Have you created your New Year’s resolutions yet?  If not, here are some questions to get you started.  And, if you have already created some intentions, then maybe these questions will help fine tune them.

I’m compelled to remind us all that we don’t have to wait for New Year’s to create intentions or resolutions.  We can (and do) set intentions every day.  And if we slip up, we don’t have to wait till next January to start over.  This point was the subject of my article last summer entitled “Reinventing Resolutions“.  Keeping that in mind, let’s get to the questions…

For what in your life in 2010 do you feel gratitude?

It’s really easy to focus our attention on the areas of our life where we feel lack.  The gap between what we want and what we have seems to scream for our attention.  The irony, of course, is that the more we focus on that gap, the more we grow that lack.  It’s okay to notice the contrast between our desires and our current manifestation of them as that contrast focuses our attention on what we want.  But we must keep our eyes on the prize and not the lack of it.  To assist us in focusing on the positive, we must see it where it already exists in our life.  So looking back over this last year, where were you given gifts for which you are thankful?  Keep that gratitude in the forefront of your mind as you set your 2011 intentions.

What aspect of your life in 2010 do you need to release in 2011?

We all carry baggage of the past around with us.  In some cases, this baggage has been with us for so long that we can’t imagine living without it.  This baggage is old beliefs and behaviors that hold us back from living the highest possible life that we can.  Take a moment and review all areas of your life – relationships, career, income, spirituality, health, diet and so on – and as you do so, identify those areas of contrast mentioned above where there is a gap between your desires and your manifestation.  For any gap that you notice, ask yourself – what behavioral pattern or belief do I need to release in this area of my life?  Once you’ve identified what needs to be let go of, take steps to allow that old mold of thinking and behavior to be replaced with new thoughts and actions.  Letting go of the old creates the space for the growth of the new.

Note – if you are struggling with the release of the old, then you may still have a lot of emotional energy attached to it.  One of the best ways I have discovered for releasing this emotional energy is a simple technique taught by Tom Stone called the “SEE technique”.  Visit this link for more information.

What new do you desire to see in your life in 2011?

Imagine in your mind’s eye that it’s the end of 2011 and you’re looking back on the year with gratitude for all the new and wonderful things that have shown up.  What would those new manifestations be?  Again, take a moment and review all the areas of your life mentioned previously.  What is being called forth?  This is where I find integral theory to be useful – it helps to categorize the areas of your life for consideration as to where growth would be most beneficial.  You might consider reviewing this previous 3-part summary so as to ensure you are considering all potential areas for development.

My wife, Mary, has been playing with the following question that came from one of her spiritual teachers which gets at the same concept–“If you knew now what you will know at the end of 2011 how would your life change?” (Question from Hossca Harrison, visit this link for more of his writings.)  She likes this question because it gets her to an intention as to what she wants to learn in the experiences of the new year – and Mary says– if you can get to that learning in your mind now, then why wait to implement the learning?  Put your new knowledge and wisdom into place now!

After you’ve identified the “new” that you wish to grow in 2011, sit down and write a positive affirmation from the standpoint that the new has already shown up in your life.  Create a list of affirmations which you review daily.

Here’s some examples to get you started – you want to lose weight?  Say:  I know that my body is healthy and physically fit now.  Every day I eat the right foods and get the right exercise.  You want more friends?  Say:  I know that I am a friend to everyone I meet.  My life is filled with deep and meaningful relationships.  You want more money?  Say:  Prosperity and abundance are mine now.  I am open to both giving and receiving money as it flows through my life in perfect circulation.  Want to meditate more?  Say:  Every day I am in tune with spirit.  I arise each day and sit in joyous communion with that divinity within me.…and so on.

And, the key is not only to say them – it is to live your life as if they were already true.  Create the intentions and follow them with the actions!

Finally – what is it that is calling you to even bother making resolutions?

What is it you’re trying to “resolve”?  Is there a problem you’re trying to settle?  Are you trying to “re-solve” something – like a puzzle you once had the answer to but now you must solve it again?  Why that feeling within you that calls you to filling that gap between desire and current manifestation?  What is it that is forcing you to grow?

Although I would love for each of you to ponder these questions for yourself, I’ll give you what I think.  Briefly – the consciousness within you was born of the oneness of spirit.  That consciousness is in each of us.  We believe we are separate individuals living our own lives with their own desires and needs, but we really are all one.  That desire within us that calls us to express our lives at higher and higher levels is an urge that was embedded in us from the beginning.  Our desire to grow in any aspect of our life is a force that is calling us to both experience the vast fullness of this life and to return us in our awareness to knowing that we are all one.  Our resolutions move us on that path.  We are “resolving” the discrepancy between our sense of separation and our sense of unity.  We are “re-solving” the puzzle where we once knew we were one and are having to come to that awareness again.

So…set your resolutions today and everyday!  May we all have a blessed and joyous 2011 living in oneness!

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!