Make Forgiveness Your New Year’s Intention

Want to lose weight? Find your dream job? Improve your relationships? Learn to love yourself more? Be a better boss, parent, friend, partner? Forgiveness might be just where you need to start.

I am casting a wide net here, I know. Claiming that learning to forgive will help you lose weight might sound like hyperbole, but what if it’s not? What if learning just one skill gave you the freedom to accomplish what you set out to do?

You might be thinking, “I just need to try harder or set smarter goals.” Maybe. But if mindset or motivation is all that is needed to achieve what we intend, why do most people fail when it comes to New Year’s resolutions?

Some, no doubt, lose focus. Their mind wanders away from what they set out to do, causing them to redirect the creative energy to familiar habits unintentionally. But that’s not the only reason.

Others, despite heartfelt intent and their best effort, consistently fall short. (This is many of us, I believe—including those who long ago gave up on setting resolutions.)

This doesn’t happen because they lack talent, ability, vision, or drive. However, one or many of these are likely what we believe when we predictably fall short.

So, what’s going on? Where’s the disconnect?

The answer is more fundamental than the mind, personality, or talent: Energy. We all have as much creative energy as we have at any given time. It may seem obvious, but where we focus our energy determines what we get done.

Unhealed hurts take extraordinary energy to maintain. Why? Because being forgiving is natural. It is our innate disposition to maintain connection with our tribe. Our survival depends on it. The concept of forgiveness is so twisted and bogged down with religious and political rhetoric that we have forgotten its power.

The precious fundamental energy you need to accomplish your goals is being diverted to keep hidden your grievances. Whether you are conscious of it or not, the old hurts you long ago decided didn’t deserve your effort does take energy. And what of our grudges? They, too, demand your focus. So, if you want to achieve new levels of success and freedom, make forgiveness your intention for the coming year.

I know that doesn’t sound like much fun. But there is good news in all of this. For every step you take in the forgiveness process (most of you have probably started the process whether you realize it or not), more energy is freed.

So, you can do both! Make learning to forgive your intention but also resolve to achieve something that excites you. Forgiving for forgiveness’s sake won’t keep you in the process but seeing what you can imagine and create with all that liberated energy certainly will!

Here’s to a forgiving, loving, and creative year!