all. If you’re in category A, I want this time to be a time of great reflection for you – a time to recognize and acknowledge the deep resolve you cultivated and the inspiration you captured. If you’re in category B (like me), or if you’re looking to add a beautiful intention to your already well-established list, I invite you to make this one resolution with me right now:
I will listen and respond to inspiration as it comes.
I am confident that this is the only resolution you’ll ever need.
Imagine if every time you felt inspired to make a big change, you simply went for it – not because it was the start of a new year, but because you intended it to be the start of a new you?
Imagine if every time you felt inspired to do less – eat less, travel less, maybe even work less – you just paused and offered yourself the opportunity to say no?
Imagine if every time you felt that sensation – the one that says you are meant for something more – you just started living each day with greater purpose?
This is the mark of true soulful living – leaning into inspiration and away from trends. The more we can access our own resolve, the more purposeful our life will be – every day of every month of every year.
For those of you who have been carrying guilt or shame about not starting a new routine this year – it’s likely you just haven’t been inspired yet. And that’s ok. I invite you to ditch the guilt once and for all and embrace your new resolution: to listen and respond to inspiration as it comes (whenever or wherever that may be).
Remember, though, inspiration is unpredictable. It often comes and goes with a will of its own, but there is a bit of a trick to wrangling it if it seems to be somewhat elusive for you these days.
First and foremost, know this: inspiration is attracted to joy – like a bee to a flower, or a dog to its owner, or a child to its mother… you get the idea. Where there’s joy, there’s bound to be inspiration following closely behind.
So, start by reflecting on the things that make you happy.
For me, that’s writing, reading, mind-mapping, strategizing – creative introversion of any kind. I love finding new books and allowing the author’s voice to envelop me. As a writer, I always read with pen in palm.. Every book I own is covered in red handwriting – each margin a flowering of new ideas.
I also love green nature and blue oceans – preferably together. Walking barefoot in the grass is my happy place and listening to the sound of ocean waves is also nothing short of blissful for me.
The magic in these places and activities is the inspiration that always follows. I’ve never met an ocean that didn’t inspire a chapter in my upcoming book or a book margin that didn’t inspire another trip to the ocean.
Once you’ve spent time reflecting on the things that bring you joy, commit to a simple happiness plan. You know inspiration is there, so go find it.
Do something you love every single day.
Each time you enter into a joyful activity, you attract more and more magic – the kind of magic that makes you want to start exercising again, or finally write that book, or take that vacation or do whatever it is that sparks real change in your life.
(Sounds a bit like resolutions now, doesn’t it?)
That’s exactly the point. By engaging in the simple joys – the little activities that bring you happiness, you can literally inspire inspiration. And isn’t that what New Year’s Resolutions are all about, anyway? Make every day a new year by finding the things you love and giving them a great big squeeze.
When in doubt: STOP, DROP & SOUL.
That’s right, I’m talking about meditation. You knew it would come up eventually, didn’t you?
There’s no challenge in my life, no amount of misdirection, uncertainty, anxiety or loss that hasn’t been healed (at least in part) by meditation. It can seem overwhelming and scary if you’re not used to it or if you really have no idea what it is, but I assure you that meditation is simply stillness in a fancy dress.
Don’t worry about how you’re sitting or what your hands look like. Just get comfortable and close your eyes. You’re breathing anyway, so why not make it a little deeper… take it a little slower… start to connect to what really matters this year: you.
Whether you’re on the resolution train or totally off the rails, find something in your story to be grateful for. I’m proud of you already for sticking with me through this article. It could be the validation you were looking for or the inspiration you needed to start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Anna is a Chopra Certified Coach and Speaker. She is also the Founder of Anam Soul and the Author of SoulSense – the first purpose-driven coaching program in history that works from the outside in.
You can find her online at and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @youranamsoul