WITH the end of the year zooming closer, perhaps you are beginning to reflect upon your year, what you accomplished, challenges you faced, and goals not yet attained.

Do you find that each New Year, your goals or resolutions look almost like the year before? Do you feel like you are making progress, maintaining status quo or losing ground?

Rather than setting a long list of task-related goals for the next year, I’ve found a practice that I believe is a lot more powerful.

Resolutions tend to revolve around giving up some behaviour or habit we think is not good for us. We might try to replace one habit for another.

Resolutions look good in theory, but often, unless you have a great support system, they aren’t any more effective than wishful thinking.

Here’s what I recommend instead: focus on who you want to be more than on what you want to do. Ask yourself this question (I have worded it three different ways to help clarify it):

    * Who do I want to be in 2011?
    * What qualities do I want to express?
    * How do I want to show up?

Write down what comes to you, then craft what you get into a sentence; here are a few examples:
    * A person who is: kind, confident, joyful, generous
    * A person who is: assertive, (has) boundaries, balanced, organised
    * A person who is: healthy, spiritual, relaxed, passionate, growing

By focusing on the inner qualities you want to embody and express, you will find it profoundly affects the choices you make.

When presented with a situation, problem or various options, simply ask yourself a question like, “How would a kind person respond in this situation?”

Or, “What would an organised person do first?”

Or, “How would a relaxed person respond to this stressor?”

The benefits of this practice are many, and here are a few examples:

    * You will tap into your inner guidance and direction, making it easier to know what next step is right for you.
    * It will keep you true to your values and purpose.
    * You won’t feel empty when you do get tasks done — you’ll know why they were important to you.
    * You’ll have an inner knowing that you are on-track, rather than feeling disconnected.
    * You will be consistent with your choices and actions, instead of taking one step forwards and two steps back.

Remember, you choose how you show up in this life. You choose how you express yourself and who you will become.