Patty Chang Anker

Some Nerve

The Only New Year's Resolution You Need

If the question "What's next?" fills you with anxiety, this post's for you.

Posted Jan 01, 2014

Carpe Diem 2014 Planner by papaya arts

Carpe Diem 2014 Planner by

This is the time of year when everyone wants to know "What's next?" What are your goals for 2014, what are your resolutions for a better lifestyle? it sounds good - saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new - but If you’re naturally afraid of the unknown, of failure, of what people will think of your answer, the question can spark more dread than excitement.

At the gym last week (where a sign said "sign up now, you know you'll be here after the New Year anyway") I overheard a woman saying  "I hate New Years. Another year gone, nothing accomplished." What pressure for those who feel overwhelmed already to think of new things to accomplish. Where is that time and energy going to come from if it didn't exist in 2013?

For those who did accomplish something last year, the "What's next" question brings its own anxiety - how will I top what I did before? What if I don't have anything left to offer? Are my best days behind me?

I asked Tony Smith, a professional coach I consulted for Some Nerve, about how to handle the question.  ”Everyone is tied up in the idea of the past and the future,” he declared. “But those are just constructs. What if I told you the truth: that past and future are irrelevant. That at every moment we are infinite possibility?”

I blinked twice. There’s a heck of a lot I could do with infinite possibility in each moment. I could be more present as a mother, I could let protective layers fall away from my writing, I could look at old routines and patterns with fresh eyes, I could keep myself open to new or renewed passions. Without expectations, without fear of not achieving my goal or disappointing anyone (including myself), how would I feel?

I would feel free.

So this is my New Year's Resolution:

Be What's Next. Release tension over what will come. Feel infinite possibility in each moment, and let that fuel what comes next. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns. I'm resolving to see myself in every situation as an active participant, an active heroine, in fact.

I believe if we do this, goals will reveal themselves along the way as things we're fired up to do. Accomplishments will come in the act of doing what we value. We will in fact, seize the day. And 2014 will be a year to remember.

How about you, what could you do with infinite possibility? Perhaps you'll feel ready to take on a fear or challenge? I've declared mine here. Will you join me? What will your #SomeNerve Challenge be?