Traditionally, New Year's is a time we resolve to begin anew – a time to deepen, broaden, break old habits, establish new patterns.
This year, I'm re-committing to staying present with myself, with the people in my life, and with life itself. Since I tend to lapse quickly into rehearsing the future and reviewing the past, this is rigorous work – noticing, time and time again, when I'm off in story-land and gently, time and time again, bringing myself back to the now.
Here's a suggestion from Richard Moss, I've found quite helpful in this work: Declare victory each time we notice that we've gone away. Don't focus on the "failure" of the departure, celebrate the success of the awareness and the return. Each act of mindfulness interrupts an automatic pattern and weakens it – however slightly.
We can encourage ourselves on the journey. Nothing huge – a quick internal "Yes!" will do nicely. Also, as we evaluate how we're doing, it works better to note how far we've come than to immerse in how far we've yet to go.
In 2013, as we attend to growth in whatever areas we choose, let's approach ourselves with mercy and our tasks with joy. Savor small victories.
Happy New Year!