Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Resolutions and Daily Accounting

So we are here again, its the new year.  We are starting out with a new year and I have promised myself to blog more.  So this is the time when people start to struggle and have the urge to make resolutions.  A new year’s resolution sounds really good, but more often then not, many people end up having the same resolution year after year.  When as a magician we fail to meet a resolution, this really is a knock to the personal will ( hence why I am pounding out a blog this week).

The Big Picture Versus the Footsteps 
Resolutions often encompassed the greater goal, the big picture, and ignore the realities on the ground.  It is easy to say, ok I want to loose weight this year.  Such resolutions spawn a billion dollar industry.
We have to start smaller and ask different questions.   First, what is a reasonable well-formed goal.  A well-formed goal, is a goal that has exact metrics of success.  Often this is hard to predict.  In most cases, a day-to-day ( or even smaller units of time) accounting with a general direction will be far more effective for the goal achievement.
What happens when you do shorten the time?  Well then your planning becomes much more action step orientated, in which each step is doable and achievable.   Each achievable step brings  more confidence and good vibes.   
For instance, for something like money management and making more money, it sounds very good to say I want to make more money, but its entirely a different matter if you are looking at how many hours in one day, you are working on it.  It is also overwhelming to many people, to look at month and see how much they spent.  However in one day, its possible to review it and immediately determine to work on something.  So for instance, if out of habit, I drink a  5 dollar lattes in the morning, and coffee is free in the office.  That is a small change that reviewing the small picture that creates positive movement.  The real question is WHY do I need that 5 dollar latte?  What do I gain by that?   What is it masking ( a sense of entitlement, achievement, what?)?

Night to Night Accounting
What I like to do is have a night to night accounting with my goal and all of the things going on in life.  For the health goal for example, I can account for the time I spent exercises, my food choices, and look at the events during the day.  So if I skipped out on a walk you can ask yourself why?  Was I tired, did I have too many irons in the fire pulling me around?    Even in 15 minutes reflection, you can figure out a lot of your own patterns.  It is this habits and patterns which really are the things which prevent the goal achievement.  Break down the habit, and instill a new one.   How can you do this?  One of the easy ways is creative visualization and self-hypnosis, however I like a few different options such as Creating a helper servitor,  reframing choices to make the best ones seem more appealing ( through meditation and nlp sub modality work).  Hands on Chaos Magic has some of these in practice, but really, any method of creative visualization will work.   Looking at your nightly accounting, should be a chance for reflection.  The most important question is not the what but the WHY something happened?  The Why usually gives you the ideas and mechanisms for change.

Your Documentation is your friend
Regardless of what your goal is, documentation is going to be your best friend.  It just won’t help you to review the details of what you do during a day without documenting it ( in writing).  Almost in every case, time and other resources will be a big pressure point.  The documentation reveals choices and the habits to change.  We will talk about self-compassion in a second.  On the health front, 30 minutes a day for a walk versus say spending the extra time at work, video games, Facebook?  Does answering the work emails stretch long into the night, or even Facebook?  Food choices, what food choices are you making?  On the earning or saving money front, we can find all sorts of issues  like a  7 dollar lattes.   Is this really needed or what is the reason it is desired?   Almost all the resources we expend and the choices we make gives us cause to our own habits.  They are useful information for self-change.
The documentation of this minutia sort also gives you a great window into progress.  On any goal, I can guarantee that if you do this sort of night to night accounting while purposely working on problem points, you will make progress and the progress will during the day seem automatic.  It will be easier and easier to just make choices in line with your greater goal and this progress will be reflected when you look at past journals.

Where this goes horribly wrong
The day to day accounting can go horribly sidewise if it is done with a harshness toward the self.  If done with that self-judgmental voice we all have, it actually reinforces the habit.  So Self-Love and Self-Compassion must be the underlying vibe.
Ask your self, am I speaking to myself as if I was talking to a loved one that needs help?  Am I encouraging or criticizing?  Am I judging myself as the critic or looking for areas to improve.  Its usually pretty easy to tell when we have slipped into the self-critic,  it tends to start with “You f##ed up, you can do better” and then goes into a continual barrage.    If you have heard me speak or talk about this before this is where I would say, STAND UP and Banish.  You could use a NLP style interrupt, but hell when I get in that mindset I will STAND UP and perform a Lesser Banishing of the Pentagram ritual.  You could use a simple waterfall of light banishing, a chakra balancing,  or any other banishing or prayer/mantra to remove negativity right in the moment.  Do not wait.  Do it right then.  It is critical to balance out the personal accounting with meditative work and self-compassion work.
Usually, when I get to the “horrible you” phase, its best to really clear out yourself.  At that point after doing a formal banishing, or NLP interrupt, I might tell myself you are getting better, even by acknowledging a difficult point.  Patterns are all just information and we can immediately as how can I use my reactions as springing boards to a more powerful me?  How is the information I get a powerful opportunity for self-transformation and personal shapeshifting?

Doing more with the nightly accounting
If you give yourself more time for the nightly accounting it can be a real area of self-transformation and magic, it is right at this stage when I do the accounting, and I ask what do I most need right now.  For me, I am a Vodouisant and a Chaos magician ( Among other things).  I have more then a few toys up my sleeve.  I am sure you might too.  So if I am pursuing a weight loss goal,  and find myself physically tired so I go buy something sweet during the day,  maybe I give Ogun or if you prefer Aries a small ritual and bring a talisman with me.  If I am working on a financial goal, perhaps I use shopping therapy ( in trying to curb spending),  to set-aside the stress.  Instead maybe I pray to Ganesh to get me to do a Japamal when I need to destress as opposed to shopping therapy.  If I am working on producing more materials, and find myself productive in the time I set aside, maybe I spend some of this time working on inspirational or illuminatory magic ( even a little sigil spell to productive in my writing time).    Sure, this seems like such a small thing, to be more productive tomorrow in my writing time, but once we get the habit created, it becomes easier and easier to keep the successes rolling.  While this is not specific, it does give the general thinking process of integrating your spirituality into the changes you are working towards on a daily basis.  That success train is the exact train you and I want to be on since it makes the greater goal so much easier.    Integrating our spiritual allies and tools into the process just makes it all the more likely success will be yours.

So go out there and Succeed like its 2015 ;)

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