Happy New Year! To many individuals, January is a brand new month filled with a host of resolutions drawn up with the very best of intentions. As a life coach I’ve encouraged clients to set realistic short-term goals that are attainable as you maneuver your way down the path. When brainstorming resolutions for the New Year, ask yourself if you’re willing to make the daily commitment to see your goals realized. Sometimes in our attempt to succeed in our resolutions (i.e. get involved in the community, lose weight, exercise more, audition for a community play, take up a new hobby…) we find something still missing or the end result unexpected. This is where a basic code of conduct is essential in sidestepping any land minds when you embark on your road of resolutions. This tool will assist you in getting “out of your own way.” One place you can find this code of conduct is Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements. It’s a beautifully concise book that will open your eyes to self-destructive tendencies you may be unaware of in your life. It was a lifesaver for me. The Four Agreements came into my life 25 years ago and I’ve shared it with clients, family, friends acquaintances and now you. Ruiz describes the Four Agreements as:
Be Impeccable With Your Word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t Take Anything Personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t Make Assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can
completely transform your life.
Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
What’s so interesting about the agreements is we recognize them as information passed on to us from our parents, teachers and ministers; yet, Don Miguel Ruiz offers it to us in a simple, concise checklist when we find ourselves frustrated by our inability to succeed in our resolutions. It’s not a book to be read and put away on a bookshelf; instead, it’s a reference book to review on a regular basis. (My original book has been highlighted and written in on every single page.) Remember, we’re all in this together. When we learn to care and respect ourselves, we’re able to share the same with each other.
Originally Published in The Bay City Tribune on January 3, 2016